Exploring the landscapes of northern Baikal

If this is the first time that you are visiting us in Severobaikalsk, and you have a little time on your hands, then here’s an excellent opportunity for you to learn about and enjoy the natural and cultural history of our north Baikal region. This is the heart of Siberia, where you can see and really feel our remote and wild region first-hand.

For local trips we can supply you with an experienced guide. She or he can drive you around northern Baikal in one of our 4-person vehicles. If you reserve a space on one of these excursions, you will have the chance to get around quickly and safely, as well as visit some of our more interesting historical and natural sites. And of course our guides will be able to tell you everything in detail, about the cultural and environmental background behind each place we visit.

What’s more, our guides will be able to lead you on short hikes deeper into the natural world here, so as to show you some of our many unique natural monuments. Your guide can lead you up mountain trails to see some great views; but at the same time your guide can tell you about all the local customs, legends, and traditions at each stop. The guides can also help you set up camp on Lake Baikal itself, and prepare meals for you over the campfire.

We can set up camp for as many nights as you would like to stay on Baikal’s shores. We have all kinds of camping equipment to rent or sell to you for your stay here. What better way is there to enjoy a lovely night or two, listening to the gentle breakers off-shore, and taking in all the stars above you.

So, why don’t you come and visit us and get acquainted with our land.

 

Before you do, let’s introduce one of our guides. Her name is Rada, and she has nearly 35 years of experience exploring our region. Of that, some 30 years was in the employ of the Baikal-Amur Mainline Railroad, or BAM as we call it here. Rada was very lucky in her job as a surveyor for the BAM. She would even call it romantic, the way in which she would be able to go out to places in the taiga and explore back-country areas where very few people had ever been before.

Я Рада на льду Байкала

 

This inspired Rada to dedicate herself to trekking and hiking, especially leading kids groups around northern Baikal. She would show these kids many of the places that she had discovered while doing her survey work in the woods here. Many of these kids grew up to be her friends, and have been trained in the ways of leading enjoyable trips themselves. 

 

In the last three years Rada has been working with our tour-camp called Echo, which is located on the lovely Slyudyanski Lakes. Every year she brings back many of the same tourists to this camp—so much did they enjoy their first stay.

 

With three children and a couple of grandkids, Rada is still very active outdoors, touring around on x-country skis, on horseback, and on bicycles. She’s a real people-person, who loves to hang out with guests in the sauna (banya) or at her summer cabin. She has traveled widely, and has shared the wonders of Baikal with guests from all over.

Let’s have Rada talk about the small road-trips that she often leads around the north of Baikal.

 

“I definitely like leading all kinds of road-trips, some lasting longer than others, and some going further afield. When we leave the environs around Severobaikalsk, we really can go in any one of the four directions.   If we head south first, we would go to the village of Baikalskoye, which is about 25 miles from our city. The road to this village is a very scenic mountain road, with a number of outstanding vistas of Lake Baikal along the way. We will definitely stop at the sacred site where one can view the rocks that are covered with glittering mica everywhere. Plus there are other archeological treasures nearby to investigate.

 

We have lots of family friends in the village who could host us for lunch. Or we can always cook a lunch over a campfire. Either way, the local delicacy (the omul fish) is always available to buy from the Baikalskoye fishermen. In all, this short trip should only take about 5-7 hours, back and forth.

 

Now, if we wanted to head north, towards Nizhneangarsk (some 15 miles away), then we would take a road that hugs Baikal’s shores. After driving through several tunnels along the way, we would stop at the furthest-north point of the lake. This is right opposite the unusual sandy island-spit called Yarki.

 

In the town there is a fine natural museum to visit, where one can learn more about the region. Once again we can cook a meal over a campfire, or we could visit one of the local café-kitchens, where native Buryat dishes are served. This would be a shorter trip, lasting some 3-5 hours.

 

A trip to the west would take us to the village of Goudjacket, some 20 miles along a dirt road.  This road parallels the BAM railroad at times; at several points it opens up to very fine views of the mountains and rivers and streams that are everywhere in our region. 

 

Along the way I can tell you about all the fascinating historical tid-bits, like how the BAM was built through this remote area. We will stop and walk down the lovely Goudjacket River Valley, and then visit a hot springs that is famous for it curing mineral waters. There is a nice café here at the springs; or we could eat outdoors along the river banks. This trip would take about 4-6 hours to complete.

 

Towards the east we could take a longer trip towards Zelinda, which is about 60 miles away. This route would take us alongside the BAM RR again, on a road that is paved for part of the way. Here is where you’ll find the stark Siberian taiga in its most natural state, shrouded by enormous cedar and fir trees, and dotted here and there by native Evenk villages. There is a lot of native history to discover here, as well as tales of the times when the first Russians arrived.

 

As we travel through the Upper Angara River Valley, we will be confronted by a number of beautiful views of the Northern and Barguzin Mountain Ranges. We will also cross a number of rushing mountain rivers and streams. The culmination of our trip will be at the Zelinda mineral baths, one of the most unique and enjoyable destinations in our region. We will have lunch in a local café there. This trip should take anywhere from six to eight hours to complete.

I can run these trips on a flexible schedule. And our prices are quite reasonable. To reserve one of these road-trips with me, please contact us at either 7-924-751-3554. Our e-mail is koroleva541@yandex.ru.”

 

Other services that we offer along with these expeditions:

 

We can meet you at the airport, at the train station, or at the boat docks, and arrange for overnight stays at local hotels or homestays. We can take you on a city tour and also take you right out to Lake Baikal. We also have photographers who can record your stay, and give you a disk of all the photos we take.

We can supply all the food for picnics or camping meals. We have tents, sleeping bags and pads, and other camping equipment for you to rent or buy from us. And we also are quite expert at preparing local teas and juice drinks from the wild berries here. We know of many local artisans who can offer you fine souvenirs and keepsakes that will remind you of your trip to Baikal. And we also have all kinds of written materials and photo-books that can tell you more about our beautiful native land here at Baikal. 

встреча в аэропорту Привет, я Рада Карета подана

We will be very happy to host you here, and get to know you as a friend and client. Our trips are all low-key, not too strenuous, always pleasant and memorable. 
We look forward to meeting you here at Baikal!

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