Jump to content


Amazing what can be done in 48 hours!


  • Please log in to reply
17 replies to this topic

#1 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:30 AM

So its been about 18months now since I changed flats, changed bikes, changedjobs, changed culture, changed career and changed language by moving to the Estonian capital.  Needless to say it's been a rollercoaster of a ride with as many downs and ups.  

One almost up was that I now had academic holidays having ditched my office carer to become a language teacher.  Another almost up realised last year that Estonia has in abundance what England did not: wild untouched open spaces where people are not packed in like sardines.  

Why "almost ups"?  Well, teaching is not a well paid, albeit rewarding, profession and in my school, if you don't teach you don't earn so 3 months off still means 3 months living off my savings.  As for discovery Estonia: I worked out what Estonia had to offer me last year, but regretably did bugger all about it.  Not so this year: I decided I would not while away my Summer hols in front of the Xbox, or under a Ural with a spanner.  I was going to travel and visit.  So the first weekend of my Holidays I pulled out my camping gear, and on Sunday midday I was off, eager to make the most before needing to be back on Tuesday for the arrival of friends for dinner!

Being a small country its pretty easy to get from one side to the other and this is a good thing when you have a bike that will only let you cruise at 45-50mph comfortably (mine simply wont reach 60 on anything other than a flat, 3-mile, straight or a cliff: perhaps due to the new filters... nice bottom end torque, but a bit wheezy in top).

So I packed out the Ural, stuck the dog in the chair, complete with new de riguer Doggles and started bouncing our way South-west.  After 60 miles and an hour and a half later I was topping up in a petrol station just outside the resort town of Haapsalu.  20 mins later I was in the ferry terminal queuing to board a boat in order to make my first trip to one of the Estonian Islands.  A short time after that I was on the deck with calm waters: all the better for Pretzel as her first experience of a ship was sullied by another first....proximity to a truck load of pissed of cows!!!

Still she decided to seek shleter in the folds of her sheepskin and dozed in the tub for the rest of the 45 min crossing until we docked: Vormsi Island!

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#2 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:49 AM

I already had an idea of where I wanted to camp.  I had looked for the most remote spot, that would allow me views of the sunset over the water.  
Sunsets come about about 10.30 pm at the moement and on midsummers day in 3 weeks time, it'll be around midnight!!!  

So off we went. The island is very small: 7 miles by about 4 and is dominated by pine forest.  The population is small and, having larger, more commercial neighbouring Islands like Hiiumaa, Muhu and Saaremaa, Vormsi is a vey quiet place.  This much to its advantage IMO...  

So I followed the oroads as best I could remember and resorted to the GS when tracks became confusing.  I followed one track for 30 minutes, its condition going from track, to dirt, to rutted and overgrown to muddy, but the Ural just chugged along, only once using 2WD to make short work of a muddy section on my road tyres.  I did not fancy winch work on such a warm day, surrounded by maurauding mosquitoes.  When I reached the spot I had had in mind, I realised it was not for me: boggy soil, an no easy walk/ride to the beach.  So I headed back the walk I had come; the dog looking none too pleased at having to be jarred all the way back again.  

It was when I got back to the gravel section that I realised: The bouncy road and my carelessness had cost us our first casualty: my GPS was lost along the way.  I cursed for a few minutes and then did the only logical thing: retraced my steps for the mile back to where I had turned to head back.  No luck.  With the track in such condition the GPS could have fallen in to a rut, puddle, or bounced into the verge or one of the large nettle bushes.  Go slow as I may, finding it was a long short and eventually I gave up, not wanting this to dominate my trip...  

So I head back to the last village and there I headed west, to the shore.  Once there I folowed a track some more until I found the spot I had been hoping would exist.  I turned off the track, rode the shingle down to the bveached and reverse the Ural into a gap in teh pine saplings, 10metres from the water's edge... In any small clearing opposite the bike I pitched the tent and then settled down to enjoy the views around me.  Meanwhile some ducks, unhappy at my intrusion, made their feelings on the subject abundantly clear...

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#3 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 03:55 AM

As i prepared a late lunch come dinner ( iwas very hungry) I realised some little bastard had already helped him self and the fresh mosquitoe bite on my forearm was already quite swollen.  Luckily, it did not itch...  After eating and feeding the dog, we went for a walk upnthe track to where it ended before heading back to the tent to sit down and watch the sunset over calm waters, before bedding down with the ural keeping a watchful eye...

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#4 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:04 AM

Typically, I never sleep well during my first night in a tent, and this was no exception, but still better than I expected.  However, sleeping in was out of the question as the sun rises at about 4 am shortly followed by the birds and shortly followed by a dog that managed to stuff most of her nose in my right ear.  Who can say no to that sort of greet so by 5.30 I was up, and a little later I was sitting on the shingle bank looking at the mornig ripples on the water.

The Baltic is not tidal, so this makes for someties lake-like glassy surfaces on the water, and very quiet settings, lacking the regular crash of breakers.  The terraced shingle layers are testimony to the Baltics temper, when roused but,thankfully, on this occasion the see was as content and relaxed as I was.

It took me no time to realise that, despite my initial plans, I had no itention of packing up and riding around the island.  I just wanted to sit there with my talkative feathered naighbours.  We followed one of the tracks for a morning walk after the essential morning coffee, and I soon found eivdence that others had come and decided to stay but, in their case, the result was a bit more terminal!!

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#5 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:18 AM

4 hours after gettng up I called my girlfriend to wish her a nice morning and to describe what she was not able to share with me on this occassion.  I went for another short walk back up the track to its end, as I had ridden with the Ural the evening before.  As I had already seen there were some abandoned buildings: likely old Soviet army outposts keeping a close eye on sea traffic near its borders.  As is often the case here in Estonia, a lot of places that are now natural reserves and natural treasures for people and animals to enjoy were once cordoned off to the public.  

