Exactly a month into the Dominar Trip360 Trans-Siberian Odyssey was we setting foot on the Lake Baikal! A ride into the planned location – Irkutsk and the ride will be long remembered .. I remembered every sequence of the movie, The Independence Day as we headed into Irkutsk.. The towering heavy clouds constantly gave in to downpour that we have ever come across.. Incidentally, that day was the 4th of July..
Checked in into a wonderful hostel – Krow Hostel and the host helped us order pizza at 1 in the midnight and offered some warmth from what was otherwise a altogether wet ride !
Next morning was Ganga!
The name is enough to move an Indian Soul and we on our ride were equally moved when we stepped into a restaurant named Ganga in Irkutsk.. Opened about an year ago and owned jointly by Maneesh Kumar and Deepak Valath, the flavor was authentic Indian and true to every aspect of the mighty river, the hospitality was beyond any comparison.
Storm while entering into Irkutsk was possibly a resounding reason for the team to take an additional day off and savor the hospitality that these folks offered. Right from serving mind blowing delicacies, to taking us on a drive in a 19 meter long limousine to have a first sighting of Lake Baikal, to making sure we got the right shopping done for our Stealths.. Hospitality redefined!
These are the kind of people we long to return to..
Some facts about Lake Baikal
It is the oldest and deepest Lake in the world (20-25 Million years Old).
Its area is some 12,200 square miles (31,500 square km), with a length of 395 miles (636 km) and an average width of 30 miles (48 km). It is also the world’s largest freshwater lake by volume, containing about one-fifth of the fresh water on Earth’s surface, some 5,500 cubic miles (23,000 cubic km).
More than 300 rivers and streams flow into Lake Baikal.
On a clear day, you can see almost 130 feet deep into the Lake.
The waves from the Lake reach almost 15 feet.
There are more than 1600 plant and animal species here.More than 1/3rd are endemic to this area.