Its Baltic!June 13, 2017 in Lithuania ⋅
I first heard the weather being described as "Baltic" by a scottish person when we were huddled as a group round a pot of tea in a mountain hut. I thought, wowza, it must be a whole new level of miserable if a Scotsman describes weather as bad!
Today we found out first-hand what Baltic summer conditons can be like when yesterday's rainy blast continued into today but with the added gift of 60km/h winds.
Winds on a boat = great.
Winds on a touring bike which handles like a boat = not great.
As Peter mentioned, the roads in Lithuania are easy to navigate because there aren't many of them. The minor roads (sandy tracks) weren't an option today as the dust was being blown into clouds that you could see from a distance. The major roads are very open, offering a great view of the landscape and traffic, but complete exposure to all weather conditions.
We only managed to move forwards as a snail's pace today and haven't quite made it to the coast. The rain came as forecast mid-afternoon causing a wardrobe change to winter again : bandanas, gloves, layers and waterproofs.
When the roads were feeling risky (leaning into the road to stay balanced, getting sheltered and then drafted by a lorry was causing numerous stops/ wobbles into the gutter ) we had to make a plan B so looked for a B & B. There was no way we were going to meet our target campsite in those winds, and our ultralight tent stood no chance of survival.
The first town had 2 options on the map.
In reality, 1 had burned down, 1 was for sale. = another perilous 8km of sideways cycling until the next town.
Next mission is buying more meths for the stove again.. the same problem we faced a few weeks ago in Slovakia. (We can't really stockpile it because of the bulk and weight). In our current town we reached a DIY store with EVERYTHING (10s of types of gloves, every conceivable door handle)....but no meths. We were told that some other clear spirit was the same and would work, we bought some and now have a very sooty pan and a stinking burner that doesn't burn that fuel. Oops!
If anyone has an insights on buying Brennspiritus /meths in the Baltics, get in touch!Read more