The Road to Soomaa National Park
At least it was a sunny day, and, now I've seen Latvia's roads, Estonian's dirt roads are a walk in the park...
well, i've had a big few days km's wise which is good. was starting to panic that i wouldn't be making my average so i think have been over compensating a little... since have my speedometer installed i've done 314.79km. the average for the last 3 days has been 99km. damn.
so what have i seen. this is where i would insert punctuation like question marks but am again stuck with a keyboard that i can't for the life of me work out and am getting frustrated in the process so am opting for ...no punctuation. also, the shift key's not working, can't find the at symbol, arrows don't move etc. you get the drift.
back to what i've seen. a LOT of forest. a fair share of dirt road. countless farm houses. not many signs which makes for constant map consultation.
again, am having trouble with this blog site. this time trying to save a fair whack of what i had written only to find that it has saved the first 3 paragraphs only. this seems too much like work for my liking. just had to vent... am glad i'm not in some internet cafe paying for this.
back to constant map consultation... leaving Kuressaare was fine. The road to visit the meteor crater was fine although am finding that i'm on the road obviously before the tourists are and so there is no coffee to be found anywhere. everything opens at 10 or 11. i had an almighty headache yesterday because i couldn't get a coffee into me and when i did, at 8.30 in the evening i couldn't sleep. gggrrrr. can you tell i'm grumpy this morning.
anyway, back to signage. at the end of that day i had to take a small dirt road to where i knew there was a camping ground. i just had to have faith that i was travelling on the right road as there were a number of forks. i found the place. yay. i couldn't really miss it. there was a huge windmill in the grounds.
the owner, such a lovely hospitable man, gave me a warm welcome. he also added that there must be something wrong with the men in germany and australia because the night before there was a german woman also cycling alone who stayed there. his words not mine. anyway, he had a lovely cabin with ensuite bathroom on offer which was really reasonably priced but i really wanted to put my tent up. apart from loving my tent, i don't like to feel that i'm hauling all this extra luggage around so i can just stay indoors. it makes me feel quite self sufficient. having said that i'm in a hostel in parnu at the moment.
he was concerned that i wouldn't be warm enough and that i might get wet overnight as they were expecting rain. i was neither cold nor wet the following morning. and to top it off i think i slept for almost 12 hours. once the eyemask is on and the ear plugs in i'm like a bear hibernating in winter. me, my tent, lovely flat earth and nestled in amongst the junipers. what more could i ask for. oh a shower. yes. for that i had to go into his house where he duly turned on the inside shower radio on for me so i could shower with music. well i never.
the next morning was overcast, and even windier, and colder. all the layers were on. the dirt road was made slower by being wet. but i was moving so that was the main thing. when i look at the places names of places i've passed, in all honesty i can't remember them. unless i stopped there they are again just names on a map. i do however remember Tostamaa.
i stopped in Tostamaa for lunch using their bus shelter as a windbreak. it was quite pleasant once out of the wind. i had a pretty big pig out. i had some dry, smoked ham. i had a bit more than some. i had the whole packet, plus the heavy black rye bread, 4 slices, plus cheese, plus helva, plus a pastry. ugh. it makes me sick just thinking about it. i then had a sweet coffee. no wonder i felt sick riding afterwards. that was being ridiculously gluttonous.
i met a man in the bar where i had coffee and we had a bit of a chat. he owns the camping ground in town and seemed suitably impressed when i told him that i know that estonia's highest mountain stands at 308m. actually, he seemed more amazed that someone from australia should know this fact about a small country like estonia on the other side of the world. i didn't have the heart to tell him that i had read it in my guidebook and my knowledge, prior to coming to estonia about the country and its history was, seriously lacking. and still is really.
so anyway, feeling rather self inflictedly ill, i continued on and made it to parnu. i didn't really have too much of a look around. by the time the showering and washing of clothes is done it's time to look for food. all i wanted was something light. this seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack where things are generally heavy and stodgy. i asked for salads. all had meat. i opted for the fruit plate which came out with lashings of cream on top. why fight it really.
it's surprising i got any sleep at all that night because there are some rather noisy russians men staying here. i don't know if they are working here because they don't seem to be tourists but they do clomp around, slamming doors, watching tv with the volume turned up LOUD and generally speaking as if they are the only ones here. out come the ear plugs.
yesterday i went to soomaa national park. i had seen such lovely photos of it and, if i was with someone, i would have loved to have gone canoeing there. it is basically one big bog, with an overrun of water following the spring thaw. what i managed to do was have a little bit of a walk around riisa bog and make to the visitor's centre only to turn around and have to come back. i can't say i was in the best of moods last night. i knew it was far away but i didn't think it was a 99km round trip and that is not factoring in any walking. so, technically i've been to soomaa national park but, no, i saw nothing of it but the road and the visitors centre. really, if i'd just planned and thought it out a little better i could have taken me and my stuff there and continued on to viljande. but no. no thinking involved. and i still hadn't seen anything of parnu exclamation marks.
parnu is THE summer capital of estonia. it is where estonians seeking sun and sea come. i hadn't even seen what all the fuss was about. so after dinner, in a georgian restaurant, i ventured down to the beach. at the moment it's like a little ghost town. not many people, not even tourists around. but you know that this place is heaving at the height of it. i'm really glad i've missed the heaving. still unsure what all the fuss is about.
so now, where to. i will be heading to viljande but taking it slowly today. it's almost 10 o'clock so i think today will be a 50km day. i should get to viljande in a couple of days time and then i will be heading north again. i really want to visit lahemaa national park and camp there for a few nights. and then head east and then south again to tartu. but, you know, plans change so who knows. Viljande bound it is though. that is a surety.
until next time, thanks for your messages and comments. it keeps the spirits high. and thanks too for all your support so far in donating to the Mental Illness Fellowship. there's still some way to go so if you can tell your friends and family that would be great.
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