Day 99 - Spengla to Vilnius: When Aussies roamed the earth - No More Taxi Drivers - CycleBlaze

April 24, 2015

Day 99 - Spengla to Vilnius: When Aussies roamed the earth

I would have thought I'd be quicker getting ready in the morning by now, but it isn't happening. In my defense, today I was delayed by the new and necessary task of picking slugs off my tent before I packed it. It's more time-consuming than it sounds because before slug-picking can commence, a suitable slug-picking stick must be selected. It should be sturdy but with a fine point suitable for detail work, and just textured enough for proper flinging: slugs should remain attached to the stick during the backswing but go flying on the forward motion.

Again today, I kept passing picnic tables and was tempted to stop at them all just because I could. I nearly did. The road into Vilnius was fine until I reached the major junction at the edge of the city, then it was narrow and busy. A bit later the roads were wide and very busy. It wasn't the best city to get into, but not the worst either.

And once I was safely in the centre, I thought Vilnius was fantastic. It has a really laid-back vibe, though part of that might have been due to Saturday's weather--with a south wind, it was the first warm day of the year in Lithuania. The trees were responding, too, and the air smelled great.

Two hours after I checked in to the hostel, I walked into the dorm and saw a bunch of panniers that had just been dropped on and around a bed. A cyclist! With as much gear as I have! He must be on a long trip--I was thrilled, I looked forward to talking to him. Sadly, we were never in the room and awake at the same time so I never got to meet him. I also spotted another cyclist in town who later checked in at the hostel. I was pretty sure it was the same guy I waved to outside Malbork, but I didn't get to meet him, either.

I did get to meet some long term backpackers, finally. The only problem is they were Aussies.

As much as I like their friendliness, and as much as I enjoy mimicking their accent (actually, I've been mimicking a lot of people I know, not just Aussies), Aussies have a well-deserved reputation for being annoying drunks. I thought these ones were going to be okay, but then 4am rolled around and four drunk Aussies returned to the hostel. Andy* was the loudest and also the one who walked around shining his light in people's faces and declaring loudly that there were people sleeping in the room. So Andy and Daniel sat just outside the door and discussed whether or not Daniel should go to a hospital as he was unable to walk due to a busted ankle. There was talk of someone else needing stitches. Finally, someone got up and told them to shut up, more politely than I would have. Andy passed out as soon as he went to bed (and remained passed out despite his girlfriend throwing a waterbottle at him when his alarm went off early), but Daniel started apologizing for the night: "I'm sorry, this was all my fault, I'm an alcoholic." I found out the next day that he had started a fight with some guys because he thought they pushed him, but in reality it was he who pushed them.

*Names have not been changed because they were proud of themselves

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Today's ride: 58 km (36 miles)
Total: 5,100 km (3,167 miles)

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