I finally made it!
I left Hjorthagen at 4pm on Sunday and hope I have managed to complete all my obligations and can just hit the road for a year.
It was an easy start, less than 2 km down to the ferry that would take me to Tallinn, Estonia. Nice though as I was tired and I have no doubt that I am going to have to take it very easy this first week in order to decompress and get into the right mindset. Not to mention that I have not done much riding lately, so I’m sure my body is going to complain more than just a little bit.
It was naturally raining when I arrived in Tallinn, it is always raining when I go on a bicycle holiday in Europe!
I had a plan to stay in Tallinn a few days if the weather was to bad, but looking at the weather report, I could see that the rain would clear up by the evening and the rest of the week was going to be warm and dry. So I pushed on.
Rode past large apartment complexes, both new and older, a mixture of abandoned and more or less running industries and found an off-road path to the tele tower.
I waited out some rain at the tower and then headed along the northern coast. Managed to take the wrong road once and had to backtrack from the city dump.
Then, riding down a small road to stay off the highway, I found a large pet cemetery. There were hundreds and hundreds of graves, in all stages of repair. Fitting as I had spent part of the morning riding along and thinking about memorials, the need a lot of people seem to have of a certain place to got to, to remember.
Made it to Jägala Falls early in the afternoon and was very tempted to call it a day and camp there. Not sure if it was allowed, but there was plenty of space and a couple of teenage boys had a tent set up. But I kept going, it was just a bit too early, and I’m glad I did.
I found a free campsite in Kaberneeme, with a fireplace, firewood, table and seats, a freshwater lake to wash in and soft grass to pitch the tent on. Not bad at all, there was even a toilet, even if it wasn’t all that inviting!
I discovered that there are plenty of these free campsites in Estonia, just search for RMK in google maps.
Woke the next morning to the sound of fishing.
Tuesday was an easy bike along small country roads, exploring the peninsulas along the coast, with many stops at beaches, just to admire the view.
Found out that Pood is the local name for store, and managed to find one of those as well.
Arrived at Juminda Peninsula in the afternoon to have a look at the lighthouse, but it was not much of a lighthouse, it was more or less hidden by the trees around it!
But there were other interesting things to look at, Juminda was a Soviet Missile Base until 1993 and there is memorial to all the ships that were sunk by the Germans and Finns outside the peninsula during the evacuation of Tallinn in WWII.
So I looked around, had a swim at the beach and decided to stay the night at the free campsite. Even had a nice conversation with a German couple that pitched their tent beside mine. They were on a 2-week car camping trip and offered me a beer. I naturally had to be friendly and accept!
The next morning I set off towards Hara Allveeavade Sadam, an abandoned Russian submarine base. I got there before it opened but could just ride past the gate. I did have to pay when I left though!
It was interesting having a look around, but mainly just because I had read about it before. As a tourist attraction, it is not all that exciting.
Spent the rest of the day continuing exploring the peninsulas along the coast and arrived at the start of (actually the end) a bikepacking route I knew about, The Swamp Thing. I rode the most northern part of it and am now considering if I should do the rest of it, about 5 days, or head toward Narva as I had planned earlier. Can’t really decide but I really enjoyed the part I rode, the only thing that makes me a bit cautious is that there are supposed to be a lot of mosquitoes along the route. And I HATE mozzies. I’m going to leave the decision to tomorrow.
Got myself a room in Käsmu, in order to have time and internet to update the blog, and to think about what route to take tomorrow.
Naturally, the whole trip has been in flip-flops so far it is working great as usual. Life just is better in flip-flops!