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Wednesday-Thursday, July 25-26 2012 | From Kamenka to Lipetsk

Early evening we have to leave the Kamenka family and head further to the East. We want to cover a few kilometres before it gets dark to avoid any time constraints over the next 1-2 days. We are accompanied by Ilya Golovachev of Kamenka who wants to visit his hometown Tambov which is about 150 km from Kamenka.

Knowing very well this part of Russia, he leads us through the jungle of police controls and pothole covered roads. At a motorway restaurant we have our farewell dinner consisting of a very delicious Armenian BBQ, and of course Kamenka beer from the popular 1.5 litre bottle. Parking only 100 metres from the 24/7 grill, with the irresistible aromas of the barbecue wafting over us, we find our berth for the night.

The next day we arrive at Lipetsk, the flourishing Russian city of 500,000 people earning its living mainly from heavy industry, with one steel plant employing 35,000 people alone. Because of this, air quality is an issue in Lipetsk as we learn from Vladimir Trofimov of Rosinka company and one reason why they put a special focus on cleanliness in production which in turn is achieved by a high degree of automation.Even the final stacking and wrapping of the PET bottle packs is done by robots, completing the packing of the bottled water and juices. By chance we learn from Vladimir that he has just finished his first Iron Man in Klagenfurt (Austria), a special challenge for which he has been in training for some time. Even if Iron Man and the bottling of water have nothing in common at first glance, the energetic approach and determination of the Iron Man can be found in the production again.

After that, we manage to arrange a new appointment at very short notice at Lipetsk Pivo, the manufacturer of the unique 30 litre beer “keg” made of PET. The company is located directly next to Rosinka and the 182 different drinks of Lipetsk Pivo obtain their water from the same underground spring.