Sunday, May 12, 2013

Via Baltica

At the noon of Friday 3rd of May we arrived with the ferry to Tallinn and after letting girls do their businesses we started our journey towards Tartu. We got greeted by a beautiful and warm spring weather, so even though we were extremely tired (slept only 2 hours in the previous night!) it wasn't too uncomfortable to drive. Almost instantly we had some nice sand roads and one very interesting tractor path which was supposed to be a normal sand road...

First break somewhere between Tallinn and Tartu in the beautiful and peaceful countryside on an abandoned farm.

Sidecar works perfectly with girls and especially Hertta feels very homey there already :)

Girls were first thinking of having tangerines for lunch, but in the end they preferred their own goodie sticks :)

After about 280km we arrived to the outskirts of Tartu to an interesting old USSR-style suburbia. We stayed two nights in the dog friendly Starest Hotel. Pretty ok place with a park right besides it and the staff spoke very good English and right in the downstairs was an ok Asian style restaurant with many vegan options :) We forgot to take picture of the hotel, but here's some pictures of the funny neighbourhood...

We still don't understand the logic behind the numbering of the houses...

Devils Salon right beside some sort of church, well why not :D

Wolfi got his first beer of the trip. The beer was good, but Wolfi too tired to smile.

As Wolfi told in the earlier post we forgot girls leashes back home, but luckily he took some rope with to make new ones. So on our second day in Tartu we did some shopping and Wolfi could do the leashes while I had some sleep... :D

Well done!

On Sunday 5th of May after a well rested weekend we started the second leg of our journey and headed towards Latvia and that's where all the troubles started... Well nothing major, but still some annoying little things!

I had my first fell when we were looking for a place to rest and someone (not me!) decided that in the middle of a very windy field would be a great place to be! The tractor way was very bumpy and had nasty soft sand, so off I went... nothing bad happened, but it always pisses me off! Also just some minutes before when we were driving I just happened to think, that should we add to our blog a counter for falls, just for fun... Should never think such things! :)

Some kilometers after that the village dogs started to hunt us! There really was some totally crazy dogs who tried to catch us and one tiny Westie almost got a bite of my ankle! Few kilometers after that I saw a HUGE (almost bigger than my bike) mix breed approaching the street from its yard and I really had to give some more gas to get away from it! That really is one totally crazy hobby they have and I can only hope they won't be hit with any vehicle...

In Latvia the summer temperatures finally started to catch us and we were pretty sweaty when we finally reached our accommodation in the idyllic countryside. After 282km we got to this cool looking cabin in Madona.
This 10 persons cabin was all for us. In the first look it seems very great, but in the end all the things don't really work there... The sauna/shower waters go to the totally wrong directions which was very sad to see for a Finn and the cool looking downstairs has no fireplace or any heating what so ever! So we were rather freezing in the evenings... but the pond was very sweet and the yard was nice and big. There we played with Lyra and Ulpu while Hertta wanted to be a cow (yummy fresh new grass!), and I had my first sunbath :) I also got my 'talviturkki' finally off, totally freezing water, but very refreshing!

Next morning Wolfi started to do some small maintenance on the bikes, when he noticed this in my Suzis back tire! I must have caught it on the last sand road because I didn't notice anything special when driving the whole day. Wolfi got it out fine and also got the hole well fixed, but still that was brand new tire and didn't need this so soon!

That was one big screw, 11cm! I was just joking that no need to get screwed for a long time now... I know, I have a horrible sense of humor sometimes :D

In the Baltic countries there is quite often a crane living on peoples yards, either on the roof or on these kind of poles. I've heard they should bring good luck. At least they look very sweet and this one most likely has a feast every day because the pond next to it is totally full of frogs!

I spent most of my Monday staring at these fellows... The pond was full of interesting action and sweet croaks. They seem to be some kind of cannibals also, at least there was many hanging on to one dead fellow and others fighting to get in! I have plenty of cool video, so maybe I'll do my own nature documentary one day... :)

Kucuru dzirnavas is an old mill which is turned into a guesthouse and party room. There is also a small museum which is full of EVERYTHING and in the yard is many interesting things as well, like this old bike. So very nice place, but everything's just not working fine and the owners speak very poor english and german, but at least is a very dog friendly place :)

Tuesday morning 7th of May we continued our trip in a rather hot weather and in Lithuania the summer totally started! Beautifull light green leaves everywhere and very warm breeze! 270km of heavy sweating and we were approaching our next destination... but the last 3km were HORRIBLE for me! Soft sand or drift sand, like I call it, because that's how it behaves. First two kilometers I survived rather ok even though twice almost fell after going from one ditch to another... and then came the fall! I fell on my left side and the bike even went still some half round on the ground and that's when my left sidecase carrier got twisted! I didn't get hurt at all and anyway that's not what a real biker is first worried about, my first worry was of course my Suzi! :) Wolfi came to my rescue and we got Suzi fine back to her tires and rest of the road I 'tiptoed'... Still plenty of things to learn and this was anyway my first real encounter with this kind of sand!

Well twisted carrier system which we will fix at the Mueller Gespanne, when we'll get there. The reflector part of the left blinker got fixed with black tape, which I have now in three of my blinkers. It's the adventure style! :D

The sidecase got also a little bump, but Wolfi got it beaten back the way it was.

We got the Camping Mindunai all for us! It's real fun to travel off season! At least hermits like us love it :) Very beautiful place on a lake and girls got again plenty of play... but they also got fleas! Luckily not for too long! I think the blankets on the beds contained some fleas and that's were girls got them for a moment. I found about a dozen in the end and after one day we didn't see a single one anymore so I guess they didn't manage to multiply or so...  Was very nasty experience and I've never seen fleas before so wasn't first sure what they were, but in the future have to pay more attention to these sort of things! Tick season also started, but those are a familiar thing to us. So we remember to have a check every evening and the tick tweezer are always nearby.

Here we stayed only one night. We wanted to stay two because it was so beautiful and peaceful, but the next morning a big crew of noisy park workers arrived and the fleas were giving us the creeps, so we decided to continue towards Poland...

- Ilta

P.S. Wolfi wanted me to mention that the keys I thought I left home were actually in my jacket pocket, which was already packed to my sidecase. So them I found instantly when we arrived to the ferry :)


  1. Rankka reissun alku! Toivottavasti kirput ovat pysyvästi kateissa! Kivoja kilometrejä ja mukavia majapaikkoja, toivottelee Hellevi

  2. Nice reporting, lovely to read! Focus on the good things of the trip! The few falls and screws will be soon forgotten. Enjoy the ride!