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In winter and in summer one Baikal-2
Part two. Who does not take risks, he does not go to Lake Baikal
The legendary Russian lake, included in the UNESCO World Heritage List, is a magnet for tourists from all over the world. We asked two travelers with experience, at what time of year it is better to go to Baikal. Everyone insisted on his version. Julia talked about an extreme trip on turquoise ice. "What about the campground and the kayak trip?" - Alexander was obstinate. I had to declare a draw. The time of year does not matter if the purpose of your trip is the freshwater sea of Siberia.
A trip to Baikal is a subject of many travelers' dreams. Covered with mystical stories, attracting with its depth and unknownness, the lake would like to see thousands of Muscovites and Petrograders, but few come here. The blame for this - battered stereotypes, ignorance of the domestic tourist market and fear of adventure.
To the "heart" on the "loaf"
At first glance, "office plankton" is difficult to decide on a trip to Baikal. Everyone knows: the place is wild, shamans, civilization as it is, but as it were not ... But in fact it turns out that there are a lot of offers on the market: in one of the tourist clubs we were offered at once a dozen different in cost, complexity and duration of the routes. We opted for a turn-key option: five days on the island of Olkhon, then - a kayak trip along the coast of the Chivyrkuy Bay.
Olkhon Island is the heart of the Baikal civilization. From Irkutsk to a free ferry to the island, only five hours drive along a good road and a few hours waiting in line. It should be noted that both local residents and visitors from all neighboring regions willingly come here to rest - they are easy to calculate by car numbers.
The population of the island of Olkhon is slightly less than 1700 people. Residential buildings are located in the western, steppe part of the island with sand dunes and picturesque beaches on the shore. There are roads here, though mediocre. The most popular car is a "loaf". It's no wonder that the Ulyanovsk Automobile Plant is in no hurry to remove the old 2206 from the assembly line: the demand for it is very high here.
Other benefits of civilization - electricity, water and communications - are also present here. At the tourist base there is a pay shower, you can go to the bathhouse. It is necessary to swim in Baikal - it's an unforgettable experience. In mid-July, the water temperature is rarely higher than 15 ° C, but it invigorates and young.
There is no problem with food on the island. Mandatory local delicacy - chopped (frozen raw fish, something that resembles stroganina). Another dish is the smoked Baikal omul, which is sold at every step. This is the main local gastronomic brand. Seize this all possible poses - Buryat analog khinkali. Public catering in Olkhon is quite a lot, you can find for every taste: from dining rooms to quite cozy cafes and restaurants with a view of the lake. Ordering lattes and tiramisu, you can connect to Wi-Fi and walk around the expanses of the Net. Sitting here, you feel at a fashionable resort - no worse.
However, most of the island is not inhabited. It is occupied by forests, in which local residents do not prefer to walk without a gun - the probability of meeting with a bear is great. Exoticism adds various references to a culture of shamanism that can be seen on the roadside of a graded road. Prayer bands are tied with colored ribbons and pieces of cloth. There are real places of power, like, for example, Shamanka rock.
Dived - drank
Leaving Olkhon, prepare to say goodbye and with the blessings of civilization. The way on the "rocket" to the settlement of Ust-Barguzin takes more than three hours. Moving along the water, you can estimate the scale and strength of Lake Baikal. There are no hotels here, and we will have to live in a tent camp, moving along the shore in canoes.
In the Chevyrkuisky Bay, water usually warms up well, so you can swim for a long time ... and drink. This is the most pleasant impression from Baikal - when you wanted to drink and just dived to quench your thirst. We have to boil the porridge for the camp - again for water to Baikal. And no unpleasant sensations in the body. Baikal crustaceans (epishura) do their work. However, moving on the water in a kayak, beware of high waves - storms are not uncommon here.
Another danger that can await you already on the shore is active bears. One of them can easily come to visit you in the camp in search of food. As a rule, the beast does not attack first, but it is necessary to be careful not to provoke it. On the other hand, a meeting with a bear is an integral part of traveling to the lake: most tourists see the live clubfoot.
Usually, guides warn "neighbors" of a bear walking around in the vicinity. In our group, when receiving such information, night duty was set. When the beast came, the whole camp rustled and shouted to drive it away: it is necessary to show the bear that you are many and that he is not afraid of you. However, by the end of the trip, sleep overcame fear. On the final day the young bear came to the camp to a plate of barbecue left on the table. Everyone heard that they were sounding an alarm, but nobody came out of the tents. Well, yes, you have to sleep, too ...
It should be noted how keenly local residents are about the cleanliness of Lake Baikal. For them, the lake is the breadwinner and the employer. And they try to impart this attitude to tourists. It's nice to see that the coastline looks very neat and tidy.
Is it expensive to go to Baikal? The ten-day hike cost us 30 thousand rubles per person. Plus equipment: tent, backpack, shoes and so on. Air tickets - 25 thousand rubles, but this amount can be halved if you book services in advance. And then it all depends on how much smoked omul you take with you. The cost of travel is quite high, but I am sure that no one regrets the money spent. You need to see Baikal with your own eyes, these impressions will last a lifetime, but your friends will eat the brought fish on the first evening. Checked.