London to Ho Chi Minh by train (and boat!): Day 17.
Sparkling Lake Baikal… The deepest lake in the world and a wonder of time.
It holds a fifth of the planet’s potable water and is the only lake that is home to its very own species of seal. I think we saw one bobbing its head up and down at one point. Despite being over 4,000 miles from the sea, seals somehow made it to this place – probably as the remnants of a population that lived here many thousands of years ago when the climate was totally different.
The lake and its water are also the oldest in the world – 25 million years according to Wikipedia! It formed in a rift valley as two tectonic plates move apart and one day – get this – the lake will become an ocean. An actual ocean. Which is, of course, totally mind boggling.
Our time on earth as a species is just a grain of sand in the hour-glass of the universe. And each of our lives are tiny ripples in the story of our Home. But they are OUR ripples.
Rather than entertaining our lives away, we can choose to ensure that our time on this beautiful planet reflects the splendour of the journey so far and the wonder of the one to come.
That way, there may even be some of us left to celebrate and swim in the Baikal Ocean.
Next stop: Ulan Ude — at Lake Baikal, Russia.