четверг, 10 января 2019 г.

Winter trip on skis to Zangisan river

"I take a step and with the cracking sound I fall down with two feet under the ice. For some seconds I become numb and shocked. Pictures rush through my head like ice water is now pouring into boots and the river flow starts carrying me away under the ice. "Get out"  - a signal bumps into my head but heavy backpack is pulling me down. I get my feet out to the edge of ice and look down — it’s empty and the dry ice has broken off, and only at the bottom there is rushing water :-) Uh, thanks God! - I breathe out with relief. From this ice-hole we took drinking water for dinner, and the next morning the river got frozen again. " - notes from the diary of the weekend hike on the river. M.Zangisan, January 2019.
Along the canyon of Zangisan river

Frozen shores of the river

Trekking in the frozen forest in Siberia

At this place I fell down under the ice

Camping in the forest in winter, Tunkinskaya valley

четверг, 15 ноября 2018 г.

Join an ice trekking on Baikal tour and Olkhon island in winter 2019!

Welcome to join our tour to wintry Baikal lake in Feb-March 2019! There are two persons at the moment. Special cost of the tour is 62 500 rub p/person for 8 days tour! Dates: 28 February - 07 March 2019.

This is a new route which we decided to implement this wintry season on Baikal. It is a nice combination of sightseeing of places near Olkhon island - the biggest island on lake Baikal, with ice grottoes and beautiful icy shores and ice - trekking on Baikal.  Splendid sunrises, severe nature of Baikal lake, vast expances of ice around you during the trekking and overnight in tent on ice (heated by the stove) is a truly unique experience!
Ice-formations of Baikal lake can be explored in wintry tour to Baikal

The short itinerary is as follows:

Day 1.  (February 28th) 10.00am - Transfer Irkutsk - Olkhon (Khuzhir) by public mini-bus, accommodation in guest house.
Day 2. (March 1st) UAZ excursion to northernmost of Olkhon - Khoboy (join a group)
Day 3.(March 2nd)  Free day on Olkhon. Walk to shore to Burkhan rock, ice trekking if interested. Optional: may be join some group (if there will be any on this day) for excursion to Ogoy island (not included). Banya in the evening. Dinner, overnight.
Day 4. (March 3rd) Transfer Olkhon - Irkutsk by public mini-bus.
Day 5. (March 4th) Transfer Irkutsk - Listvyanka. Start of ice-trekking. Night on ice. (26 km distance).
Day 6. (March 5th) Ice camp - Vydrino (26 km). Accommodation in guest house.
Day 7. (March 6th) Transfer Vydrino - Irkutsk. (by car or by train)

Day 8. (March 7th) Departure.
Ice-trekking on Baikal lake
If you are interested and would like to know more details, please, visit our web-page

среда, 2 мая 2018 г.

New updated version of web-site!!!

Dear friends and visitors,
I am happy and honoured to present you an updated version of our web-site on www.baikal-amikan.com.
On Yarki islands of Northern Baikal 

A new face and new breath for the site as me on this picture:-)
A huge work has been done by @savorli who is a talented artist and a good friend!
I am going to keep you posted on best tours and news and interesting places on Baikal. So far the web-site is not completerly full with tours descriptions, but I hope to finish it soon. Therefore if you haven't found what you are looking for - feel free to contact me!
Also if you have notice smth that could be modified or improved - I would be very thankful for your comment and advise!

Thank you for travelling with "Baikal-Amikan"!
Live and discover!!!

четверг, 22 февраля 2018 г.

Russian hand-made doll (Krupenichka)

Krupenichka is a Slavic baby doll that attracts wealth and wealth to the house. Its main symbol is grain ("croupa" in Russian), which means a good harvest and profit. Krupenichka traditionally had no face, as well as other ritual dolls in Russia. 

Below you may find hand-crafted Russian Krupenichka-dolls made by me.

Krupenichka is a doll with a special meaning. It was usually given for Christmas, Kolyada and holidays associated with the harvest. Such a doll was made of cloth, grain was stuffed into it, as a rule, wheat, buckwheat or several kinds of grain at once, so that the crop would be rich simultaneously for all kinds of grain.

While making a doll, women read a prayer or sing songs. In Russia, porridge was very important, as it was mainly eaten, because porridge (any) has a lot of energy and is easily assimilated.

Zernushka (or Krupenichka) is the main amulet in the family, she lures the house well-being and prosperity, and promises a good harvest and an addition in the family.

The grain-doll was made after the first harvest, it was stuffed with selected grain, and placed near the icons for a whole year, and the next year it was disassembled and refilled with a new selected grain.

During the famine, when the grain was ending,  the grain-doll was opened and grain was used as food. The family's guest on this doll could determine how satisfied the family is, if the doll is full, then everything is fine with the food in the family, and if the doll is thin, then the family is in trouble.

