|We split up Kev goes off in search of a phone card as megafon seems to be the best network coverage here, I am in charge of crowd control which ebbs and flows. One couple returned with a key ring showing his home village a present he said. One lad returned when Kev had come back and asked douche, something to eat? I looked at Kev with pleading eyes the chance for a shower! We say yes and he walks off to his apartment we follow on the bike. His english is really sketchy but mime works well. His friend is in his home with her little boy and she cleans the bath out first, boy did that shower feel good. We end up all going out with her husband in his car to see the sights of the city, first we pull into his mums house this we suspect was a initally a flying visit but as it is a tradional wooden russian house I can’t resist asking if we can look round. We get the full tour including her fantastic garden Kev’s mum would love it and we get a doggy bag of vegetables to take away. After tea and yum yums we go see the sights. We end up staying with Syrin communicating through internet translation sites and he kindly sticks our clothes in his machine to wash. The next day he takes us on a tour of museums, that night we stay at his friends. Katya and Anton with little Ilya their son, Dolly the dog and two cats as they have a sofa bed, she makes us all borscht for dinner. We say goodbye to our new friends in the morning we have be on our way and they have to work. It has been a pleasure and lovely to see the hospitality of real russians. The only slight worry is that they showed us the news reports of the shooting of a travelling russian biker only last week and we have to pass through that town! They advised us caution this summer!
It’s freezing out of town and dense fog we stop to don sweatshirts and realise the tomatoes have crushed and are leaking everywhere so cut them up and put the in the exhaust cooking pots to make them into tomato sauce for a stew that night.. Our lunch spot is a gem, flowing river complete with rickety wooden bridge the village kids come to investigate and help push us backwards when we realise we cant turn round in the rutted field.. They are a bit over zealous and we lose balance and drop the bike anyway but they help to pick it up earning themselves a Guzzioverland sticker. There were 6 of them and Karen could only find 4 stickers at first resulting in a couple of long faces but then she found a few more and it was big smiles all round and furious waving as we rode off. They will have something to talk about for weeks now.