My next destination was Riga, apparantly known for its cats. Once again, quick and without problems I got there, seated in the back of an old, simple car. I could hear the engine rumbling from the back, it is a miracle it had made it so far. The couple agreed, as the man crossed his fingers, hoping, pleading. Hearing their accent, I immediately knew where they were from, nonetheless I asked. A French couple on their way, with a stop in Greece, to some friends in Riga. From their on, the rusty car would be sold in exchange for a ticket on the Trans-Siberian express. Looking around, I was not sure what was litter and what was supposed to be their luggage. The man had an energetic look with a wild beard growing from his chin, whilst the lady seemed more to herself. She didn’t speak much, as she stared relentless out of the window. After a short time, they had driven me to the capital city. Later I heard, the plan of selling the car was not that easy. With some struggle at first, I eventually managed to find a secure, small, green world behind the capital clinic to put up my tent. What else does one need?
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Dark, grim clouds had brought rain upon us all for two whole straight days. Once I found out it wasn’t stopping, I decided that only a fool would let a little water ruin their day. So I put on my boots and left my now turned swamp and headed to the centre, a few kilometres away. People with numbers on their chest and back were running down the street whilst being cheered on by the rain-poncho wearing viewers. Music was too loud and picked by someone without taste, yet everyone seemed to have a great time. The bars and restaurants were enjoying the weather as well, with people pouring in from everywhere. As I return from the bridge overviewing the Daugava river, I suddenly see a familiar face! If it isn’t the Swiss biker I met in Kaunas. 😀 Excited to see an old face again during these long travels, we set a rendezvous for the evening. In the meanwhile, I retreated to my Ogre’s swamp.
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Luca turned out to be a great lad, eager to explain his way of travelling and curiously asking me about mine. I got to learn a lot from his prepared method and he was able to learn from a guy with almost no budget. Intrigued to how little one can spend, he told me he would try my style for a month. A question I had, to the cycling expert; Does your ass ever get used to the endless biking? The answer was short: “No..“. The following day, whereon I got to sneak in a shower at his hostel, the two of us made our way to the massive market place. It really was gigantic, outside heaps of stands and then 4 hangars, used to build zeppelins, were filled with more. Before trying our delicious, weird and interesting tasting fish platter, I made a collosal mistake. I mentioned Dutch cheese in comparison with the quality my sister has (in Canada). Never talk about cheese to someone from the Switzerland! I did not hear the end of it. After dinner at the Lido – great place! – we both went our seperate ways again. We shook hands, wished each other good luck and jokingly said “See you in Talinn!”. We did not.
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From Riga, after hours of walking and unsuccesfully trying to get a ride, I had begun making my way to the border of Estonia. At StatOil, which has now become my favourite gas station, a pick up driver turned to me. “Fuck yeah, jump on in!”, he told me. He pulled out an English accent with his ‘bollocks’ and dropped the F-bomb numerous times. It seemed the man enjoyed speaking English. Having heard my story, he was convinced that I was on drugs, as it did not sound real. Driving over the messed up roads, the truck almost dropped the 50k worthy cargo. The man turns to me with a big grin, before pulling over to tighten the ropes. There we also waited for a Suzuki seller, to see if the motorbike would have a new owner. That evening I slept in a field of yellow, after another beautiful sunset – yeah yeah, I will stop posting sunset pictures 😛. Next destination? I don’t know. I have no plan, I have a compass, but no plan.
My Friend Luca’s blog, in French and German: