We called the village we stayed in Dogville because you rarely saw any people but could hear and see many many dogs running around. It was strange at first. Nikita's guest house reminded of a hobbit village with its architecture but was a really nice place to stay at. Mainly because of Nikita himself. Nikita Bencharov is a former table tennis champion who moved to Olkhon many years ago after falling in love with the place. What I like about him is the work he does: he helps the local people, especially the kids whom he motivates to study well by for example awarding them with trips abroad. Most of the money he gets from the business goes to helping others. So if you ever go to Olkhon, I can highly recommend this place for its warm and homely feeling!


Adventuring in the island; climbed to a frozen boat by the abandoned harbour. Later a french couple told us that they've seen a local man driving a car totally drunk down to the ice from a pier. The car exploded and the guy was taken to a local hospital. Apparently it happens every now and then... don't drink and drive!

Later we walked on the ice to the Shaman Rock, a holy place to the locals who still practice shamanism. The story tells that the first shaman was the Son of Celestial who appeared on Earth as an eagle. The eagle flew between heaven and earth carrying the gift of shamanism. But the gift became so heavy to carry that he gave it to a woman. Who then passed it to her husband. A BIG mistake, if I may say! After having heard the story I was puzzled to hear that apparently the locals didn't like women climbing to the mountain - I was shocked and wasn't gonna take it so easy. After talking with Rene, we decided to climb to the mountain anyway - fight the (men) power! Shaman Rock is said to be one the world's energy centers and not gonna argue with that. Isn't it kinda funny that on one side of the rock is a formation of eagle's head?


Siberia. Lying on the ground in a rock by lake Baikal and watching shooting stars, wolfes howling in the background - what can beat that?


Pictures: 1 & 12 by me; 2-8, 10-11 and 14-18 by Janna; 9, 12, 13 by Rene.