20% of the world's fresh water
Baikal Travel Blog› entry 7 of 13 › view all entries
We spent a night at Lake Baikal which contains 20% of the world's fresh water reserve. It harbours more endemic species of plants and animals than any other lake in the world. It is big and beautiful. We stayed at the little quiet mountain town of Listvyanka on the lakeside.
At Listvyanka we were first taken to our homestay up up a litter-strewn muddy street flanked by junkyards and beautiful Siberian wooden houses with intricately-dressed windows. We cringed. But all worked out well as we had a beautiful room (5 times the size of the one in Osaka) over looking the valley and lake.
Russia has a bit of catching up in terms of respect for the environment. Littering in the lake is bad in parts (but the water is still very clear). The freshwater seals in the aquarium-museum appeared over-fed ... they were nearly spherical!
Worst of all were the dancing bears in their cages ... rocking back and forth as they go mad from boredom (but Kim thinks they are just practicing their dance routines).
The weather in here was cold and crisp ... the sun played peek-a-boo with us through the clouds for parts of the day but it always turns fine. We were just in time to catch the last of the icy-slush in the lake.