Road trip !
Trip Start Jul 05, 2007
27Trip End Ongoing
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Life on the road when living cheap always started with a breakfast of bread, banannas and apples (which we picked from the side of the road). Lunch would be some cheese, crackers or bread and gerkins , wich we were going through at the rate of a large jar a day. Dinner was generally spent at a pub \ reteraunt where we could sit , eat a little soup, stash the bread that we got with the soup in cath's beanie (for the next days breakfast), use the bathroom to do our teeth and hopefully watch a bit of tele before retiring to sleep in our car parked in the parking lot outside. We became remarkibly accostomed to this routine and took pride in our thriftiness :) We had our own mugs and tea bags and would take it in turns going into cafes to ask for hot water when we felt like stopping for a cuppa. this was the routine for the next 4 days.....
On our second day we got back in touch with nature by driving into the Sooma National Park and doing some walking trainls. The environment was nothing like we have seen in aus, more swampy bogs..dark pools with the surrounds lined by autum coloured moss and sparse fir trees. we will definately get some pics up for you as it really was beautiful. Despite the wooden plank walk way that started and finnished in the same place (a 5km loop) we still managed to get lost at one point and only thanks to Cath studying our map and despit my 'gut feeling' did we make it back to the car! Spent the rest of the day drinving through the national park (stopping to pick apples) to our next stop which turned out to be Tartu. Tartu is another city in Estonia, renowned for its student culture. We ended up having dinner in town before having to leave due to the shortage of what we believed to be good 'camping spots'. Ended up driving out of town at about 11pm on a dirt road, an area that can only be described as a likely spot to be abducted by aliens....it really seemed remote but eventually we once again hit the bitumen and pulled up at a truck stop which was just perfect... had a cup of tea, used their bathroom, watched some tele and then retired to the car park to see out the night. Had such a great sleep that we woke up to a very busy truck stop at 9am!
Next day was uneventful after having to change a tyre early on (cath was on the jack ! ) and we spent a liesurely day driving around the countryside and eventually ending up at Otepaa, a great little ski resort/town. Really liked the place and ended up at a great pub on the outskirts of town by the lake. What made this pub great was a) its location on the lake, b) a nice relatively inexpensive menue, c) had a big screen tele and d) used to be a famous irish pub, and finally (and most importantly) e) had a great car park. We called it a night about 10pm and only qwoke when we discovered we had left the hatch open at about 3am! a bit chilly......
Last day in the car.... took a leisurely drive out of Estonia into Latvia, one more stamp in the passport. Latvie was very similar to estonia which was fine by us. Stopped for the usual pickles, cheese and bread lunch by the lake before putting Cath behind the wheel for the first time. Caths turn lasted about 45mins before I got bored and suggested that we should return to our traditional roles... cath managing our glove box larder and navigating and me driving. The highlight of the drive through Latvia was Sigulda where we stayed the night. Sigulder is a town about an hour from riga, famous for its national parks, casles and caves. Spent some time just wandering around before hitting the supermarket to top up on pickles and then finding an appropriately l÷ocated carpark. Had dinner and a few drinks at a local restaurant before retiring for our last night in hostel opel astra (a bit on the nose by this stage...). Our last day in the car consised of wandering a little more around Sigulda and then driving into Riga. Overall, a fantastic roadtrip and in its own way, a real highlight.