Blog #0006 May 5 2022 – Cycling Saaremaa and Muhu

Day 5 of my cycling adventure

Beautiful day, all day. The weather got warmer, the birds were singing and chirping like there is no other day coming, and also my direction changed: I was going eastwards, meaning that the wind, which had slowed down a bit, was suddenly more of a help than a hinderance. I felt great – like a million bucks (inflation has diminished this metaphor a bit).

I left my fairy-tale cottage in Leisi and took off to cycle the northern coast of the island of Saaremaa towards the island of Muhu. The highway leading this way has quite often stretches were it hugs the coastline of the Baltic Sea. There are always these surprise moments when you turn around a corner and suddenly there is the sea to one side and forests, fields or pastures to the other. Your heart beats a skip when the most beautiful vistas are opening up this way. I was quite sorry that I couldn’t realize my original plan to circumnavigate Saaaremaa, but I have made a promise to meet some former colleagues in Riga at a specific time.

As in Hiiumaa the island gave a bit the feeling of a land of the past. Farmhouse were old, sometimes still combined with the animal shelters to create a space where the heat of the animals and human heat a substantial part of the living quarters. Some of them were easily 150 year old wooden farmhouses. Everything looked neat, although some of the buildings were biding their time. It appears that the escape from the rural areas also affects Estonia.

The way to Muhu, the next island between Saaremaa and the mainland is not covered by a ferry but by a dam. The highway is on the dam, and you cycle over a 2-3 km stretch of tarmac which has the sea and endless “fields” of reeds on both sides. Since it is early May the reeds are still the old ones from the previous year, and they have a lovely golden colour. It was one of the magical moments of this trip, cycling through an almost sea of golden reeds, gently swaying in the afternoon sun. I will never forget this moment.

I crossed Muhu and then took the ferry to Virtsu on mainland Estonia and cycled further for 30 km along the eastern coast. The campsite I found was again enchanted. Directly on a beach of a lagoon with thousands of water birds using this area for the migration back north. Unfortunately, my first equipment mishap happened here as well. While pushing my bike to the place a sturdy branch ripped apart my front mudguard. I had to saw it into half to save at least a bit of it.

Otherwise, the evening was peaceful with the occasional symphony of cackling arctic snow geese nearby.

The city square of Orissaare
Somebody is watching me
Pivarootsi windmill near Virtsu
View from my tent at sunset

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