The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly - Olkhon Island

This is the last post about Olkhon. We stayed 4 nights and we were ready for a proper shower. The trip proved to be a great experience that I highly recommend. This post is all about exploring the beaches, which as you will see, are of great variation. As we spent some time soaking in the sun, I couldn't believe I was getting a tan on the beaches of Siberia. Pretty amazing. Many people come to Olkhon to camp and this beach seemed to be the popular one to do so. There were portable banyas along the beach to rent if you needed some heat before braving the chilly Siberian waters. 1 2 3 4 5As we continued south and crested a hill, we found a cove of decay. Just 10 minutes away from the spiritual Shaman's Rock, there lies a carcass of boats, bordering abandoned buildings full of waste (trash disposal is a real problem on the island). 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13It seems like boats aren't the only victims of expiration around here...14As we strolled the beach, there was a real sense of beauty within the decay... 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 25 26 27Though cool, but probably not very safe, there is a boat that is half swallowed by the lake that you can freely walk around on...28 29 30 31 32Our last night, we hung out around Shaman's Rock trying to soak in the last of the spiritual magic.

But here's what happened...

Below are 3 pictures that show the progression of the evening.

In the first picture, I'm just hanging out by the water, taking in the landscape. It's peaceful, lovely, etc.

Picture #2: We decide to go closer to the rock and I climb a secondary rock nearby. Still lovely as ever.

Rick wants to climb higher on Shaman's Rock and we begin to ascend as I am suddenly ailing with pain as I hit a plant with what feels like a thousand stingers and they go right through my leggings. (Further proof that leggings are NOT pants. I should listen to my own fashion rules.) I feel like I am being poisoned, maybe I've struck a form of Shaman poison ivy? My immediate thought is, WHAT DOES THIS MEAN? BEING POISONED ON A SACRED SHAMAN ROCK?!?! We quickly abort the climb and Rick suggests I soak my legs in the water to reduce the swelling. (Picture 3). 33As I am soaking, I find that I am standing in a sea of the most amazing rocks I've ever seen.

I forget about my poisoned legs and go rock hunting. I find 6 amazing rocks to take with me.

Who knew poison could lead me to beauty? Toxic bliss.

Thank You Olkhon Island.