An unforgettable trip to Shumak

The shore of the Shumak River Almost every year I travel to the Shumak valley of 100 mineral springs. They are located on the territory of the Republic of Buryatia. The springs are hard to reach, located in the heart of the Sayan Mountains. Each source has its own taste, temperature, mineral composition. All sources are different from each other, even if, for example, we take two sources beating from the same griffin.

I make my trips at different times of the year. It all depends on the company and on the availability (or absence) of free time. Therefore, I think it is a sin not to write a little about the place where I so often visit, where I rest my soul and body, where I free myself from earthly shackles, where all problems go into the background, where I am spiritually cleansed.

How to get to this extraordinary place? You can get to Shumak by helicopter from Irkutsk in 1 hour or on foot in 2-3 days, having good physical shape, from the nearest village 70 km from Shumak. There is another exotic option – on horseback (taking you and your backpacks). Also 2-3 days. The guides are local Buryats. They don’t take it cheap. I haven’t traveled on horses myself, but someone says it’s interesting and even extreme, someone says it’s not worth it, they say the horses smell bad, you go and inhale the aromas + gadflies accompany you all the way!

People go to Shumak from young to old: here you will see both children with parents, and the elderly, and the infirm, a lot of young people. Everyone is drawn to the magical healing power of arshans. There is no civilization here! There are no roads, no shops, no entertainment… But there are no fewer people who want to visit this place! Every year thousands of people come to Shumak, arrive by helicopter, live in tents, in winter quarters or at a campsite that pleases tourists with its hospitality.

An unforgettable trip to Shumak Flying to Shumak, I am staying at a campsite, which is also called “Shumak”. A little about it: a cozy, quiet, comfortable campsite, designed for a small number of people. You will see here 25 houses, a cafe-dining room with a wonderful chef, and, of course, all the amenities =) Imagine: mountains, taiga, wild animals, unpredictable weather around you… and next to it, a campsite that will shelter, feed and warm =) Here you will have hot water, electricity, a sauna, massage, satellite TV, Internet, and even satellite communication! The tour guide conducts excursions. Such a small island of well-being! =) there were even wild animals on the base (chipmunks, squirrels, even ermine)! During the construction of the base, not a single tree, not a single century-old cedar was cut down, all the materials were brought in by helicopters! And most importantly, the campsite is located a 5-minute walk from the mineral springs.

Personally, I am not a fan of mineral water, I fly to Shumak, in simple terms, to relax and enjoy the world around me =) but people mostly come here for health, for Shumak water. Here they take radon baths, mud baths, drink water. They say that you need to try water from all sources, and only then be treated and get healthier with the water that you like! For me, the source number 6 turned out to be the most delicious water. What kind of source is it that they treat, you will find out upon arrival at Shumak =) As for radon baths, there are contraindications. They can not be taken by pregnant women, patients with a cardiovascular system, oncology. It is advised to take 1 time a day for 10 minutes / session, without immersing the heart area in water. Personally, I plunged completely, only left my head on the surface =) the skin after procedures with radon becomes like a baby’s! =)

Just think about it, thousands of people come to Shumak every year.

Many of them live on Shumak all summer (so to speak, the “season”) and not at the campsite, but in winter quarters! How many interesting and amazing stories of healing and recovery you can hear on Shumak. I talked to a man who has overcome cancer! I wish I could say how much time it took him to spend on Shumak. He said he drank water from a radon spring. He drank so much that there was no free space in his stomach. And lo and behold, arriving in his hometown, he learned that the disease had receded. Here are such miracles! Who treats legs, who treats skin diseases, who treats diabetes mellitus…. there are many examples! One thing is clear: you need to visit here yourself, see everything with your own eyes and try it with your own lips =)

What is the best time to stay on Shumak? It’s different for everyone. I really love autumn on Shumak. Firstly, silence reigns, there are very few tourists, mainly those who live at the campsite, who will fly back by helicopter. Hikers are rare already in the fall, because the mountain pass is “closed”, as they say, there is already high snow on the pass at this time. Secondly, you can enjoy the taiga gifts of Shumak in the form of cranberries, honeysuckle, pine nuts. And, thirdly, whoever comes to Shumak for health, for healing water, he will not lose, because the water in the springs at this time is most useful, because it is not diluted with thawed, groundwater.

Golden radodendron or Kashkaralet on Shumak is warm, cozy, noisy, but still hospitable. In summer, there are a lot of vacationers and those treated on Shumak. If you take a helicopter that flies to Shumak 1 time a week, then it can arrive 4 times, fully loaded with people, i.e. it brings 80 people. And how many more are on foot and on horseback! It happens that there is a queue for radon baths and mud, and there are always a lot of people at the springs.

In the spring, Shumak is also not crowded. The snow is still lying (March-April), it seems that winter still reigns in these places. But the sun warms in spring =) In spring, too, only tourists live on the Shumak base, there are no hikers yet.

Well, in winter, what can I say, it’s cold =) like everywhere else in Siberia =) but if you compare with Irkutsk, then Shumak is a few degrees warmer in winter than in the city. For example, in winter on New Year’s holidays in 2009-2010. I was on Shumak. And so, in Irkutsk, the temperature was -40 for a couple of days, and -30 on Shumak =) so if you need to overwinter the frosts, go to the mountains =) well, in general, the springs do not freeze all year round, even in winter all the springs regularly beat out of the ground!

I also want to focus on one amazing place, which is located 6 km from the springs. These are the sacred pillars of Huuhain-Had (they are called the “Child Mountain”). Childless women come here to ask for children, leaving gifts to the Shumak spirits. Asking for a boy, they leave a toy like an airplane, a typewriter, a gun. Asking for a girl, they leave a doll, hairpins, earrings, etc. as a gift. They say you can see your future here!

During my entire stay on Shumak, not a single bad thought has visited me, I think only about the good and high. So my advice to you is: fly in, come to Shumak. Where you will live here does not matter! Love comfort and coziness, then you are on your way to the campsite, well, and if you are not afraid of thunderstorms, wind, or lack of earthly goods, then you can stay in the winter quarters and in your faithful tent.