After passing the muddy road from our camping place, we set aim at Irbit.
Today we were going to visit the factory and museum where the Ural motorbikes are made, but first, a stop at a stolovoya, the old type of lunch place from the Soviet era! It was pretty basic, and really cheap. It also had the best faucet in the bathroom we had seen so far this trip!
Our contact for the guided tour met up with us at the restaurant, and we started with making a tour in the factory. Sadly, but understandable, many parts were nowadays imported from Taiwan, China and other cheaper countries instead of produced locally. The motorbikes still looked nice though, and if I had too much money I would love one. It seemed pretty cool to have one with sidecar and two wheel rear drive, even if it would not really be practical!
When entering and exiting the building, apart from the usual safety guard, there were a bell on the door which started ringing really loudly whenever anyone opened the door. Even if the exterior looked old, the interior had good standards at least, with modern machines.
Photos were not allowed in there, and I decided not to push my luck too much.
In the museum itself, we had a guide, and then our translator who had been translating for us at the factory. There were 30-something motorbikes in there, and at some points, the motorbikes they had imported from another country to copy. There were also some guinness world records, they ad for example driven one motorbike for a couple of days without stopping, one in reverse and one on two wheels (all with sidecars).
We also got to sit on some of the motorbikes, one being a Honda Goldwing, and one being a motorbike Putin had been sitting on once upon a time.
After this interesting visitings we were headed for a big mine, close to a city named Asbest. Apart from the name, which we thought were pretty funny, it was a really large one. From where we stood we could not even see the whole thing, and I don’t think the picture will do it justice. Down there you can see some lorrys and some other machines, with the train being pretty close to us. It was huge!
First, one Russian appeared, and started talking with us. He seemed nice, and he could speak a little bit of english, asking what we were doing here and where we were headed. Then, two other Russians appeared, looking a little bit more drunk. Especially the guy, who were driving, seemed pretty intoxicated, and wanted us to drink with him. He seemed to think Jakob was a hero for doing his plank. He was a little bit scary, I have to admit.
Nice Russian to the left, drunk Russians to the right
As it was getting late, we searched for a sleeping place. After passing through some small villages we found a great spot on the other side of a river. There were two people, a father and his son, coming there by car to fish, but other than that we were alone the whole evening. Most of us got woken up when they left, though, with that screeching car pushing itself through the mud!