Distance: 225.3km / 140mi
Elevation: 564m / 1850ft
After nine nights on the Estonian islands, we had truly fell into island life. We cycled no more than 50km a day, indulged in hour-long chats with locals and fellow travellers, and didn’t consider it a successful night’s camp if we weren’t covered in sand. We were so relaxed, we even forgot to pay for a campsite before we left.
We’d gone about 35km down the road - the day’s total was only 42km - when Dan yelled out, “Oh no. We didn’t pay!” With three nights camping and multiple beers, we’d racked-up a bill of €56. We’d didn’t even leave until 1pm, yet still forgot to pay. For a brief moment we felt like Bonnie and Clyde - without the murder, of course. Then we felt terribly bad and called the owner, who informed us that she’d actually called the police. Oops. Thankfully she said she’d call off the cavalry if we did a bank transfer. Praise the Internet.
Back on the mainland, we headed for Tallinn, where we’d booked into a hostel, so we could watch the World Cup Final in the city. We’d also arranged to meet Thomas, an absolute super hero we met through Warm Showers. If you remember a couple of weeks back, our tent flysheet broke and MSR said they’d post us a new one? Well Thomas kindly agreed to receive the tent and hold it for us, since we don’t have an address. We grabbed the tent and a quick bite to eat on Thomas’ lunch break, while swapping adventure stories.
When we arrived in Tallinn, we received the most wonderful email from Mirjam and Andres, a couple we met while camping at a remote lighthouse on Saaremaa Island. They’d found our email address on our website and invited us to stay at their home. We’d had such a lovely time chatting with them on the island, we jumped at the chance to see them again.
Mirjam and Andres couldn’t have been more welcoming. They had homemade basil ice cream - sounds crazy, but it’s delicious - and cold beers waiting for us. They even said we could wash our manky cycling clothes in their machine. Then we spent the whole evening chatting in the sun and eating to bursting point.
They’re such interesting people, who certainly know how to live life to the fullest. Both retired doctors, they have an abundance of hobbies. Andres is especially into photography and Mirjam into knitting and dressmaking. They’re so passionate about them, they’ve even created themselves a workshop each in their spare bedrooms.
It was well past our bedtime when we finally said goodnight. We’d had such a lovely evening; it was sad to say goodbye the next day.
We’re playing the visa game now: we have to time our entry into Russia with our bike service in St Petersburg, so as not to waste our precious thirty days. So with just less than a week left in Estonia, we’ll take the scenic coastal route to the border, passing through quaint fishing villages, which Mirjam and Andrea recommended. We’re also going to make the most of the beaches, as we expect it’ll be long time now before we see the sea again.