Trip to Barguzin Valley

Thursday 10/08

Departure at 9am with Sacha. Same van as yesterday.

Long road today, in the Barguzin Valley. Splendid scenery. The road goes first between fir trees (following the Barguzin River) and then, from Barguzin, in the open wide (up to 35 km) valley, between 2 mountains ranges: in the northwest the valley is bordered by the very steep Barguzin Alps (2,840m) and less steep (2,560m) forest-covered Ikat slopes in its southeast. The Barguzin Valley is often referred to as the “mini Mongolia”. The valley contains many religious and sacred places for various tribes (Buryats and Evenks) and peoples. We are in the territory of the Buryat people. Most Buryats have either Buddhism or Shamanism as religion. Shamanism is a religion that involves a practitioner (shaman) reaching altered states of consciousness (trance) in order to make contact with a spirit world.

We stopped at the nice village of Suvo; short walk to see the picturesque stones of the Ikat ridge. Lunch in a private house of the village (with nice garden); nice food with buckwheat (‘sarrasin’ in French) as often.

Living conditions must be very harsh in this valley in winter.

We went up to Kurumkan, then back to Ust-Barguzin at 7:30pm.

We saw also many cows, alone (they seem to know their way); it is different from Africa or India where you usually see someone keeping them (usually a 4 or 5-year old kid).

A beautiful day. We drove some 350 km on rough tracks.

Diner at 8pm. As usual, the meal is copious and rather filling…


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