Day 7 of my cycle journey
On a leisurely day I cycled a relaxed 51 km along the beautiful, pine forested coast. Close to the Latvian border I found a deserted campground. Rain was predicted for the afternoon, so I stopped, put up my tent and had an afternoon nap, as any old geezer like me usually does.
The day started nicely. My washed underwear had dried and was ready to do its job – to absorb and protect. Leaving the guesthouse, I looked forward to cycling the EV 10 towards Latvia, a substantial part, however, I cycled on the main Baltic highway the “Via Baltica”, the main thoroughfare between the three Baltic states. I am still not sure if I missed an exit or if the EV 10 was designed to go on this highway. I saw several signs indicating that I was indeed on the EV 10/13, but I couldn’t believe that this cycle route would pass over such a heavily trafficked highway with barely a shoulder. Luckily, after a while my Koomot “navigatrice” (my affectionate personalization of the female voice of my navigation app) directed me onto a beautiful side street, which appears to be the old Via Baltica and is hardly used now. Delightful pine forests started to dominate the landscape with the Baltic Sea just visible beyond them. The smell of pines was intense and almost intoxicating. Traffic was low, and I enjoyed intensely my cycling.
To escape a forecasted rain front, I had planned in the morning to break early and set up camp before the rain arrives. The RMK website had indicated two campgrounds in the vicinity of the Latvian border: Lemme or Krapi campgrounds. I found the Lemme campground, and it was entirely deserted. I set up tent, and made a walk on the empty sand beach, which stretched for kilometres on end. In my opinion, there is something mystical and almost depressing to walk on an endless, empty sandy beach when the rainclouds are drifting in, and the world turns into monochrome.
An unfortunate mishap happened to my bike on the campground. The second time material failed me and impacted the functionality of my bicycle. While trying to use the kickstand on wet wooden planks, they slipped, and the entire kickstand was completely bent and could not be used anymore. Shoot, I would have to get a new kick stand in Riga and could not use the old one until then. I know that many bicycle travellers are travelling on bikes without a kickstand, but for me this is a kind of luxury to be able in one swift movement of the leg to bring the bike into a steady position.
The rain came and I snuggled into my sleeping bag. I watched the news about Ukraine. It is saddening to read about the sufferings of the Ukrainians. So, a day, which stared so nicely, ended in a rather gloomy mood. And it was raining as well.