From Russia With Love For Wind, Sea and Sand

Russian surfersTwo young Russian women have been telling how they flew from their home city of Moscow to take lessons in surfing on Tiree.

The women. both in their early thirties, have been staying in the Millhouse Hostel while receiving instruction from the staff of surfing firm Wild Diamond. Anastasia Poganova and Alevtina Balushkina, left for home yesterday after spending two weeks on Tiree, but they vowed they would be back.

Said Alevtina who speaks excellent English: ”Apart from the beauty of the island the main attraction is the people who are so friendly and welcoming. ‘We both have had a wonderful time here and we plan to come back soon on our holidays again. Apart from learning to surf on different beautiful beaches we did a lot of walking. It is so safe to walk here and so pleasant to meet the local residents.”We went to the Church of Scotland and met Elspeth the lady minister and everyone was so friendly. We attended a wedding in the church and we had dinner in someone’s home after being invited. ”

Anastasia, an accountant with a big firm in Moscow, who surfed in Portugal last year, said, ”I felt that I needed more lessons to upgrade my standard and taking lessons here was ideal. Although the water in Portugal is warm compared to Tiree we were supplied with wet suits and that kept us snug and warm. We both have had a wonderful time.”

Alevtina, whose father worked in Russia’s oil industry before retiring to a cottage in the country outside Moscow, lived with her family in Siberia from the age of six until she left age 16 to go to university in England. She is now manager of a large firm based in Moscow. She said “People keep telling me about the long hard winters here on Tiree – but in Siberia winter lasts for nine months – and has sub zero temperatures”

Story and image by Ian Sharp

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