- Jamie Shannon
Through Estonia. Gotta get moving!
Well I’ve finally left Tallinn! Bloody hell, I didn’t think I’d ever get going again. I’ve arranged some rather juicy plans for the future but I’ll get to that in due course. It’s enough to say that Istanbul has even more significance to me now than it did before.
It’s nearly 1000 km’s to Warsaw and I think I’ll try to do that in ten days with a bit of luck. I don’t think it will be too difficult as the road all the way there seems to be predominantly flat, and if the wind holds out just enough, this should be feasible.
It seems like I’m forever playing catch up with myself though. First I stayed in England waiting around for my friend to arrive back in Amsterdam from Slovakia, then I stayed in Amsterdam far too long as I was simply enjoying seeing everyone again and now I managed to stay in Tallinn for three weeks. This has thus scuppered my plans for a leisurely ride through Eastern Europe. I really do have to get a move on!
I left Maria to her own devices in Tallinn and with mixed and confused emotions, cycled off, taking the main artery that runs directly south towards the city of Parnu. There aren’t any motorways in Estonia and with the speed limit here being 110 km’s per hour, I wasn’t sure If I was able to cycle it but Maria had told me otherwise and that was good enough for me.
Cycling through the endless forest of Estonia
It was a little strange too as I had already driven this stretch of road a week earlier and so I now found myself cycling over 100 km’s on a road that I already knew perfectly. I consoled myself with the fact that I might see just a little more at my pace.
It was quite an uneventful day which makes for a tantalisingly dull post here and so I won’t go into too much detail. Suffice to say that the weather was blisteringly hot, the mosquitos were abundant whenever I stopped, the road was lined with forest for as far as the eye could see and I actually became pretty bored whilst cycling.
Usually, along with my music and thoughts, I have the scenery to admire and towns and villages to stop at but all of this was completely absent throughout the day. This isn't to say Estonia is dull, but rather I was spending it on the highway, free of distractions.
The road ran directly south on smooth tarmac and through endless stretches of forest and my senses became quite nullified if that's a word I can use here.. When I say this kind of travel is more mental than physical, its times like these (good song) that this truly becomes apparent. You just have to push through it and understand that more interesting times will come.
When I arrived in Parnu, I stayed on the main road that ran around the city as I had been here once already and, like I said, I had many km’s to cycle.
This was my goal for the day but since it was still only six and my legs felt good I decided to carry on, and on, and on until such a time when I felt that I could go no longer. I knew I wouldn’t have the problem of finding somewhere to camp as, like everywhere in Estonia, forest and thus places to pitch abounded.
The road was lined with these awesome bus stops that offered shelter from the elements and with my reluctance to actually pay for somewhere to sleep, became the ideal place to make my food. It’s getting towards that time of the year when the ants come out to play so I’m beginning to feel a little reluctant to make my food by my tent as this attracts them no end. The bus stop it is then.
I wandered off a little later into the forest and found my place to sleep for the night.
I got going fairly early the next morning. I had intended to take some photos of the forest where I had slept but the sky was overcast and I rued the fact that I had not done it the night before when the sun had been quite brilliant. Oh well, with any luck, there would be other opportunities.
I was feeling slightly more positive today even though I would be again following the same road as the previous day but at least I would be crossing the border into a new country and this is always a nice feeling; One of progress, differing scenery perhaps and customs too.
It was a pretty uneventful ride if I’m honest. Endless stretches of forest but by early afternoon, I had already crossed over the border, and so with my spirits lifted, started to enjoy the cycling a little more. As soon as I had crossed the border though, the trucks started to fly past me one by one. With no hard shoulder for long stretches to speak of, it was a little hairy at times and I decided to stick on my hi-vis just to be safe.