Day 108 - Plokstine (LT) to Zante (LV): My longest ride yet - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

May 3, 2015

Day 108 - Plokstine (LT) to Zante (LV): My longest ride yet

The weather calmed down by morning, so I unzipped my tent hoping for a tranquil early morning view of the lake. It was foggy.

Not much to say about the ride, the landscape is still predominantly agricultural. It was an uneventful, though very bumpy, ride to Saldus. I realized that Lithuanian and Latvian drivers are just as bad as the Polish, but there is less traffic here, so it seems better.

When I crossed the border into Latvia, I saw a village that had been put out of business by Schengen, with empty buildings greeting me and nary a tourist information sign to be seen. I kept going.

I wanted to stop at Saldus, seeing as how the gentle breeze made it feel as though I had been climbing for 40 km, but I had no luck finding accommodation. On my way out of town, I took a longing look at the A9--smooth and direct, just how I like my roads when I have a goal, but the shoulder was too narrow to ride all the way to Riga.

So I resigned myself to the bumpy road--Latvia makes my butt hurt--and had just about resigned myself to camping in the woods when I saw an info board at Zante that indicated there was accommodation in the village. Eagerly, I rode through the village, then back out again. Nothing. Finally, I asked a couple on the street, who didn't speak English. The husband called someone, speaking in Russian, and the wife called out to a woman who had just got out of a car across the street. There were cats loitering around us. The woman spoke English, and explained there were rooms for rent at the community centre, and they would bring me there now.

It turned out to be 30 m away from where we were standing. I had to wait for the room to be cleaned, and then found out that they weren't going to charge me. They wanted to help me. I wanted to contribute something to the village, but instead was shown hospitality where I did not expect it.

Drifting off to sleep, I was jolted awake by three noisy men who arrived late. They drank three quick beers each, watching TV and talking, then went to sleep. I don't know who they were, but they were definitely familiar with the place, and I know they drank three beers each because I could hear them crushing their cans when they finished a round.

Just across the border
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Today's ride: 126 km (78 miles)
Total: 5,709 km (3,545 miles)

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