Biking through Estonia, Day 2, The Journey Continues
Waking up to the crashing waves on a sunny beach is a quite a nice break from a cramped and hot apartment in the center of Helsinki. Our thighs and asses are still sore from yesterday, but in general the feeling and mood is great! I'm kinda excited for this day and to see what it brings along. We empty the tent and put our stuff out to dry. It dropped to +10c during the night and since I elected to bring the smallest and thinnest sleeping back you can buy I was freezing most of the night and woke up couple of times because of it. It's only rated to +15c and while you can literally just survive in it at +5c it's not going to be fun. Bit of breakfast and we head to the beach and start exploring Peraküla (translates to Reartown, and is the end of the road in the west north-west of Estonia) tenting ground. We spend a couple of hours wading in the ocean trying to find sea shells, but the waves are mixing the water and moving the shells so it's a difficult task. The water is quite cold, but you get used to it when you stand in it for long enough so when we realize we need to head out it's a bit later (again) than we'd like. Luckily today's ride isn't nearly as long.
Another beautiful day of biking!
We pack up our, now dried and aired out stuff, and start heading out. We are bit low on water and we want to head towards a lighthouse we saw from the beach, but we can't unless we can stock up on water. So we head back to the village of Peraküla we rode through during the night, hoping to find a shop or something. We end up at the fishing center where there's a spot for campers etc. to fill their water tanks and fill up there. Linda grabs a coffee and couple muffins for us and the lady there tells us a bit about the place and it's history. While eating outside the lady brings me my shirt asking if it was ours, I'm quite confused since I know I didn't take it inside there. Apparently it had fallen off on the road from the tenting ground and a local picked it up and brought it there. I'm really happy since it was the shirt I ended up wearing most of the trip. We go take our plates in and I'm mesmerized by the wood floors which are made from beautiful stacked wood pieces showing the end grain of the wood. Heading out back towards the tenting ground, now with full water stores, and turn left into a dirt road taking us towards the lighthouse. Since our asses still sore from yesterday the rough road isn't optimal, but it's a warm sunny day and we are out exploring the world so you barely even notice it. We stop at a lookout tower over looking a swamp to enjoy the scenery for a bit before continuing on.
On a bike, 50 km is a long ass way
When we get to the peninsula we notice the lighthouse is just metal scaffolding with a light on top, not the majestic building we were hoping for. Regardless it's a nice place and we spent a bit of time jumping from rock to rock on the beach and wondering about the stuff we can see. On the beach there are handfuls of sea shells so our couple hours of wading in the ocean feels like a bit of a waste, but it was fun so all in all I guess it worked out. Before long we are back on our bikes. Today's destination is Haapsalu, a larger town near Rohuküla harbor where a ferry will take us to Hiiunmaa, but that's tomorrow, today we'll camp on the mainland. The route towards Haapsalu is quite uneventful, of course bordered by amazing pine forests and fields straight out of a fairy tale, but after looking at them for a 100 k already they are getting a bit samey. We have run out of food and we've already been riding for 3 hours without eating. Seeing a old woman on a field with a hoe we decide to ask directions for the nearest store. She has just this small one handed hoe, in the middle of a pretty large field, tilling it. She's dressed in quite traditional garb with a skirt and scarf around her head. Linda, speaking more Estonian than I, asks her where the nearest store is. Even I understand the answer "far away". She asks where we are coming from and where we are headed and when we tell her our destination, a bit bigger village 20km out, she happily let's us know that there's a store there and that in that direction it's the closest one. So we resign ourselves to two more hours of biking without eating.
Dangers of biking
Eating reinvigorates us and lifts our spirits so we happily head the rest of the way towards Haapsalu hoping to get info from their tourist information board on free tenting grounds near the Rohuküla harbor. While riding in the city towards the tourist information center, Linda being quite exhausted she manages to ride into a lamp post in the middle of the town, falling into the pavement with her bike. Luckily she's okay so my laughing isn't inappropriate. This show also gathers a few looks from people around us, but we laugh it off and continue on. After getting the info we need, we decide to go to a Italian restaurant, order a bit of food and I take a moctail. The moctail is the most delicious thing ever, but the food leaves something to be desired. Quick stock up and we head towards a tenting area about 5km away that's marked on the map on the side of the tourist information board, since we missed the opening hours by a bit.
There's a sign and everything!
We search and search, but can't find the damn thing even after riding our bikes back and forth the road where it was marked. We don't want to give up since we already saw a sign on the way over towards the tenting ground. In the end we have to admit defeat and assume that the map and the sign are outdated. We notice a small side road that goes bit behind the bushes to a fire pit near the ocean so we decide to camp there for the night. We make a fire, sit around it chatting and eating for a bit before turning in for the night. During the night we both wake up at the same time having to pee and get up and head to different sides of the tent. I notice a moose looking at us in the reeds about 50 meters out and comment that "A moose is watching us". Linda quips back that "yeah it'd be real funny if there was a moose here", yeah indeed it would be. I'm a bit worried about how the moose is going to react and it starts running either towards us or away from us, but because it's so dark I can't see which way. It runs for about 15 meters and I see it turn it's head towards us so I know it's running away and breath a sigh of relieve. It turns it's head back and continues running away apparently more scared of us than I was of it. I guess that's a pretty common theme among wild animals.