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Wednesday, September 5, 2012 | Inter-PET, language barriers and helpful policemen

We still need to find Interpet, and hopefully Anastasia has instructed the satnav on where to take us. We end up on an industrial estate and the satnav duly informs us that we have arrived at our destination. There is no name plate anywhere but peering over the wall we notice bales of compressed PET bottles. We are in the right place. The tour proves to be a little more difficult, with communication restricted to rudimentary English plus our non-existent Russian. Nevertheless, we manage to get by with a lot of arm-waving and gesticulating; we’ll only know whether we have got it right when the article comes out!

Now comes the first long drive of this final part of the tour. We are heading for Sandora Mykolayiv, a major beverage company, some 350 km away. In 3 hours we have covered a mere 100km, so we would be lucky to get there before evening at this rate. We decide to put off the appointment to the following day, which will mean a more relaxing journey and the chance to fill up the Editourmobil.

This time, we abandon the satnav. The address stored in the gizmo is miles away from any industrial estate. Re-programming it proves fruitless, so we are forced to improvise. Finally, using a good old-fashioned atlas, we locate the address. Once we get there we find ourselves between a motorway junction and a police station. The police seem to know where the factory is, and at last, at getting on for 7pm, we are standing at the factory gates. The security guard calls Director Vladimir Egorenko who gives us telephone directions to a guarded parking space so we start up the vehicle again. He also arranges for the canteen to be opened for us hungry reporters, as, sadly, he would not be able to join us for a meal in town.