On the boat!

Not much happened this day either. I drove up the the west coast of Lithuania, and made my way into Latvia. This day my motorcycle passed 55555 km!

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I arrived four hours before the boat were supposed to leave, and had a nice dinner at a nearby restaurant I found through Trip Advisor.

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Waiting to board, I met a motorcycle guy who was going back to Norway, where he worked. He was going to cross Sweden on his Bandit the day after, and then further north in Norway.

My next destination was Nynäshamn, where I would switch ferry to go to Gotland Wednesday-Sunday!

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Trying off-road

A bit after nine in the evening, I got off the boat. I only had to wait for three trucks to get off before it was my turn.

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My priority was to find somewhere to sleep as fast as possible, as it was already pretty late, and started getting dark. I tried to keep by the coast and after just a few kilometres I found a petrol station, so I decided to fill up first.

I looked at my GPS and saw some small side roads. The first one went into the forest, with some abandoned buildings on both sides, but as there were some small collections of water, I decided to look further. The risk if mosquitos or other irritating animals were too big.

A few kilometres ahead I saw a pretty cool abandoned house by the sea. I though I turned on a small road, but there was only grass, and I saw on the GPS that I was in between two small roads. I went over the bumpy plain, until I had a ditch ahead of me. I turned back and went on the road a couple of hundred metres forth.

More than the sandy part at the end of the road, there were no problems. The motorcycle was easier to handle than I had thought, even on the ”off-road” parts. The house looked cool and I set camp.

I woke up at 9.20 and started packing. While eating brakfast I documented my sleeping place, and some nice parts of the house and surroundings.

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My plan was to follow the coast line, but the bigger road I was on was too much inland. After looking at the GPS I decided to try the gravel road out into nowhere. I have actually never been driving on gravel for real before, but after some testing that also felt good. This road didn’t go anywhere good, though. After more careful planning I had a road that would lead me to the coast, but the roads were even worse. Some of them was like the two dirt pitches with grass in the middle. Pretty challenging, and really fun!

I also had to pass three water crossings, this one on the picture being the smallest one.

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The third, and biggest one, I actually tried to turn around from. The ground was too soft, so I felt I couldn’t move the bike in any other direction, though, and instad I put some power into it, passing without a problem. The water was splashing everywhere, though, and I’m glad my boots are waterproof!

I also saw a nice building I wanted to visit, out at a point. When I came closer I saw the road went over a beach made of pebbles, but once again I didn’t have the strength to turn around. It was a slope towards the water, but I made that one too. A lighter bike would be nice, though! Actually thinking of buying a Transalp as a second bike, which could be a fun medium bike!

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After this, I put my GPS on the nearest asphalt road, and started driving easy instad. It was pretty hot after all the grind, and I decided to take some kilometres instead.

When I stayed for lunch I saw a woman with a handlebar bag and two Ortlieb Rear panniers biking by outside. I wonder where she was going?

During the lunch I decided to book a cheap hotel outside of Riga.

What I hadn’t though of was that i had to drive through Riga to get there. That took so long time, and also the cooling fan for the radiator made a scraping sound every time it started spinning. I have to check that one up. My headset went out of battery, so I had to do the boring part without music also.

The hotel were next to a police station, which felt nice. After a check-in and parking of the bike, I called home to update the situation before going out for food. It was the same as for lunch; I had to order a normal dish minus the meat, as they didn’t have any ”real” vegetarian food. I was at a kebab place, and they made some really tasty bread, which they stuffed with cheese and vegetables. I bought some breakfast at the shop nearby and took a look at the surroundings, but there wasn’t much to see.

Into Russia (second attempt)

While eating breakfast, some Russian guy backed down to the water for some reason. We pulled him up, off course, which was no problem with those cars.

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After the morning routine we went to Ludza to get the papers. I stayed with the cars, and the others managed to find a guy from Russia, Alexander, who could help us translate. He was moving to Germany apparently, and he was good help for us!

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As we waited for the papers, we went around in the city. We found a small flea market, and then continued to an old ruin from a castle.

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We ate lunch on the way back, and then managed to get our papers after twelve. Hopefully this would be what we needed to get into Russia!

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We fueled the cars and bought some more food before trying at the border again. We met one woman from yesterday in the toll, who laughing told us “Good luck!”.

After some hassle, we got through! Now, we tried to take as many kilometres as possible with stops to withdraw money, fill the tanks (cheap diesel here) and to eat dinner. We had to point, but managed to get the food we wanted in the end, more or less.

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When it started to get dark we went looking for a place to sleep at, sadly with no lake, but still many mosquitos.

To Russia and back

We woke up at 0700 after a good nights sleep.The plan were to go to the border as early as possible, so that we could start driving into Russia.

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One hour driving later, we were at the border. Everyone knew it was going to take some time, and we managed all the normal procedures. Soon, we  had left Latvia, and actually entered into Russia. We just encountered one small problem.

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Even though we had the papers for one drive per car, that was not enough. As we had one owner for all the cars, we needed some special papers from a notary, and that, we needed from Latvia. We actually were in Russia, but had to turn back, annulate our entrance and pass the border and toll into Latvia again. After a total of around eight hours, we were back where we started.

During the queuing, I found a guy who could help us found an adress, and also call to the notary, so we knew the opening times. Really helpful and nice guy!

When we arrived at the notary in Rezekne, the time was 1620. Apparently, that was too late, as she was going home at 1700 whatever we said. She did not have the time to help us after five, and was not interested in extra pay. She helped us get in touch with some other places, though, so we went to another house, where no one even opened. We tried to call another one, and finally found one which at least could help us the next day. Better than Monday, so we started planning for that.

As we now had time, and for the second day in a row did not have time or place for lunch, we went out for dinner. We tried another place, which was closed, and therefore went back to the pizza place. After making sure the waitress had understood we did not want any dill, greenery or basil (as it all was dill), we got some pizzas tasting much better than yesterday.

After that, we went back to the same camping spot as yesterday, as it was already pretty late, and it was on the way to Ludza, where we were going first thing next day. We played some volleyball (isch), made a fire and some people bathed.

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Hopefully we will be able to enter Russia for real tomorrow!

First night out

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When everyone had showed up, we presented ourselves. Fredrik started telling us about the cars and the gear, and Joakim and Jakob showed us how to pitch the roof tents.

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We spent yesterday evening getting to know each other, eating dinner and made some shopping in the tax free, and I went to bed after watching two episodes of Breaking Bad.

After showering and eating the breakfast buffet we gathered at the cars, and slowly made it into Riga!

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Our first stop was at a food store so we could buy the basic wares. Then, we started driving, with a small stop for change of driver.

We had a food place in mind for “lunch”/dinner, but at 1700 when arriving there, they said that we were too many to be served. We continued until we saw a small city, where we found a restaurant/pizzeria in the basement. We don’t think they know the difference of basilica and dill (English word?), as we got dill on all the food, inclusive the pizza. Would be better without the dill.

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As it was pretty late, we decided to find a place for the night, and continue into Russia tomorrow. After going around with the cars we found a place by a lake where we made a fire and put up camp.

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Before going to bed, Jakob had a small fire show!

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