Day 14. Irkutsk - Lake Baikal

This is going to be the longest logs of all - as it is the most exciting and anticipated part of out rally. The cherry on the 2-week long cake. There are several point of approach to Lake Baikal, but the main and most popular one is the village of Listvyanka 65 km off Irkutsk. Not so long ago it was a small fishermen's village. Now it is a little resort on the Lake Baikal bank offering tourists from all over the world its goodies.

bay beach
Listvyanka Village and its little beach.

The goodies include nicely styled 3-star hotels and motels, pretty ethnic food restaurants, boat excursions and - of course, how can a tourist village do without it - a bazaar. The bazaar lays out all the region boasts of: Omul, a super tasty endemic Baikal fish, officially translated into English as "Baikal cisco" - have you ever even heard of it? Also Pelyad, a delicacy to kill for. Kharius (grayling, similar to graylings in Alaska). Chunks of Taimen (hucho taimen) that grows to 100 kg; and Golomyanka (Baikal oilfish)- a tiny pencil like fish that is so oily that in old times local people used to burn them as candles. They all come as fresh, or pickled, or smoked. In restaurants, you can try raw Omul as sashimi.

pier fish row
Restaurant on the bank of Lake Baikal.                  Local fish -smoked, cured, pickled...

Baikal catch. The small ones in the middle are oilfish Golomyanka.

greyling omul
Pan fried Omul sprinkled with fish roe, with cranberry and pickled ferns.        Smoked Omul.

From Listvyanka, we chartered a speed boat to visit an Astrophysical Neutrino Observatory: see the next page!

NEXT LEG : Lake Baikal - Neutrino Laboratory next



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