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Baikal – STF 7 years after publication

Only a few weeks after becoming a geocacher I started entertaining myself (atually, I still do) with going over maps and searching for interesting or exceptional caches. I like reading the listings and the logs – who, when and under which circumstances found (or didn’t find) them. You can find much interesting and enlightening stuff there – often whole stories. One of the first caches which caught my attention was GCGEKX – First in Lake Baikal. It had been published some years ago and several geocachers had tried to find it. But only a German geotandem had been successful so far. I kept watching the cache and dreaming of making it there – Baikal was my my long-time desire anyway. So when my friend Fik (Ivo Dokoupil) came to me one day and told me that he was going to do research of current conditions at Lake Baikal for a certain travel agency, I immediately knew: The time has come .... ;o)

I always wanted to go to Lake Baikal by train but it was impossible for time reasons so we took a plane to Irkutsk. From there we set off to Port Baikal, we travelled the famous Circum-Baikal Railway and continued to Ulan-Ude and then to Naushki on the Mongolian border. Then we returned to Ulan-Ude and headed for the Holy Nose Peninsula. We had arranged a boat which picked us and took us to Olkhon Island, where the longed-for multicache was located.

Olkhon Island is a real pearl of Baikal because of its sheer beauty. First, I explored it a bit, strengthened myself by gobbling up several perfectly smoked omuls (that’s a fish, endemic to Lake Baikal) and killing several beers. And then the long-anticipated moment came, and I set off for the starting coordinates of the multi-cache. Finding out the necessary information was a piece of cake, but calculating where the next stage was proved to be a bit tricky due to the necessity of converting the coordinates into a different fomat. Luckily, I did my homework and I was able to convert the coordinates directly in my GPS, so it took just a short while. Then I encountered the first problem – stage 2 was, surprisingly, quite far away, about 15 kilometres as the crow flies. The place looked interesting, however, so I persuaded my muggle friends to accompany me there. Since it meant covering a 20-kilometre distance and we were quite tired after two weeks of travelling, we hired an UAZ vehicle to get us there. When we saw how beautiful the place was, we sent the car back and decided to camp there for one night.

The lovely surrounding countryside kind of resembled the scenery in the Bohemian-Moravian Highlands; it was almost hard to believe that we were some 6000 km far to the east, moreover on an island in the middle of a lake. Unlike in the Highlands, gorgeous orchids grew there, and wonderful mountain lillies. Sacrificial spots and totems of local shamans also had an exotic feel about them. But enough of sightseeing – let’s rush to stage 2. It was there where most of the previous searchers had problems, but I had asked the owner for a hint beforehands (thanks, Stephane) to be on the safe side. Nevertheless, when I reached the place, I found out that I didn’t even need the hint – either something had changed there, or the previous expeditions misunderstood the given information. It took me just a moment to calculate the final coordinates, and luckily they pointed to a place not far away. I was really nervous, so before setting out I sat down to a fire to calm myself down (with the help of two beers). ;o) The evening was drawing near, so I finally headed for the cache. I got nervous again, and I couldn’t stop wondering: Will it be there? But it was no problem at all, and I found the cache at first grab. I was beside myself with joy, and my muggle friends could not understand it .... ;o)

I was very surprised by the cache itself because it was in perfect condition and looked as if somebody had placed it there just a couple of days before. An example of the famous German thoroughness. I logged myself (it was tough going because my hands were shaking with joy, so I could hardly write), looked through the items inside the box and put two geocoins in. One of them was the Czech legionary TB3B27Y, wishing to follow the tracks of our legionnaires (and they surely made their mark at Baikal), and the other one was the Canadian TB2CFC9 from Alberta, wishing to make it to Russia. In the evening we sat down by the fire, took out a guitar, sang a few songs and went to bed. The next day, when walking back to the village of Khuzir (and actually, during the whole journey home as well), I wrestled with my conscience – I couldn’t help wondering whether I made a mistake, leaving two geocoins there, when I was only the second finder of the multi-cache in long seven years. I was afraid that the coins could rot there for years or forever. But back in the warmth of my home I found out that I didn’t have to worry, because the impossible happened and the TTF geocacher reached the cache mere five days after me. So both geocoins merrily travel the world again, and the Canadian one has already reached its North American homeland.

I thank the owner Stephane (geoprofile alpen_wasser) for a great, unforgettable geo-experience and send my best regards to Germany.

Apart from the photos in this article, you can find more images from Russia (not only from Baikal) on my website: Russia


Galerie k článku Baikal – STF 7 years after publication

Coast of Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal | fotografie
Coast of Olkhon Island on Lake Baikal
Cows lying on the beach .... | fotografie
Cows lying on the beach ....
A good sign, I found the dog .... again... | fotografie
A good sign, I found the dog .... again...
On the way between stages growing mountain... | fotografie
On the way between stages growing mountain...
The remains of previous expeditions | fotografie
The remains of previous expeditions
Right shaman totem | fotografie
Right shaman totem
I offer the spirits to the success of the... | fotografie
I offer the spirits to the success of the...
Beautiful landscape | fotografie
Beautiful landscape
Found it !!! | fotografie
Found it !!!
Infocard of gecoche | fotografie
Infocard of gecoche
Placed two geocoins | fotografie
Placed two geocoins
Relax after the hunt | fotografie
Relax after the hunt

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Hi Michal,

thank you very much for your great report of "First In Lake Baikal"!

Michal Kupsa
Thank you too because your cache allowed me to have a great adventure I will never forget. Thanks and greetings to Germany!
Michal Kupsa alias "Kapsa" - Webová prezentace - ! Všechny zde publikované fotografie jsou chráněny autorským zákonem !
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