Saturday, June 9, 2007

Beautiful Lake Baikal!

The 7 hour bus ride to the Olkhon Island was completely miserable! Before I explain the degree of the horror entailed, a brief description of the bus is needed. The bus was a vintage from the year 0f 1970. It had bright orange Arabian curtains with navy blue seats with sky blue plastic coverings. There was no AC, but three vents that could be used to ventilate cold air from the outside. Little did we know, this does not actually help when the exhaust vent is next to your leg!

The bus ride appeared to starting off to a normal start...everyone stood in line and presented their ticket to the bus driver. We were unable to figure out if we had assigned seats. Therefore, we sat at the nearest seats available. To Jay's luck, he happened to pick the seat where the exhaust ventilated. He had the HOT SEAT! For three hours, Jay complained about this seat. He was in constant battle with a woman that sat in behind the second vent and with a man that sat behind the third vent. Jay would open the vent and one of them would close it. Finally, Jay asked the man if he was cold. He said yes and they agreed to change seats. Jay was happy, because he was sitting in the back of the bus where it was nice and cool. However, he had no leg room and claimed this as the 2nd worst seat on the bus. Oh yeah, the bus appeared not to have any shocks. Therefore, the entire bus ride was bumpy and it got worse as we entered the countryside, because there were only DIRT roads. Despite these small details, we meet three very nice people, Caroline, Nic, and Kris. Kris was from Canada and was heading from Mongolia. So, he provided us with tons of information about accommodations and excursions in Ulaanbaatar. Caroline and Nic are from the UK and are traveling on the same route as us.

About 6 hours into our bus ride, we FINALLY captured a view of the Lake. Picture...snow capped mountains with the sun glistening off the crystal clear blue water. Did you know that this is the world's deep lake at 415 meters and hold a 5th of the world's fresh water...awesome stat...I know! We eventually cross a small portion of the Lake by ferry to get to Olkhon Island. After about an hour, we arrive at the village of Khuzhir. The village was lined with wooden shacks and cows roamed the area. Here we stayed at Nikita's Guesthouse, which was pumping with tourist.

Sorry! But, I will post later about the rest of our adventure at Olkhon Island. The computer technician just informed that he is closing!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How Beautiful! We miss you guys so much!

We bought a house!! (in Crawfordville) and I was in the damn hospital for 3 weeks....long story but I'm better now. I hope you guys are having the time of your lives!! Wish we were there!