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Published: August 20th 2014
For some bizarre reason, talc powder simply doesn't exist in Estonia. Is it due to a talc shortage the world over, unlikely I think. Such a base item in Australia, I just assumed that I would be able to buy it in the supermarket. Alas it looks like I might have to find an alternative to ensure I end the ride with any kind of bum at all. Without it, I think I still would be suffering the adverse effects of chaffing after my last ride with Eddie. Anyway I digress.
So the day after I last blogged, I did meet with Christian again. He gave me his maps and I gave him a coffee in exchange. I think I could have survived in a time where the exchange of goods was more important than money. I'm like a modern day Jack and the beanstalk. So he jetted off to Finland and I was left to make the most of the rest of the day. Which I duly squandered on coffee and similarly unproductive activities. I did however manage to find some presents for the family back in Australia, there is such a thriving craft community here that it took me a while to sift through the extensive range to find what I was looking for. In the end though I feel as though I made the right decisions. The proof will be in the pudding (I didn't actually buy them pudding, it wouldn't last). Rode through the pouring rain and howling wind back to Helen and Olav's where the simplicity of a hot shower tantalisingly waited. The simple pleasures in life can sometimes be the most rewarding. We then went for a short ride to the sushi restaurant near by, which funnily enough doubles as a pizzeria. What will the Estonian's think up next. Skype? oh wait they already did.
The 19th brought an extremely busy day to the table. There were a few things that I needed to get, garbage bags for waterproofing and talc powder (see above). I spent the morning on the hunt for Estonian football shirts. The home jersey is pretty common, the away one (which dad specifically, on several occasions asked me to get) is not so easy to source. The first store I tried only had one of the old away shirts, so I decided to try somewhere else. So it was back to where I had come from, again having to 'bury myself' in Paul Sherwin's words in order to make any progress into the headwind. Again, no away shirts. So it was again back to the first store to pick up the only away shirt that could be found.
From there I made my way, in a somewhat round about way (I got lost) to Eesti Post. That was all sorted pretty quickly as well, fingers crossed it gets back there. I also needed to send some clothes onto Germany as I've said previously, I brought to many clothes. Very kindly one of my friends volunteered his address for me to send it to. People have been doing that kind of stuff, putting themselves out, since I've gotten to Europe. The weather had taken a turn for the worse as it is now known to do so I took refuge in Viru Keskus and once again made a last ditched effort to locate some talc powder, I was thwarted once again. Made my way back home, getting some good Km's in the legs before I leave as it's about 12 km in and out each day.
Today was spent prepping my bike and panniers, making sure everything is in shape for the ride. The panniers are certainly struggling under the strain, but carrying on regardless is the only option open to them. I took it on a test run in the drizzle, the waterproofing worked a treat and the bike handled beautifully even with the added weight on the back. I'm really looking forward to being out on the road turning the legs over. I just hope the trip starts off drama free, no flats or anything of that sinister nature.
Reflecting on my time in Estonia as it regretfully winds up, I've come to know the people here as extremely generous (if a little shy), a people to whom culture and history is very important, but most crucial of all is that they are good brewers and good cooks.
Not sure how often I'll be in wifi range to update my blog but keep an eye out and I'll try and update you as things progress.
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