Vilnius calling

Our last day in Sigulda we spent walikng aroung the town, across the huge river valley and cable car back. Ian spent 3 hours being Tarzan in an adventure park full of blokes in climbing harnesses swinging on ropes, wooden bridges going through tunnels etc. The last bit he was ‘Super Tarzan’ and took a series of zip wires down the side of the valley. We had a lovely meal out – and then I was up all night being ill. Ian did some emergency early morning plumbing to unblock the sink.

As we had been in the same town for 3 nights we decided to move on with a contingency plan if I did not feel any better. This plan failed. We discovered not all secondary roads are tarmaced – and took avoiding action to miss the nasty loose large gravel surfaces. By 3pm I could do with stopping but we were in the midle of nowhere. Our accomodation guide did not help much as the places were either full, closed or impossible to find. We eventually stopped at a hotel at 9.45pm having cycled 74 miles – me powered only on water and lemonade. It was not a good day. The next day I found one of our maps showed which roads had no tarmac – grrrr.

As a result we headed for more major roads and stayed in more hotels or guest houses. Then a couple of days later Ian got a stomach bug too. After some long days to reach accomodation we stayed 2 nights in Daugavpils in an effort to recover – its not an exciting town. But it is Russian speaking so I got a chance to try out my phrase book – ‘Do you have anything for diarrhea ?’ South Latvia is fairly dull with not much to take your mind off feeling rough. We have had to zig zag across the Baltics in an effort to find campsites/nice routes. We did not camp at all in Latvia due to the heat and sickness. Its taken about 2 days to get back to full strength again and we are on bottled water until we hit Poland.

We sailed past the border guards into Lithuania with a smile and wave and spent a few leisurely days in the Eastern national parks. Ian has been swimming a lot in rivers and lakes.

Lithuania has small dull towns with tiny hard to find shops. They are generally detached with bars on the windows and closed doors. Once inside there is little choice of food but about 4 fridges full of beer. They do have interesting roadside ornate wooden crosses.

The temperature is still in the mid thirties though we did have a few cooler days and it even rained once – I was SO happy. The heat is even too much for Ian. The tarmac melts on some poor quality roads and you stick to it, the water in the water bottles is warm after an hour or so, I have had heat rashes, speed limits have been reduced on major roads to avoid accidents. Our record consumption is 8 litres of liquid on one day on the road. The only good part is the washing drys in no time at all.

We have just arrived in Vilnius and its into the city tomorrow.