I left Riga on a rainy Monday morning after enjoying two sun-drenched days in that beautiful city. Mrs Dace Skrauca did a wonderful job in showing me so much during such a short time.
I was splashed so often by huge trucks coming from the front that I later struggled to clean the visor with my left hand and keeping the KLR upright with the right hand. Not even 90 km from Riga I decided to call it a day. It was not worth risking the KLR and my life for any ride.
I made a few stupid decisions when I’d packed for this trip. The most stupid one was to leave my vellies of my previous two tours at home and to bring running shoes with. After unpacking yesterday I had to find a laundry as I urgently needed to wash some clothes. In the pouring rain with the running shoes on it took only seconds for my feet and socks to get wet.
With wet feet I started a search for a second-hand shop and voila! Within minutes I found a shop selling used shoes! I found a pair that fitted me and bought it for quite cheap. From now on I will have dry feet in these wet conditions, although I must admit that with a denim white socks and black shoes look quite zef.🙂
Perhaps I will find somewhere used socks as well. (only a joke)
On this photograph you can see how wet my denim legs are.
Soon I have to decide pair which of my trousers I have to leave behind. The cold weather is forcing me to get a warm sweater, and I need the space for the sweater. So, either my denim or khaki trousers have to stay behind.
Today I had a taste of what is still to come. Soon after I left the town where I stayed the road became gravel and soon I had the first good muddy patch. I always think back what Charley Boorman said on Long Way Down: Always take the easiest option. For me the easiest option was to slowly paddle through any muddy section and, most important, not to take a mud bath.
Soon that will be my daily reality.
Today late afternoon I stopped at a supermarket and bought me food for two meals: 1,5 l Ice Tea (peach), 4 buns, 2 apples, 2 different salads, rollmops, and the best for last: caviar!! O yes, and a plastic bag to carry it. The cost for this exquisite meal: R 67.00!!
Where in South Africa can one have a meal with caviar for R 67?
Thanks to the advice of Mrs Skrauca I booked a time to cross the border on Friday. Estonia has a clever system to avoid that travellers stand for hours or days in queues at the border. You book a time, report on that time to s waiting area, and then per sms you get notifies when to move to the border.
My next two days will be short rides, creeping the last 200 km to the Russian border post.
It is now time to start lighting candles for Friday. I am quite tensed. How will the Russians react on a South African motorcycle? The same as four years back may not happen.
And, as the subject suggests, the KLR rode into its 24th country, Estonia, today. We were blessed with the many safe journeys.
Soon I will be two hours ahead of South African time.
Regards from Estonia!