Tranquility on Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal

Khuzhir Travel Blog

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People i met here, who contributed to and improved my trip: Juliana (Russia), Logan (New Zealand), Brenton (Australia), Frances (New Zealand)

We set off for Olkhon Island on Tuesday, excited by the prospect of eventually seeing Lake Baikal. When we got to the 'bus' station we found we would actually be getting a small minivan for the 7 hour journey. The next problem was they had sold too many tickets and we eventually left Irkutsk 30 mins late and with 3 extra passengers! One positive was there were 3 other Westerners on the bus, a kiwi called Frances and 2 guys we had briefly met in Moscow - Brenton an Aussie and Logan a kiwi - its strange how you keep bumping into people whiilst travelling!

Although the ride was extremely cramped, it went by with little to note, until we reached the 'ferry terminal' for the 30 minute hop over to Olkhon Island.

We were told that the ferry had (as usual) broken down and we were in for a long wait. We trudged up to the local village to stock up on beer and headed back to the Lake to drink them in an abandoned cafe. Due to a stray black dog, which took a liking to us, we christened the pub in its honour and spent the next few hours passing the time with a few drinks. As night set in, we began to worry we would be left to sleep in the van for the night, but then from nowhere, the ferry approached from the far side of the Lake and we were on our way!

We were dropped off in the main town of Khuzhir, with a population of 1800 souls, and checked in to Nikitas guesthouse, where for 500 roubles you received not only your room but full board as well. With a warm meal in our bellies we took an early night ready for the trip around the island the following day.

Our day long jeep trip comprised of driving to the north point of the island and stopping along the way to take in some of the breathtaking scenery on offer, including rocks shaped like alligators and what looked like a face in the mountain. We eventually reached the northern point, which offered some wonderful views across the largest freshwater lake in the World. Our driver cooked up a hearty lunch of fish and potato soup with some sandwiches before we hopped back in the jeep to visit the 'love and wishes' rocks. After a long day, we headed back to Nikitas for another feed and a few beers before hitting the hay, in anticipation of our journey back to Irkutsk the following day

Deats says:
This is a place well worth a stop on the trans siberian!
Posted on: Apr 01, 2008
mfmcp1982 says:
sounds fab!
Posted on: Mar 31, 2008
Deats says:
Pure tranquility :0)
Posted on: Oct 16, 2007
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photo by: Deats