Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Baltic Trip [3]: Hitchhiking from Tallin, Estonia trough Riga, Latvia to Lodz

The very last episode of the Baltic Trip we've done with Patryk last summer. You can find previous parts there: Part one (Tartu, ESN Estonia National Platform and Tallin) and part two (Helsinki) 
The last part of our baltic trip was definetely the most difficult one - coming back home. Our inner adventurers decided to save some money and go home hitchhiking instead of good, old bus. The only problem was that three days after Patryk had to be back at work, but who cares if sun shines, weather is beautiful, it's the middle of the summer and you believe you can do everything?

We left house of Matis early in the morning, went few stops by bus and waited no longer than thirty minutes to catch a ride for around an hour and another one straight to our next destination: Parnu. Fun fact: the city belonged to Poland for a while. It was just on our way to Riga and since Parnu is an Estonian summer capital, we've decided to stop there for two hours and enjoy sun and the Baltic sea. 
hitchhiking, Parnu, Estonia

We could really feel like back in soviet times and we found some similarities between Parnu and seaside villages and cities in Poland. It was getting really hot, and we had our backpacks filled, so quite heavy and just the moment I announced that five more minutes and Patryk would be able to burry me the place I was standing, someone stopped and dropped us few kilometers, further to the main road going to Riga. It would be all cool, if the driver wasn't absolutely not speaking English russian guy, that could be a perfect mafia member. Luckily, we left his black minivan just in time to meet really nice, 18y/o estonian, then super silent guy that took us to Latvia and at the very end, young woman with a baby. Of course, we promised ourselves not to sleep at the same time (just in case), but we were pretty tired after previous day in Helsinki and the heat, so in each car, beside the strange russian (we were too scared) and the estonian boy (he was too handsome), we were sleeping like babies!
hitchhiking, Riga, Latvia

We arrived to Riga during lovely, sunny afternoon and we've decided to discover the city just after leaving our luggage at the train station and eating something. The city is nice indeed. I have found some similarities to Polish cities and wasn't really amazed, until we've reached the old town, that is absolutely beautiful. I really started to regret that we couldn't stay there any longer. 
Our couchsurfing host was not in town, so his younger brother was taking care of us. We were already like zombies, but we felt obliged to see some of Riga's night life and it looked really promising! I still think it maybe worth to hit Riga for a weekend party.
Our host took us to the pub, where Patryk had a chance to perform a karaoke. They made a great duo! :D

Riga, latvia

We woke up quite early in the morning, but since I convinced Patryk to stay in Kaunas for next night, there was absolutely no rush. We took very lazy breakfast outside and left the city by local bus to Kekava. I don't really know why, but Kekava wasn't the most lucky place of our travel. We got there after noon, heat was trying to kill us and no car would stop. We were tired and pretty desperate at that point, so we've entertained ourselves dancing Rumadai choreography (damn you Jozsef for the billionth time ;). Luckily, finally some housewife stopped and took us few kilometers further. Bad luck ended. 
Our next driver was Lithuanian guy in his early 30s that used to have a grandmother living just near to Polish boarder, so he spent every summer there. He was happy like a puppy to be able to practice his Polish speaking skills with us. He was driving fast, had good music taste and was going far, far in deep Lithuania so we knew we would spend few hours together. Kaunas was totally not on his way, but he decided to organize some sightseeing for us, so we stopped in Kernave to admire the medieval capital of Lithuania. It was still afternoon, so we've made another 'fuck it' decision and decided to get to Polish boarder and sleep somewhere there. 

Our driver dropped us at gas station, where we immediately spotted Polish truck driver, who took us straight to Poland. Unfortunately weather got terrible, it became cold and it was raining, so our plan of spending a night under the sky in sleeping bags was useless. 
It was getting dark, but nice, young truck driver took us to Augustow, then young couple to Bialystok ('we've already passed, but you looked so pathetic we had to come back to take you'). We've reached Bialystok around 11pm. 

hitchhiking, Riga, Poland, Lodz

That was another difficult moment. We were truly exhausted, had no idea which road goes to the right direction and they were all almost empty. After some time of wandering, we finally found our spot. Patryk decided to take a nap, but even before he managed to create another paper with our desired deriction another truck driver stopped and drove us to the highway going directly to Lodz. 5 minutes there and we were going to our hometown.

We reached our homes at 3am - 15 hours after we started our journey in Riga. Still pretty fast. I slept for another 15 hours after that. 
During these few days we've collected countless good memories, had many adventures, met awesome people (ESN Estonia!) and visited 4 countries! 
If Patryk wasn't in US right now, I would totally recommend him (again) as a perfect co-traveler!

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