Driving out of Kamysin we decided to pick up a young hitchhiker and found he had more English than we had Russian and we haven’t let him go since. Sergei is a 22 year old Economics student who, having finished his year of Army service, wants to see his country. He is hitching from his home near the Black Sea to Lake Baikal, a mere 8,000 km, and dropping in to see former Army mates on the way. He has willingly included us in his mission and is determined to share the best of his own exploration with us.
The photo shows him hard at work explaining our mission to an incredulous TV reporter in Syzran. More on that later.