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  • Day1076

    Lūksto Ez, Varnių Regional Park

    June 7, 2019 in Lithuania ⋅ ⛅ 26 °C

    Lithuania has so many lakes! We are parked up for the night in a secluded waterside car park, listening to the boom of Bitterns in the reeds and peels of thunder from a steely grey sky that teases us with just a few drops of rain.

    Here is a short video from our stay:

    We arrived at Lūkstas Lake via a long, narrow dirt track that wound between green fields and by wooden homesteads with log piles and dogs that barked at the end of their chains. The track finished at a small area surrounded by trees, with a couple of picnic benches and a low fence intended to stop cars driving up to the water. Lithuania has brought in a law prohibiting vehicles from coming within 25m of lakes to reduce pollution, but many are defying it. A thick band of tall, green reeds lined the shore, but a channel had been cleared, aiding access for swimmers and boats.

    Sadly, litter from a picnic was strewn around one of the benches. There wasn't a bin but someone had hung a black plastic bag from a tree, so Vicky did a litter pick and the place looked much better. Will took a dip but the lake bed was squidgy and the water didn't look too clean, so he switched to fishing from the canoe. Out on the lake he watched as grey storm clouds covered the blue sky and listened as thunder rumbled closer. He called Vicky and she was ready with her life jacket when he came back to land. The storm wasn't travelling towards us so we paddled out to watch the clouds burst. We could have done with a bit more than the few spots of rain that fell on the van, but it was dramatic to watch all the same. As it passed, Vicky spotted something white in a tree on the opposite bank 1km away. She thought it might be a bird so we journeyed over to investigate. It turned out to be a Great White Egret that flew off as we got near, spooking two Cranes in the process. One flapped to the top of a tree and sounded an alarm call before disappearing. The shore looked untouched by humans, but there was a large mound of branches and small trunks piled into a pyramid. In front of it was a clearing in the reeds into which we entered to investigate.

    It was a beaver lodge! There was even an underwater entrance tunnel visible in the shallows! We didn't see any of the elusive creatures at this point but when Vicky had returned to the van and Will was once again fishing from the canoe, we both heard something that sounded like gnawing and incredibly, Will caught a glimpse of brown fur as a beaver swam along the surface before diving. We feel so lucky to have come accross this place.

    We've mentioned several wild animals that we were sharing the location with, most were welcome co inhabitants; the mosquitos however were not. Will got bitten out on the water and we were unable to prevent them getting into the van and leaving angry welts on our legs as we slept.

    The next day was Saturday and the little car park quickly filled up with couples bringing their boats for a day on the lake. Yesterday's storm had never really reached us and the morning air was hot, so we were grateful for the air conditioning as we drove away.
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