The Road

Heaven and Real Siberia on Eastern Shores of Baikal

It was supposed to be be Olkhon Island, but we changed the plan in the last moment and went for Svyatoy Nos (Holy Nose) Peninsula. Like in many places, at Lake Baikal we would wish to stay for months, there’s so much to explore and this time we could just take a look.

Hitchhiking went very smooth and we met lovely people on the way. Buryat side of Baikal stunned us with villages stucked in the sand, dense forests and vast swamps. The weather was sunny and perfect so once we spotted the wild long beach from the old UAZ machine, we asked the driver to stop.

Cool, soft water of Baikal felt so good for the skin and bones. We layed on its surface, admired mountains of the peninsula in the far and waters reaching behind the horizon. Just a taste of its sweet water reminded us that this is not sea but largest freshwater lake by volume in the world.

In this paradise we set up the tent and spent there two nights, and in that short time we could experience some heaven and some hell!

During second evening we drunk russian beer watching the storm dark clouds comming towards us. Far on the beach we could spot that we are not the only ones waiting anxiously. The wind hit strong and made us sure that there’s no way the clouds will somehow pass by. The waves of the lake reminded of the highest ones we knew from Batlic Sea. That was a pretty scary night. One of not many flaws of ultralight tents is the fact that during the storm they feel like the could break in pieces/fly in the air at any moment. So we stayed awake, holding it from the inside and listening to the concert of thunders. In the calm morning we stretched our bones outside, but relax was not for long. It was then when we met another beautiful creature of the Siberia – huge swarms of small flies (in russian – moszki). There was not a spot without them, their bites were painful and it seemed like all they aim at is your eyes and mouth. It started again to rain, just when we started to pack the tent. Flies did not bother the drops at all, now, joined by mosquitoes.

After one hour, finally we spotted the car on the way. The driver that picked us up said “you were lucky, in this area there are many bears”. It seems like Siberia keeps its wonders well guarded by nature, but the experience is well worth a little struggle!

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