HERMIT experience & beauty of silence
Picture this: A hut in the forest, a stream nearby, a lake in the background, berries and mushrooms to pick, fish to catch, a few logs to chop and a roaring fire that warms you. You can smell in the air, pine and resin, undergrowth and moss, soil and morning dew. Nature's conversation is the deepest silence you've heard. All surroundings are your friends, and you watch the television of the poor (the fire), as you intermittently read a few pages of a good book. Your feelings are exacerbated like never, and you realise that you never say 'I love you' to your loved ones, not that you are heartless but more that you never take the time. There is nobody around for a full day walk. The resident kitten is the only mirror of yourself, the other one on the wall is broken. So here you are, in this beautiful isolated hut in the middle of siberia, gathering your thoughts and feeling so relaxed, having the clearest mind you've ever had. The day is yours. The hut is yours. Time is yours. You've Journeyed into wilderness, now you journey into yourself.
Why choose us
Your tour host, has more than 10 years experience in the Baikal region and has hosted some of the most iconic trip you can see on the market.
The best season is when the mosquitoes are gone and the bears are less hungry.
August or September is optimum.but any other season works.
- This experience has very limited availability so we apply the First arrived First served policy.
- Other dates are possible for private trips; let us know what you want
Dates in a group:
- in 2021,
- in 2022,
13 days (12 nights)
Who can go?
Trip overall Hardship Rating [where 1 is 'easy' and 10 'is very tough'] = 7 /10
Difficulty = 7
Isolation = 9
Danger = 5
This activity involves (%):
Transport: Walking = 50% Taxi/van/helicopter = 50%
Survival skills = 25%
Orienteering = 50%
Group Autonomy = 100%
This itinerary is an overview of what you will do during this 13 days trip of which 9 days experience in the taiga forest.
Day 1: (D)
Meet the guide at Irkutsk International Airport and drop bags in your city accommodation. Then we head together to the market where you will chose some complementary foods for your hermitage experience, in addition to the staples and rations we prepared. In the evening we will do a briefing and do a final gear check before dinner.
Day 2: (BLD)
You travel by 4x4 (or helicopter) to the drop off area, where you meet your guardian angel; walk together to the site of your isba (hut) 3-5h away. On the way learn about nature that surrounds you. Settle in the traditionnal accommodation, spend the first night with your guardian, where he will show you the ropes and answer your questions.
Day 3 - 10: (BLD)
In the morning say goodbye to Sergey. Your personal solitude experience can now fully start: you are on your own and have to organise your everyday life the way you wish.
Day 11: (BLD)
This is your last day at the hut. Walk out of your camp to the pick up area with Sergey. You'll be picked up (4x4 or helicopter depending on your choice) to return to Irkutsk where a nice bedroom, hot shower, and a refined meal will celebrate your success.
Day 12: (BL)
For a soft landing into civilisation we take you out to visit some nice cultural sites and museums, as well as enjoy a beautiful Irkutsk river side beer.
Day 13: (B)
Breakfast and departure to the airport. End of itinerary.
Weather / local conditions / Terrain:
It is a mountainous area, some days the weather can be warm but other a cold breeze might settle. In general the weather in this region is continental: summer temperatures can reach up to 30°c degrees during the day, and drop to 5°c degrees at night. The environment is rich in wildlife: from trout to foxes, squirrels, deers or bears. In some areas wolfs are visible. And mosquitoes can appear if it is wet. The landscape is made of pine trees, spruce, birch and ferns in wet areas. A few beautiful streams and rivers with cold water water the valley.
In Irkutsk, you will be hosted in a little hotel close to shops and restaurants.
In the forest, your hut is made of wooden logs, has no running water and only one room. The dry toilets are outside in a separate unit.
There is no bathroom and your hygiene will be in a rock pool at the river, or using a bucket at the hut.
Traditional local food, is made of meat or fish, with potatoes and onions. So you will be provided with those and with barley and flour (so you can also bake bread) and non perishable vegetables. A few tins of meat and of fish as well as smoked trout and preserved pickles will be in your supplies. You'll find sugar, salt, pepper at the hut. The usual noodles and pasta will be a rare treat complimented by shortbread biscuits, coffee beans and tea bags. A retreat in the taiga would not be complete without a couple of bottles of vodka obvisouly, so we have a few for you, should you want them.
Airport pickups and drop offs are made in cars or vans.
To and from the drop point for the Isba, if will be done on foot.
Transfers from irkutsk to the drop off is done with a helicopter (land transfer can be organised too).
Any transport in town will use local taxis, buses and private cars.
What to expect
While this trip involves a little bit of walking, the daily activity will require you to explore the forest. You will be alone surrounded by nature in a beautiful traditional hut made of logs. Everything you will have is either brought from town, found locally in the forest or crafted by you. There will be plenty to forage and your guardian angel will show you what you can pick or not. You can fish in the nearby river, cut trees to build anything or simply enjoy the solitude, write a book, collect your thoughts, rest, observe nature, go for a walk. Your first neighbours are a full day walk away. Your nearest friends are the wild life (deers, wolf, bears, birds, etc.)
You should expect to be happy but at the same time to be daunted by this emptiness and the depth of silence. And maybe you will be scared by night's noises.
Enough food will be provided (in bulk) for you to cook your own meals. Water has to be sourced at the local river for all uses (consumption and hygiene).
This experience is truly a leap back in time if not a dive into your own self.
Safety and security
We take safety very seriously.
We don't identify any major risk in this trip, but the ones inherent to being in the wild. We minimize these risks by preparing for them and by having a 'guardian angel' on reach to help in case. In any case the best is to act mindfully and carefully during the trip as you would in a new environment. The area is well known to your guardian angel, and once again, he is there to respond quickly in case of need. You will have one communication device to alert him. You will have to tune in on the VHF every day at fixed times to confirm your personal status.
Should an incident happen, rescue protocols are well established and local rescue operators will be activated to intervene promptly (evacuation, doctor, ...).
Currently with Covid, visas to Russia are restricted so check with us.
Visas are required for most western nations, including Australia, and we will provide you with an invitation letter to support your visa request.
The cost is per person in a group of 2:
AUD$7790 with helicopter transfers or AUD$6790 with land transfers.
for one person only experience/trip please contact us
Inclusions and exclusions
Should you have any questions please contact us
iwanttogo @ nolimitjourneys.com