Visiting the island Olkhon in the Lake Baikal is worth the effort to get there. It is mystic and breathtaking – we will never forget our two nights and days there.
Getting there means a few hours car drive plus a short ferry cruise to get onto the island. Unfortunately, one ferry of three was broken and the ferry capacity is very limited (5 and 14 cars only). As you can see below, leaving the island on this weekend required a lot of patience…about 11 hours waiting. Fortunately, we left on a Tuesday…..
There are only dirt roads on the island and the once in the national park were really in bad shape – but positively speaking this just keeps us young! In the national park we were driving with a small old Soviet bus – extremely simple, no comfort, almost no suspension but reliable.
We were together with 8 Russians in this tiny bus…..one Russian couple spent their honeymoon on the island. Thanks to their little English skills we never missed the bus after a stop;-). Russian people are reluctant at the beginning, but when they like you they open up and start talking to you and you always find a way to communicate.
Our driver prepared lunch for us: A fish soup, cucumber-onion salad and bread. Looking at my dirty bowl and seeing a fishhead swimming in the broth I wasn't sure whether Andi was right to pretend that he was a vegetarian… (I didn't eat the fishhead but all the other fish pieces in the soup!). Brave Beatrice!s
There is one small village called Khuzhir on Olkhon.
Olkhon is known for its Shamanism which was very interesting for us. We experienced Shamanism on our previous travels and it is fascinating to see the same and also different rituals in different parts of the world. Throwing coins on sacred places and wrapping colorful ribbons around bushes, trees and posts brings luck. The most sacred place is Shamanka (Cape Burhan). An ancient shamanic legend says: Han Khan-baabay, as the king of all shamans, came to Olkhon and lived in a cave on Shamanka. Cape Burhan is a bimodal rock composed of crystalline limestone, marble, covered with light red lichen.
The scenery on Olkhon is just amazing and there are so many beautiful places to visit. There are many beautiful small flowers and some raptors flying around.
Sacred Cape Sagan-Khushun
The Cliff of Maidens at Cape Khoboi
The Cliff of Love at Cape Shunte-Leviy