How to blow over a grand in one day.

The answer is to get the exchange rate wrong, or go to Moscow, or both.  It started when we got to Moscow tired after missing a nights sleep and then travelling two nights in a tiny cabin on a sleeper train, plus someone had stolen my holzuhr wooden watch which I loved and as you can imagine I was pretty upset about it.  The sleeper cabin was ok – it’s pretty fun waking up in the night and you’re being rocked around while hurtling along, though we decided that another 5 nights straight without a break might be a bit much.  I know that the trans-siberian is supposed to be luxury compared to the train we were on but maybe it would have been a few too many nights in a cramped cabin. We decided that we should instead fly straight to Japan and miss out Mongolia.  We were just excited to get on with the real deal.  Russia’s pretty good in my opinion but when we got off the train, I checked google on my phone and made the mistake of thinking that a ruple is half a pence when really it’s worth 2 pence.  So the rate we used was off by 4 times!  When it was time to find a hotel for the night, checking the lonely planet, I thought we could treat ourselves to a midrange hotel seeing as everything was so cheap.  I didn’t even look at the price when I signed the receipt for the hotel – it was in a confusing currency where 1 c.u is worth 35 ruples.  As soon as I had wi-fi in the hotel, I checked the net for flights and found a bargain one to Vladivostok which is the closest Russian airport to Japan.  I booked it straight away as it looked way cheaper than what someone on the net had mentioned.  It was only then that I checked google and realised we’d just paid £300 for a room!  It wasn’t even that nice – Moscow is a rip-off.

Rushing to book a flight to Vladivostok might have also been a mistake as our planned method of travel to Japan, the next ferry, didn’t leave for another week; and our visa ran out in about 4 days.  When we got to Vladivostok, we booked the next flight to Japan and ended up here in Niigata.  And here we are in Japan – an amazing place of course and really looking forward to our next destination of Tokyo in a couple of days.

Love Lee and Linz x

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