Camping in PajiesmeniaiJune 29 in Lithuania ⋅ ☁️ 17 °C
We feel right at home here in this little campsite! Daiva and Kees have created a welcoming space for campers in what is effectively their garden. Set within the village of Pajiesmeniai, their lawn pitches are surrounded by pink shrub roses and other bushes, allowing us (and their neighbours) some privacy.
As Martha trundled down the narrow drive (helpfully adorned with a painted tent, motorhome and corresponding arrows) we were greeted warmly and told we could have our pick of places as everyone had just left. Each pitch had an upright log with a number made out of colourful plastic bottle tops.
Daiva and Kees gave us the guided tour of facilities which included a gazebo with a book and information leaflet exchange, a couple of shower and toilet rooms, dish washing sinks, a washing machine and clothes lines (yey!), waste water and toilet emptying, fresh water, bins and full recycling facilities, including composting! It may seem odd, but a compost bin is one of the things we really miss from our old lives! Another thing we miss is growing our own food, so it was lovely to see the fruits, vegetables and salads being grown at the campsite. We were even given a small bowl of freshly picked cherries and encouraged to pick our own!
Daiva told us she never threw anything away and indeed, there were artfully placed curios indoors and out. Pottery jugs covered the ends of branches, keys were screwed to the outside of a door and spoons hung from wooden beams. We really loved the feel of the place.
Inside the old wooden barn, the downstairs area had been transformed into a small museum of the communist era, with old radios and toys lining the shelves. Daiva apologised for the fact that it was roped off; she was in the process of creating a mosaic floor from oddments of tile they had been collecting! The space also hosted a wet weather area for those in tents to relax. A cupboard displayed knitted garments and a table held 1kg tubs of honey for sale, both made by friends of the owners.
We were told about of the nearby shop and advised to look carefully for it, as like many Lithuanian businesses, it did not advertise itself. Will picked up some bread for lunch then took his fishing gear to the lake a few hundred metres away while Vicky made use of the washing machine and caught up with some blogging.
The following day was 30°C +, so we took a slow, morning walk around the lake, well it was supposed to be a round route but after we'd passed the beach, the play park and crossed the small dam, we were faced with a 'private' sign a small distance away from someone's house. Our map showed a footpath beside the lake but after a while it petered out and we were forced to retrace our steps. During the afternoon we really appreciated being able to wind the awning out, sit in the shade and take frequent cool dips under the shower (Vicky) or lake (Will). We even ate tea al fresco watching the swifts flying expertly against the backdrop of a rich blue sky.
Having been referred to the camping website, Vicky spent time scrolling through its pages, picking up some useful information about points of interest and learning that Daiva and Kees also own an organic farm. This got us thinking. We'd looked into volunteering for WWOOF Lithuania (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms), but decided against it because of Vicky's poor health. We returned to the WWOOF online info about the 5 participating farms and sure enough, Daiva and Kees' biography was there!
We brought this up when checking out the following morning. The couple had hosted 44 WWOOFers in their time, but had taken a few years off, as the role of host can be very demanding. We paid for our stay (€15pn), our use of the washing machine (€3 a go) and a 1kg tub of Spring honey (€8). Servicing the van and signing the visitor book, we left with the strong urge to return the next time we visit the Baltics!Read more