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Thursday-Saturday, July 19-21 2012 | Way to Ufa and Bering visit

Friendly stewardesses, constant dripping tea pots, passenger queues for the toilets, and no beer served. The fully booked Transaero flight from Bangkok is heading with tired tourists toward Moscow. While for most passengers a long journey will end in the Russian capital, for me it is only a transit point for the continuing journey to Ekaterinburg to explore the world of PET beyond the Ural Mountains.

After taking over the Editourmobil from Kay, and dropping Felix and Rolf off with their bikes, sorry trikes, trailers and solar panels, we continue the Go to Brau Beviale Tour as the second team. We will be driving from Ekaterinburg, via Ufa, Rostov-on-Don into the Ukraine. The first stop after Ekaterinburg will be Ufa, which is a great distance of 480km away. We don't get that far, as the day comes to an end, the potholes become dark and we are still very tired from the long flight. We decide to take the next trail away from the main road to look for a place to sleep, which we find immediately. The next morning we continue the journey. We arrive in Ufa, the once booming Soviet industrial city. This city is getting a new modern make-over, endless new buildings and can be proud to have already the third highest density of retailers in all Russia. Here, on the company premises of a former Russian scientific research company, we are welcomed by Ildar Gafiyatullin, the General Director and perfectionist of Bering company and learn more about PET bottles used for cosmetic products and the popular Lalinka beauty brand. After a friendly discussion and a factory tour we are ready for take-off. Hardly have we started the 130 kW diesel-powered engine of our Editourmobil, when we receive a message from the Kamenka Brewery (located in Kamenka) inviting us to visit their company to speak about PET and enjoy a taste of “virgin nature” over there. Of course we agree and change the route and head toward Kamenka town.