Around the world in 365 galleys

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Lake Baikal - Olkhon Island


The Crazy Russians!
From September 15 to September 17 2010, 17 Transmongolian evening


This article will be dedicated to Captain 'SpongeBob with whom we shared our last real experience Transsiberian. Captain 'SpongeBob who spoke no English but surprisingly ... with whom we have good gutters, among others to discuss Franco-Russian policy with its nail polish bottles.
Arrived in Irkutsk, after seeing a Russian get beaten and then engrainé have made a strange guy who wanted to embark on a dark street, we were glad to leave this city to join the Lake Baikal and its vast wilderness .


And it must be earned this lake !!! Eight hours of mini bus packed like sardines to half way on dusty roads and stoned (dust also returned even inside the mini-bus), we were glad to have arrived. Without being bad language, the trip was still wonderful, from pine forests to arid expanses to finally reach Lake Baikal and boat crossing linking the mainland to Olkhon Island.


Just arrived at Nikita's Hostel and wanting to celebrate our arrival with a small drink on the balcony, our dear neighbors once we Russians have joined and then accelerated. Believing quietly start the beer, they straight out after us, as in their habits, their vodka and dried fish; this time best of all those of Lake Baikal! Fortunately Guillaume and Katell, a couple of Frenchies encountered on the way in the mini-van, were there to divide the portions of vodka !!!
Retrouvaille thereafter with the Finns arrived a day earlier and we have kindly offered to join them the next day for an ordinary trip ... priori. But why must we bring vodka and wine? Surprising !!! Certainly! It is then with Finnish (which will be very useful for us as a translator) and the Russian couple that we will finish the evening and we already learn coast along for a few hours a Russian Siberian hunter, that is a hunter of bears and not of gallinettes ash!


It is at 10am the next morning (fresh as daisies ...) that we will courageously start our trip to the north of the island Olkhon accompanied by four Finns, a couple of Russian tourists (the guy also being Bear hunter, supporting evidence) and a completely batty driver ... or alcolo ?? Small passage in the forest with what they proudly call "Russian Jeep" (and it really happens everywhere), and this is at 10:30 (either 30min after the start of the tour) that we will get to know the dangerously Shaman traditions (Russian Version).


"Shaman Tradition has it that the sight of a sacred poles or trees, easily recognized by its multiple scarves colorful fabrics, we serve a glass of vodka (which can also be a cup or any other object that may contain a liquid). It is then customary to dip one of his fingers into her glass and baptized by touching different parts of the body (Thomas has had a chance to be baptized by the roubignoles driver hope for him it will pay fruits). " A true Russian never wasting vodka, the end of the bottle be increased to the hatch towards the throat. However, we found that this tradition was used more often to people of the opposite sex. Is it a sharing of culture or a subtle method (... or not) to abuse of female tourists? We will look more for the second explanation. "Masha" having a key with the attractive driver ...


After this little stop "invigorating", one is still left to discover the fauna and flora of northern Olkhon Island. Made the most of the sublime landscape: visit the hills, cliffs and beaches giving each lake views breathtaking ... while Russian tourists is putting on his bottle of vodka with the driver. Arrival at lunch time, we discover the pic nic of dream we prepared our driver with the menu: the equally famous "omouls" fish caught in Lake Baikal for centuries, with its share of fresh vegetables. A killer !!! And yes, even need our mothers to force us to eat the meals ... And who says Russian says his vodka that goes with it. Russian tourists having finished his bottle (yes, yes! Already at mid-day), we went on our own, pushed by this guy who had never enough and wanted to share her drunk.


We still ended up leaving, a few more stops before returning to the village to wake the driver when to leave ... And at one and thought it was really the end of the tour and end brevages, the driver saw a jeep "parked" in the middle of the forest stopped, unscrewed the van's ceiling light cover and went drinking with his piece of plastic serving as a bucket for vodka. The meeting with men full of the forest military costume (in Russia is not bad fashion, we see everywhere) was more than strange, and began to degenerate. This is the Russian tourist who had to go look for the driver to prevent it skids, and so it is with a light cover in less we will resume the way home. Small impromptu stop to meet Mongolian horse, like those installed at the Naadam.
Finally safe return (maybe a little less at the outset) and sound, and the last error not to do was done. This is the objective to thank the driver, the Finns bought a bottle of vodka as a tip and so we had the right and the obligation to take a small tour in more the mouth.
We let ourselves be tempted by the end of the inn's sauna and finish the evening in our room (even ours that will trasher), apparently more welcoming than the other, along with the Swiss encountered in Irkutsk 5 and 4 Finnish.


Back in Irkutsk the next day in a mini-van which was been tighter than on the way (how is that possible?) And departure for Mongolia that evening via the Trans. This time, we were forced to take second class much more comfortable but filled with tourists. Fortunately we stumbled into the compartment of a Mongol with whom we have discovered the "games with Punishments".


Traveler's tip: take the third class if you want to experience Russian culture. We were astonished that we do not see any tourists in Transsiberian. We now know they were all gathered in their second or first class wagon to Moscow-Irkutsk of a process ... (Not to be done!)

Flickr Album

9 Comments

Yves Bostroem

03. Dec, 2010

Hi Chris and Thomas!
It is wonderful to share your travel and with those who "remain" in Paris (which is not my case, I travel a lot for my work ^, Pet St, Moscow, Middle East, and some Europe) . That all Fair winds, soak up and do not forget to tell us is highly appreciated !! You vere, you prefer your "365 galleys" and these will turn into 365 retrospective poilades !! Good luck and keep good fun! Sincerely, Yves and Monique -D

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