At Blagavations we ran into a couple of friendly local bikers. Mikhail spoke good English and before we left his friend ducked off to fetch us gifts. A commemorative coin and a bag full of tea and sweets. Thanks very much guys!
In the evening we stayed in our first guestinitza in Svbodniy. The bikes caused quite a commotion parked outside, quickly attracting a lot of attention. The usual questions were answered, people looking surprised all round. A nice lady called Natasha asked us in English if we needed help.
We were fine apart from wanting to eat, so I asked if she knew a good restaurant. We ended up having dinner with Natasha, her friend (also Natasha) and husband Artyu. I’d put the cryllic spellings but it takes ages to do! A great Chinese meal in a place we’d never have found otherwise. Thanks for being so welcoming guys.
Natasha explained that Своьодный means Free, which I knew from my Russian studies. What I didn’t know was that the place used to be called Alexander, after the Tzar prince Alexander. After the revolution they renamed it Free. Her we are at the restaurant.