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Latvia tour provided by: Werner Ullmann, Translation by Fam. Reynolds


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Tour

Western Latvia in northern direction:
The entrance to Latvia is free and takes 10 minutes. At the first Latvian crossing I decide to turn left and drive off. Great weather, great gravel, not much gas in the tank. At first, from Ezere via Pampali to Skrunda, I try to ignore the red light of the fuel indication. On the interstate A9, heading to Liepaja I pass two gas stations as they don't give me the appearance to be able to accept credit cards. Finally, in Durbe, I have to switch to the AT emergency reserve tank. I drop in behind a truck to protect me from the headwind to save fuel and drive to Grobina. After purchasing the most important things, gas and road map, studying the card I realize that the net of gas stations in Latvia is very thin. There are generally enough service stations, but not everywhere. Moreover many of the service stations operators insist on prepayment, what means it is impossible to fill the tank to overflowing.
Liepaja is a harbor city with a nice little town center, nice little lanes, a very interesting two-armed bascule bridge with wooden pavement. After two hours I am able to find the northern exit of the city. Completely lost, I manage to get about 30 km out of town and then fall in a meadow, somewhere.
Day 6: At the next day I notice that I'm in Vergale and take a morning breakfast ride. Direction NNE, via Cirava, Apriki, Edole up to the Usmas ezere (lake). 85 km of pure pleasure on gravel. Continuing north from Ugale via Puze I finally reach the coast at Irbene. On an oversized gravel track with visibility of 2,8 km I fly with 140 km/h through the Sliteres National Park towards Kolka. From here I'm heading South East, 135 endless boring km, on a new alsphalted coastal road to Juermala, 25 km before Riga. Campground with beer tent. INCREDIBLE.
Day 7: The following morning I spend sightseeing Riga, I am impressed. In the afternoon I am head NE on the A2, A3 to Straupe. After these ghastly 65 km of asphalt road I turn north and grant myself some relaxation via Umurga, Vilzeni up to Mazsalaca. A magnificent shady garden, a lot of fresh draft beer, a charming little room, two Jawas and one Dnjepr make this town unforgettable.
Day 8: I ask the residents if the border crossing to Estonia at Moisakuela is open to tourists and since I don't receive a definite 'NO' I decide to take my chances and continue north.The track to the border station keeps getting narrower and narrower. The border station itself is in a wonderful sunsplashed forest glade. The sunflowers next to the entrance provide a delightful contrast to the freshly painted green wooden barrack. I'm convinced that being a border officer here must be one of the most relaxing jobs in the world. Therefore I am not really surprised that I have to go back. I am told that this border crossing is not equipped to handle international traffic. I think this is simply because the stamp pad has dried up from lack of use. 50 km further east, in Valka, I have a huge, newly constructed border station entirely to myself. Five minutes waiting, three minutes formalities.

Fortsetzung: Estonia


Eastern Latvia in southern direction:
Immediately after the border I leave the E77 (A2) to the left, south to Aluksne. A nice little town with a nice little hotel. The price is appropriate.
Day 11: The next day I start very relaxed. From the edge of the village I drive on gravel. After about 15 km I reach Ate. Without any reason I change my mind and decide to visit the village. To my astonishment it turns out to be a carefully restored open air museum. The countryside continues to be hillier and more varied than the western part of Lithuania with the appearance of a bigger number of little lakes. Further via Gulbene, Lubana, south around the Lubans lake, Rezekne up to Luznava. It is lunch time, it is hot, I'am thirsty. The local fringe group hangs out at the local grocery store. I buy a round of beer. I subsequently discover that this is a mistake, because in this country no good deed goes unpunished. After 1½ hours I manage to escape. Rather full of beer out of two liter plastic bottles I am not very much concentrating on my drive via Malta to Dagda. I reach this place, around 16:00 with the AfricaTwin switched to the reserve tank. I am informed that the service station is temporarily ('at most an hour') out of order. Around 19:00 I manage to organize 5 liters of gas from a private reserve canister and continue on to Kraslava.
Day 12: I am beginning to worry about the condition of my rear tire. Daugavpils, the next larger city is only 45 km away. In Daugavpils, soon I encounter a local motorcyclist with fringe, driving a poor HD copy made by Honda. I learn that tires and other spare parts are not readily available in this region (not yet). After a second beer, I begin slowly to recover from this emotional blow. I decide to set my hopes on Vilnius and roll the last 25 km of Latvia to the border with Lithuania.

Fortsetzung: Eastern Lithuania heading south


Camping


Sights in the area


WWW Links
Pictures

Pictures of Latvia

Picture-Count: 14
build: 10. November 2002


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Ate
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Riga
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Riga
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Ate
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Mazsalaca
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Riga
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