Deep in the Heart of Siberia, Lake Baikal is one of the most pristine regions in the world. The 636 km long lake holds 20% of the world’s fresh water that is not permanently frozen. ArcticTropic only got to explore a small portion ,as it was early in the season and the full boat network is not yet operational.
From Irkutsk we took a two hour hydrofoil ride down the Angara River into Lake Baikal to the tiny village of Bolshie Koty.
Bolshie Koty has no roads, except an Ice road for a few months in the winter. There are only two or three operational motor vehicles in the village.
On this early June day, heavy snow had fallen on the mountains across the lake ,which had iced out only two weeks before. Swimming would only be possible after a hot banya.
Naturalists from around the world are working to create a hiking trail going around the whole lake.
Bolshie Koty began as a gold rush town int he 1850s. There was not much gold and today it is a place to escape the cares of the world.
Unless you bring your own food , you will likely be eating Omul soup. Omul is a great tasting fish,related to salmon.
ArcticTropic searches far and wide for untouched spots on the globe and Lake Baikal is certainly one of them. The cold climate and remote Siberian location ensures there will never be casinos and fancy marinas here.
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