We just came back from our adventure on lake Baikal. The lake was really really nice, and hopefully we will post some pics soon.
We starting hiking towards the lake on an older trail that followed a river. While we hiked, we stopped to fix up the trail, and we even reinforced a bridge. There were a lot of mosquitos and the land was swampy! We even saw a Siberian bear (same as a Grizzly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) Good thing it was really scared, and ran away!!!!!!!!! We made camps every 15 km or so, and cooked over a big fire.
We finally got to the lake after 6 days, and it was soooo nice! The water was about the same temp as Lake Michigan, but the water was much cleaner, and less waves. There were mountains surrounding us all around the bay we were in. We camped on the beach for 5 days, next to a "party barge" which played music and had a "banya," which is a Russian sauna. They put water on the hot rocks, and then steam birch branches and beat you with it! IT WAS SOOOOOOO HOT! Then you jump out of the boat into Baikal, which is nice! We went twice. On our way back we took a boat ride to the island which has the Nerpas, the only fresh water seal in the world! They were funny looking, and kept trying to hit and scratch each other. After that we took a boat to the hot springs. Then we went back to a village to sleep in a backyard, and finally made it back to Ulan Ude yesterday.
We are going on the train now all the way to Moscow. It will take 4 days, and we are not sure if we will have internet until London, which we'll be in on the 6th of August.
NOBODY has to pick us up from Midway. We will just take the L-train.