Biking through Estonia, Day 6, Trouble
"Hey it's the last day of biking before we can enjoy the beaches and bars of Pärnu!" was the thought when we were waking up. Only about 70km left to go on our little voyage before rest. At this point 70km for a day isn't a big thing to think about, we already know we can do that easily without breaking a sweat (hah). Unfortunately it's drizzling a bit so we lay about in the tent for a while before we break up the camp and starting to heading out. We visit the store and when we get in our sights it start totally pouring with rain. We grab our gear and run inside, buy some plastic bags and cover up the things that isn't really feasible to take with us. We buy some groceries and put them on our bikes when it's raining a bit less, and walk over the street to a grill of some kind to get some lunch. While there the rain once again picks up so we take our time eating. After a while we decide to get going regardless of the rain since it's already bit past three and in general we do 10km/h with the breaks we do. We could be going faster, but we tend to take a pretty leisurely pace so with that in mind it'll already be around ten when we make camp, and we are a bit unsure where we are making camp so 70km might not be enough in the end.
Sun is shining to the world
We get to the bikes and start riding and we don't get even 50 meters before the rain stops and our raincoats are starting to be bothersome and hot. Since it doesn't seem like it'll rain anytime soon we take the bags off everything and pack away our raincoats so everything can start to dry out a bit, and start making our way towards Pärnu.
We are already getting quite close, only about 20km out when during a break we start thinking about the timeline and we realize to our amazement that we are actually here a day earlier than we are supposed to. Since we made our travel plans on the ferry during day two or three we figured we'd go with the coasts, stay in Matsiranna tenting ground and follow rest of the peninsula towards Pärnu the next day. I guess I didn't remember the route as well as I thought I would. Now we are too far away to make it to Matsi for the next night so we figure we'll head to the next bigger town, Audru, and figure it out there. On the way we met couple guys on bikes and asked them for recommendations and their recommendation was to head to Valgeranna (White beach, so named because of the white sand there). Linda thought it was a nice idea so we get a bit of extra time there, but I didn't like that idea at all. We had already left for the trip two days later than supposed to, because something came up and Linda couldn't leave when we first thought, so forgetting a day of biking didn't sound appealing to me on top of our already a bit pruned route. Perhaps I'm a glutton for punishment, but I enjoy pushing myself and letting myself off easy would've bothered me to no end. After a bit of a discussion Linda relented and based on a tourist information board we decided to head south towards Liu since there are a couple of camp grounds near by.
Cheap is good, free is better
When we get to Liu and the tenting grounds, it's starting to get a bit late and unfortunately they are all places you need to pay for and that doesn't really work well with the theme of the trip, nor our budget. Since there is a big nature reserve area to the west of Liu we start riding the road bordering it looking for a path somewhere where we can set up a tent. We ride and check out roads, but there is no where that actually works for us, so we have to start heading back. We decide to check a few places along the coast north of Liu while Linda's mood is deteriorating. For some reason already in Audru both of our moods and tempers were a bit on the edge for the first time during the trip and it's kinda showing now that we are having bit of trouble finding a place to set up camp. I'm in a good mood since I could, and wanted to, push myself, but I guess Linda hates herself less and wants to actually get to sleep at some point.
We check out a few places, and Linda suggests we setup camp in a small harbor area, but I don't really feel comfortable with the idea, especially since we rode past a big forest area on our way here and there are surely places there. So we keep heading back towards the forest and quite soon we find a road leading into the forest, we take a branch off that road, and another branch off that to find a small road going deeper into the woods. It's clear there is a path here a car could drive on, but it's growing ferns etc. right there on the road so it doesn't seem like it's heavily traveled, so that'll work for us! I put the tent up and clear a bit of the undergrowth of organic material on the road the get a safe place to build a fire. Linda joins me and we gather a bit of wood close by and make a small fire couple meters from the entrance to our tent so we can watch is from our tent if we'd like. We start eating and I notice I'm missing a bottle of water. Due to us being about 30km from the nearest store, that we know off, and us needing to ride that tomorrow and me needing to actually drink today on top of that the half of a bottle I have isn't going to be enough.
Bump along the road
We figure it's probably fallen off on the road into the forest since it's a bumpy dirt road and maybe I didn't secure it that well. Only Linda has a flashlight so we start walking our way back looking for the bottle and chatting about whatever. We reach the asphalt road without having found it, so we turn back and decide to check the ditch since I rode on the left side of the road, so most likely it has rolled into there. It's already almost pitch black so we can only really see what the flashlight is showing, so I keep asking Linda to show the light on spots I think I might see it on, but to no avail. We figure it'll be less than comfortable, but we'll make it fine so I guess it isn't that big of a deal in the end if we divide the water we have between us two. We are almost at the camp when I remember that when we first came here I stopped my bike about 15 meters from where we made camp, right where we are, and, like usual, my bike fell over due to the top heavily load. So I take a few steps to the right and pick up my full water bottle, right where I left my bike at the start. This really lifts my mood because I'm quite reliant on water in general and was dreading the ride tomorrow.
We sit around the fire, chatting for a bit, but it's starting to get really quite late so we decide to call it a night and head for the tent, enjoy the embers of the fire still glowing a few meters from us. It's been a weird day and I'm happy that I got to push myself for another day to feel that sense of accomplishement, but all the while wondering why we both were a little cranky today, wondering if that bodes ill for tomorrow and rest of our trip. Luckily these thoughts don't have much time to cloud my mind before I drift off to sleep.