Day 112 - Parnu to Roosna-Alliku: The unusual subtleties of Estonian - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

May 7, 2015

Day 112 - Parnu to Roosna-Alliku: The unusual subtleties of Estonian

Yesterday I neglected to do laundry because I updated my journal instead. I regretted that immensely when it was time to get dressed this morning. The things I do for you...

I was a bit late leaving town, partly because it was raining, and partly because I figured I should stop procrastinating and post an ad for my bike somewhere, because I'm not taking it home with me.

But I couldn't persuade anyone to add me to relevant Facebook groups, and the Estonian classifieds sites are somewhat difficult for someone who doesn't speak Estonian. So I finally made an effort to figure it out. Online translations helped a bit, but left me stuck more than a few times. One of the things I couldn't figure out was which bicycle subcategory to use. So I typed the words into a search engine to see what images came up.

The first one, naiste, showed me a bunch of provocative photos of nearly-naked women. Um, I don't think that one is my bike.

The second, meeste, came up with photos of insane amounts of facial piercings, plus some clothes, and a couple nearly-naked men. Um, I don't think that one is my bike, either.

The third, laste, was mostly birds--swallows or something--and a nearly-naked woman in a sauna. I decided it was time to revise my strategy.

I added what appeared to be the word for bicycle, jalgrattad, to the search and started seeing photos of different types of bikes, which predictably turned out to be women's, men's, and--less predictably--children's. Success!

I got the ad posted, and set out in the rain. In contrast to my usual practice, I was carrying almost no food, figuring I would see a supermarket soon enough. However, I only saw trees and fields and signs for tiny villages. It was a bit surprising to find so little on that road. Every major intersection was with a road to Tallinn, as if everywhere else is irrelevant.

I tried to assess how long I could last on the food I had and figured I could just make it the 80 km to the next city if the wind stayed behind me and it didn't get hilly. Nevertheless, I was relieved to find a supermarket after 50 km and bought enough food for two or three days.

The rain had stopped by that time, and the sun even came out in the evening. I found some great roadside bike paths later in the say, and it was kind of fun dodging the hundreds of snails and worms on the path.

As usual, there was no accommodation, so I biked and biked and finally picked a patch of forest. The national land is helpfully identified by "Riigimets" signs, so all I had to do was find one that hadn't been cut down and wasn't a bog. Harder than you'd think.

I was dismayed to find Estonia has a lot of really crappy (ie. nonexistent) bus shelters
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Today's ride: 118 km (73 miles)
Total: 6,126 km (3,804 miles)

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