Still feeling squeaky clean from our spa day in Haapsalu, we slowly (because of the unsurfaced roads) chugged around the west coast of Estonia. Stopping briefly at Ungru Manor and a small beach until a man of about 60 with a large double-headed eagle tattooed across his chest, told us the dog is not allowed in the water.
Noting the lack of churches compared to Scandinavia, we later found out Estonia is one of the least religious countries in the world, even before Soviet state atheism.
With our reggae classics playing, because that’s the only music that suited our pace in the heat, we reached our parking opposite the White Beach Golf Club at Parnu Bay. We didn’t know if we could stay, we just found a large car park near the beach using maps.me, just like we did in much of Denmark.
After a short walk to the beach, which unfortunately Stanley wasn’t allowed on, we had a game of frisbee golf in and around the forest area, but this was soon aborted due to receiving several mosquito bites.
With the arrival of several motorhomes & campervans we decided we could stay the night, therefore washed down our supper with a couple of pint cans of lager. Suppers were now back to our standard tortilla wraps, with mixed fillings of carrot, red pepper, beetroot, falafel, eggs, cheese and crispy onions, although the latter were running low and we struggled to find any at the supermarkets.
One of the campervans was a self-build on an old Mercedes that generated a lot of interest, the owner didn’t mind, the opposite in fact and proudly showed the men around his creation.
Feeling left out I decided it was time for Stanley’s evening stroll. Knowing my intentions to get a slice of the action, or just being friendly, the lady owner introduced herself and gave me a slice (or 2)… of her home-grown gherkins.
Luckily, I’m one of the very few people who actually like gherkins, so it was no trouble for me to tuck in and enjoy but Hannah had to kindly decline.
After our tour of their van we continued to chat outside, along with another local couple spending the night in the car park. Only one of them spoke English so it was all a bit farcical on our part, talking slowly and using our hands more like Italians.
The conversation flowed a lot easier when the drinks came out and we moved into their van, all 6 of us!
We continued talking about travelling, Estonia and saunas while a cup of vodka mixed with cherry liqueur was passed around in a traditional Estonian way. It started and ended with myself, so I always got the lions share.
Now, things don’t usually end well when I drink spirits and this occasion was no different, the fact I’ve dropped around 5 boxing classes from Cruiserweight to Welterweight didn’t help either.
Before retreating back to our van to expel the gherkins from my body, the last thing I remember was Hannah asking about the communist times. We think this prompted the other couple leave!
Thinking we’d already upset our new friends, the next morning we were greeted with more gherkins, a bottle of ‘Tallinn’ liqueur and co-ordinates to a campsite we agreed to meet them at. But first I was told to sleep it off!
Following their advice I did just that, all day, in the van, in 30c+ heat. As usual, I vowed never again.
Unable to work out the destination with their co-ordinates, it was either Finland, Russia or Belarus but should have only been 20km away! We were unable to meet them again.
Instead, we kicked about the Parnu Bay area for a few more days, finding a dog friendly beach full of kite surfers and people practising extreme heavy petting in the reeds!
On Sunday evening we moved to Parnu itself, a resort city known for its 19th-century wooden villas, promenade and beach, but it was the spas we were interested in and we were holding out until Monday for the midweek rates.
An evening stroll allowed us to see the aforementioned sights, which were all delightful, but also to choose our spa from the several options.
Finding our new favorite activity we started researching Spas in Latvia, our next destination.
The Tallinn liqueur is still unopened and the gherkins were binned.