Olkhon Island

Trip Start May 30, 2006
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Trip End May 29, 2007


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Where I stayed
Irkutsk hostel

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Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Just arrived back from our time at Lake Baikal so ill fill you in on what we've been up to.

After breakfast at the farm on Saturday, Jack drove us up to the main road to the bus stop (the farm was 15km from the main road but that part of the journey took about an hour as we were driving on some kind of dirt track that was very bumpy! lucky we were in a 4WD!!) anyway, after a bit of waiting the bus arrived to take us to Huzir, the main village on Olkhon Island.

It took about 2 and a half hours to get there, including the ferry over to the island and we got dumped off the bus in what looked like a wooden ghost town! the only people we could see were 3 germans from our bus, another couple and a woman trying to get people to go to her homestay. We had the tent with us so didnt need accommodation, but didnt really know where to go! Jack (our guide from the Irkutsk hostel) had told us that Nikitas place was the best place to go to book trips round the island, so we decided to head there.

Nikitas Homestay seemed to be the tourist centre of the village (which is only 1200 population) and everyone from the bus was heading there to stay anyway. Its a pretty cool place, everyone seemed so laid back and welcoming, we chatted to a girl called Olga who works there about booking a trip, then she recommended a good place to camp and told us we were welcome to come to Nikitas to hang out or even for dinner. there was a poster up advertising a Russia v "rest of the world" football match that night so miki decided he wanted to play in that.

We went to find somewhere to pitch our tent, and walked over a hill and found the bay Olga recommended, which was beautiful. there was one other tent at the far end end some trees so we stayed nearer to the village. Got the tent set up just back from the beach then went for food before the footy.

The match was a good laugh, although the teams were all mixed nationalities and were only 3 a side to start with! I nealry got roped into playing but i had two huge blisters on my toes from Jacks mountaineering the previous days so i managed to avoid any more pain!! there were a few people from Nikitas watching so just sat with them and got chatting to a girl from Melbourne. In the end the teams ended up with six on each side, kept accumulating players, even a little Russian wonderkid who must only have been about 11 or 12! anyway micks team won 8-6 in the end, think he managed a couple of goals but the little kid got about 4!! haha

Staying in the tent was pretty good, and was almost comfy enough but my feet were freezing!! also we had half of Olkhon islands annual rainfall in that one night!!! typical!! was dry when we woke up tho, its pretty cool having your own beach and lake to get washed in!

On the Sunday we went on the 4 wheel drive trip around the north of the island, with Gregory our driver/guide, the 3 germans from the bus, and another called sebastian. had a pretty good day, were out from 10 til about 5 with another picnic lunch thrown in, and managed to see a bit of the culture of the island and of the Buryats (nomadic people). Went and had a meal at Nikitas, which was only 100 roubles (about 2 quid) and chatted to a few of the people we'd met there. went back to the tent and sat around our little campfire til it got too cold for me and i went to bed!!

Today we went for the bus back to Irkutsk, which left Huzir at 9.30 am, and is approximately a 5.5-6 hour journey. The bus broke down about 45 mins from Irkutsk. we had to sit and wait for an hour and a half for the replacement bus to bring us back here!!! made it back in the end and got a much needed shower back at the hostel!!

off on the train tomorrow, so will be in touch from Mongolia!! byeeeeeeeee
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