One island in the middle of the deepest lake of the world. No roads, no shower (in my case), just nature! This is Olchon – explore the beauty of the Baikal Lake with me!
On Wednesday I departed to Olchon from the central bus station in Irkutsk. The ride was about 6 hours and included the ferry to the island. The rough part was on the island itself because it is all off-road. When I arrived I tried to find my way to my accommodation by asking people. In the little village “Khuzir” of 1500 people they know each other. So I found my Babushka, Nina, easily. Besides she was a German teacher in the village all her life so we could speak German. Although I was first alone at her place I really enjoyed it. She made it so comfortable with her old stove and her warmly hospitality. And she only charges 600 Rubels (8 Euro) per night.
The first afternoon I went to holy shaman rock and the coloums of the 13 gods. Around the area of Baikal Lake there are living a lot of Buryats which believe in Shamanism so this is a symbol to give a present to the gods.
This view and the rock formation with different colours of red and orange were amazing so enjoy every picture single.
The next day I went on a tour to the north of the island. I booked it in another hostel called “Nikita’s guesthouse” but I would not recommend staying there because they are charging too much money for nothing. Anyway, the tour was really great. Sergej, our driver, showed us several places with an old mini-bus (can’t imagine how this old machine can have a four wheel drive inside!). He cooked lunch for us in the forest – a yummy fish soup with Omul. This fish you can only get in the Baikal region. Unfortunately we did not see any wild seals but that is really rare anyway. It was a very cool trip and interesting to see all the different nature of the island.
I tasted the water of the lake as well because it is one of the cleanest lakes and in the earlier days they even used it as drinking water, nowadays they filter it before. It tasted quite good and so sweet! Especially in winter it has to be a great time to visit Baikal Lake because from end of January the whole lake gets frozen and you can see the blue ice. Since it is so clean you can look really deep down. Another adventure is that the buses ride over the ice then. But of course it is nice to visit in summer as well because I was freezing with minus 2 degrees.
The next day I had to leave although I could have stayed longer. On the other side I was happy to have a real shower and toilet in Irkutsk again because the sanitary conditions are quite rural on the island. There I stayed for one night with Ira (short form for Iryna) from Couchsurfing. We had a great evening cooking some yummy potato soup and going out for a drink in the “trendy quarter” of Irkutsk which I haven’t seen before. She was a nice host, very open-minded and funny. This made my last night in Russia memorable!
Goodbye Россия! До свидания! I am sad to leave you with your very welcoming hospitality, the friendly people, the awesome food, the cheap transport and the beautiful nature! But now … it is time for MONGOLIA! Off to Dschingiskhan!
More about Russia, advices for Moscow and the Trans-Sibirian Railway –> click my page of Russia.