Olkhon Island, Lake Baikal
Trip Start Sep 20, 2007
12Trip End Nov 13, 2007
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The first night we there we tried another ill-advised vodka experiment, along with some other travelers we met on the journey down. After about 3 litres I was thankfully in a coma. After 4 litres Mark was lying outside, staring at the stars, unable to move his legs. Thankfully he finally made it to our cabin, as temperatures dropped well below freezing at night. The next moring, Alison and I took an extremely brief swim in the icy lake to counter-attack the hangover. Once again, Mark raised the white flag and remained bed-bound for the rest of the day. To say that vodka doesn't agree with Mark would be putting it mildly.
The lake is home to some unique wildlife, including a fish called Omul (apparently similar to salmon, although I couldn't see it). This must surely be soon put on the endangered list, as it is eaten at least twice a day by everyone. Once in the entire 4 days would probably have done me. The guide books say that you must try this "local delicacy". I took that as a recommendation, but I think it is actually a law.
It was great to get out of the city for the first time, and out to a real backwater ( the island only got electricity 3 years ago). Doubtless there will be plenty more to come, but for the moment this has been a real highlight.