Each type of grain had its own meaning. For example, rice was the most expensive, therefore it symbolized wealth, pearl barley - satiety, buckwheat - prosperity, and oats - strength. Before sowing a handful of grain was taken from a doll, and after harvesting it was filled with fresh grains. 
In ancient times, dolls were defenders and served as amulets from evil. They were made without needles and scissors. The material was not cut, but tored. Puppets so sometimes called: "rvanki". In their family there were always a lot: the more, the happier. One of these dolls is Krupenichka.

 The legend of the appearance of the grain-doll is as follows: a beautiful girl lived by herself, she was called Krupenichka. According to some rumors, the rich man wanted to marry her, on the other  version - the Tatar khan, but the girl fled and turned into a tiny seed, it sprouted, and on the ground a plant appeared - buckwheat. Therefore, the doll Zernovushka is filled with buckwheat and other cereals for good and well-being. Grains are used selective, such that one could use for sowing.

Such grain-doll was given to daughters before the wedding, so that the marriage would be successful. Sons were given this doll when they went to serve in the army. The men kept Krupenichka on the road. If they wanted to become pregnant, they put the doll in the cradle, and when the child showed up, they left it with the newborn so that the child could grow up playing with it. 

When travelling with "Baikal-amikan" travel company, we present "Krupenichka" Russian hand-made dolls to our guests. We hope this would be a nice souvenir as a memory of visiting Russia and as an amulet for wealth, good hope, and prosperity. All of our dolls are hand-made by us.

суббота, 20 января 2018 г.

Trekking on Baikal ice, ski walk in the forest

Dreaming about travelling among endless spaces of frozen Baikal? Baikal lake is freezing very soon, it is -31C today! And in southern corner of Baikal there is already thin layer of ice! Can't wait to walk on the ice just like we do? Then you have a real chance to join us for ice-trek to cross Baikal from Listvyanka to the opposite shore! It is avaiable from middle of February till end of March. During this tour you will ice-trek in the middle of frozen Baikal lake, spend one night in tent on ice, listening to Baikal breath, walk on skis in deep snow of wintry taiga, experience warm sauna and spend the night in wooden hut in the silence of surrounding forest. Also you will try traditional Russian cuisine and may experience dog-sledding (optional).
The approximate itinerary is:
Day 1.Transfer Irkutsk - Listvyanka (70 km). Start of trekking on ice. Day-distance is about 20-25 km. Overnight in tent.

After you arrive to Irkutsk you will be met by a local guide. Transfer to Listvyanka – a village on the shore of Baikal lake (about 70 km, 1 hour ride). On the way to Listvyanka you may visit the open-air museum of wooden architecture – Taltsy. (optional). Short sightseeing in Listvyanka. It is possible to visit the Cherskiy rock by ski-lift to see an amazing view to Port Baikal and Angara river outflow from up high.
On the shore you will pack your backpack and camping equipment on sleds and start ice-trekking on Baikal. Today you are planned to cover the distance of about 20-25 km. Meals will be cooked for you on the way using the gas (or petrol) burners. At about 17.00 we start setting the tent camp. If you don’t have a warm winter sleeping bag, please, let us know in advance so we may give it to you for rent. Also we may recommend to use sticks and ice-spikes to feel safe and stable on ice. Overnight in tent listening to Baikal breath under the ice.
Frozen Baikal lake near Listvyanka

Camping on Baikal ice

Day 2. Ice-camp - Vydrino village. Day-distance is about 20-25 km. Accommodation in guest house. 

You have a chance to meet the sunrise in the middle of the sacred lake. After breakfast we’ll pack out camping equipment and personal gear into the sleds and continue ice-trek. The closer we get to the opposite shore the more snow we meet. You may of course stop on the way for making pictures! Experience being alone in nature, surrounded by endless frozen landscape. Today you should head to Vydrino village – a small settlement on the shore of Baikal. You may be accommodated in the village itself or in the forest in wooden hut just about 5 km deeper in the valley. Dinner, overnight in wooden hut (or tourist base).

On clear Baikal ice

A winter hut in the forest
Day 3. One-day walk on skis in the wintry taiga forest. Sauna.
Today you will try walking on wooden skis in the forest. At this place usually we get much snow. And the nearest slopes of Khamar-Daban mountains are topped with snow. Be careful not to miss the trail as you will deep into snow untill your waistline! This place has its unique microclimate and it is also called “Siberian Alps”. You will be accompanied by instructor or your guide to visit the places around. Sauna will be heated for you in the evening. Dinner with tasting traditional Russian cousine (you may try Borsh, salyanka, Baikal delicacy – Omul fish, etc). Overnight in wooden hut (or tourist base).
In deep snow in southern Baikal 

Walk on skis in taiga forest

Day 4. Vydrino - Irkutsk.
Today you will have transfer by car back to Irkutsk. It is about 200 km. On the way it is possible to have a stop to try dog-sledding in the forest. (optional). Lunch on the way in a road-café. Accommodation in hotel /homestay in Irkutsk.
A remoted house in taiga forest