Day 92. 1st of June. Mandrogi to Khevronino. 39.7 km, 6.7 km /hr average speed.
We bid farewell to our friends at Mandrogi, and Anya followed us for half an hour in her white water slalom kayak.
Before we left, Anya gave us two of her meticulously decorated wooden eggs and Vasha (Vasily) gave us some of his own produce for our daily “anchor dram”.
We left with a completely different perspective on Mandrogi than we had when we came. Lots of respect for the quality and effort put in to the products for sale there. And most of all for the people working there. We will remember that “samovar evening” as a high point of our trip.
One very sad event this year for many of the employees was that their accommodation burnt down. Vasha lost all his belongings and Anya lost a lot too. Particularly sad was that she lost all her landscape paintings. As we parted she agreed that Erling could buy her next, and first post fire, landscape painting.
After Anya left us we had a good paddle up river. We realized that even though Svir flows slower than Neva, it still pays to stay close to shore. We managed to bring our average speed up from the previous days.
We also passed the railway bridge which is Svir’s narrowest point. It was helpful to have paddled the Menai strait (thanks to Olly and Barrie).
Next was the locks. Vladimir had gotten clear instructions, we would not be let into the locks. So we needed a car. Again Vladimir came to our assistance and mobilized Nikolai, with his old soviet version of a VW transporter. No roof rack, so we transported the kayaks one by one, a large part sticking out from the back of the car, and the front of the kayak between the driver and the passenger. It was OK for a kilometer and a half.
We paddled on for another hour and found a nice and windy place to pitch our tent. More wind, less mosquitoes.
Two more days on the River Svir, and we will be on Lake Onega.
Updated with photos June, 2nd 1005 and 1250