Bumpy Roads

Feeling fresh following our spa day in Parnu, we left Estonia for Latvia just down the E67, as the many signs stated, a road funded by the EU.

Proving what our Estonian friends told us about Latvia being cheaper for booze was correct, the Latvian side of the border was filled with several Alcohol warehouses. Just like the Finns sail to Estonia on a booze cruise, the Estonians nip over to buy theirs in Latvia.

Alcohol warehouses at the Latvia-Estonia border

Our first stop was just over the border at Salacgrīva Fishermen’s Park, where a week earlier Prodigy and Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds, two of our favorite live acts, headlined the Positivus Festival.

A summer storm cleared the air and brought down a pine tree, very close to the German camper we shared the site with. The next morning, in just his speedos, he enthusiastically shared some of his favorite sites in the Baltic countries, commenting how grateful they are at being part of the EU; clearly a dig at Brexit!

With the weather back up to 30c, we headed to the capital Riga to get some shopping and find a spot for the evening.

Witnessing some dangerous overtaking on the highway and dodging trolley buses around Riga, we made it to Maxima XXX, which is like a Tesco Extra.

As there was no shade to park the van, we didn’t want to leave Stanley in a hot metal box, so I did the shop by myself while Hannah and Stanley took shade under a tree.

I didn’t find our much required crispy onions, but I did source the cheapest tortilla wraps at €0.99 for 6; I got 10 packs which accounted for about 30% of the total shopping bill.

Very hot and very bothered, we struggled to find a stopover in or around Riga that met our requirements (budget). After several fails on poorly maintained roads and constantly been dangerously overtaken by old german estate cars, we moved on, also skipping the main beach resort of Jurmala as we assumed Stanley wouldn’t be allowed on the beaches there.

What should have been a one hour journey, was doubled because I had a disagreement with the TomTom while trying to avoid the €2 congestion/traffic charge in Jurmala. In retaliation it sent us down bumpy forest tracks that only black 1990s Audi estates can speed along, the EU funding clearly didn’t stretch this far.

The only positive from this route was seeing the storks, which nest on top of old telegraph poles near houses, almost like a pet.

Storks guarding the house

Finally arriving at our stopover, a dilapidated harbour with a sewerage works at the end of the peninsula (which actually wasn’t so bad), we had our standard tortilla supper and the last of the crispy onions.

We logged this as one of the not so good days and vowed not to rely on the SatNav while in Latvia.

One thought on “Bumpy Roads

  1. Pingback: Lithuania – Gallivanting…

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