On the one hand, that is perhaps why they are in such good conditin now, but at the same time I am often saddened by how much time, money and effort is spent on delineating between "us and them" be it here or elsewhere.  However, for now I enjoyed the fact that the only human on this stretch was me and I was armed with a camera and not a rifle and I had the place to myself.  

Walking along the path I went through section where the road was a deep layer of fist sized stones and I was reminded of our trip to South America on my old R1150GS, and having to ride that bike down the Carretera Autral in Chile over such stones for miles, my "near-half a metric ton" bike being a lot hard to ride in that  then the Ural is now!

Once back at camp, spent the next few hours, reading, looking for fossils (of which there were plenty), moving my blanket to the shade, followed by the dog's and watching Turns doing some real fly-fishing!  As the day got warmer I decided to take advantage of my isolation: ditched my garments and enjoyed the warm, shallow waters of the Baltic: I do think the local wildlife was not very taken with the view as the did rapid about-turn to swim the other way, covering their eyes as they did so!! (sorry for the mental image, folks :beerchug: !!)

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#6 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:20 AM

Ptretzel seemed quite content to chill out in the shade, but every couple of hours we'd walk to stretch our legs.  Haing a black coat, though, she felt the heat after all that running and sniffing and decided to cool off the way only dogs know how!!

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#7 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:27 AM

When we weren't out and about, Pretzel snoozed or tried to take care o the pesky mozzies the only way she could : a vigourous scratch.  After every walk I check myself for any unwanted guests...

Mosquitoes I hate, but the repellants work for the most part.  My greater fear, especially in the baltics are Ticks.  They are rife here and very high proportions carry Lyme's disease or, worse still, Tick-born Encephalitis,  which can kill!!  So I would try and keep my legs covered when walking in long grass and then check myself for any hitch-hikers before the found a spot to snack from!!

I took a phot through the haze of a lighthouse installation on a small island.. Although it lookabout 2 miles away, it was deceptively far at about 5 miles distance!  And whilst we chilled between walks I could see whole flocks out for a blast: maybe the goose equivalent of a Vormsi MC?

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#8 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:33 AM

Mid afternoon, when shade was lacking, I re-pitched the tent in a different spot, and we both climed in and I read and snoozed whilst the dog stretched out and had very twitchy dog dreams!!  Later the day started to wind down.  Pretzel kept the front door mat warm, trying to let me know she wanted to be indoors.  She soon perked up when dinner time came and I enjoyed a half bottle or red with my dinner as I first watched the ducks heading home after a busy day at the office, then peered at the distant light house to the North of us as it, doubtless, readied itself for duty and finally savoured another beautiful sunset...

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#9 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 04:47 AM

Conscious of the risk that I might sleep well I actually had to set my alarm.  A good thing to as I did sleep like a log that second night.  But I manged to surface with the help of a dog's nose again.  At 06.15, I was unpacking my stuff away.  By seven I ws ready to go, all laden, having walked the dog briefly.  A 25 minute ride over gravel roads, shifting my weight in the bends and enjoying the nicely predicatable slides from the rear as we blasted through the twisty bits, we arrived t the ferry dock.  I fed us both as we waited to board and whiled the rest of the time away by taking and deleting dozens of photos of the little Smoke Swallows, Estonia's National bird, as they fed and feathered their nests.  At 8 the boat set sail and I spent the crossing conversing (as best my Estonian would allow) with a local man about his 1970 Ural and two Dneprs: he liked my 2WD and my electric starter!!  At 9.15 I stopped for my first and then my second cup of coffee of the morning, in a nice local bakery coffee shop, surrounded by breakfasting locals.  I then Doggled the dog and hit the road, after a quick fuel stop on the outskirts.  I made a beeline for home and a bath, doing a steady 50 the whole way.  

This much I did learn over the trip for future journeys:  In its current set-up (althgouh a plug chop may be in order, the bike managed 45mpg at 45 mph, but dropped to 38 when riding at 50!!  This suits me fine (as long as its not running a little lean) as I find 45 the more comfortable of the two and it give me a great idea of my range if we just cruise along on the open road.

I got home, unpacked, bathed dozed and was up in time to greet our guests that evening.  Definitely more trips this summer, be it on the Ural or my little Honda, once I have new tyres fitted to it.  Bring it on!!

THE END

Attached Files


Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#10 Iron Mike

Iron Mike

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 796 posts
  • Joined:03-September 07
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Taos New Mexico
  • Interests:Motorcycles of all kinds! Music, Travel.

Posted 03 June 2009 - 06:34 AM

Great ride report, Great pictures ! In property appraisal there is a concept called highest and best use. This could apply to Ural's as well. You're sure getting the most out of yours.

Adventure calls........carry on!   :beerchug:
Temporarily Dneprless

#11 Alecu

Alecu

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 637 posts
  • Joined:26-April 05
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Bucharest, Romania

Posted 03 June 2009 - 07:30 AM

yep, great pics, and you've got a very nice sidecar-dog.
1963  IMZ M61 rig
1992  KMZ Dnepr MT16
1992  KMZ Dnepr Md 157 Solo
1939 Victoria KR35SN/WH
1941 BMW R12
R1100RS

#12 Tom Shellberg

Tom Shellberg

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Joined:05-December 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chandler,Arizona
  • Interests:Bikes

Posted 03 June 2009 - 08:45 AM

Great report and pictures. Its good to see Pretzel on the road again.
I must confess, I am a map freak, and really love google earth. While reading this, I MUST be able to follow along geographically, so I started up google earth and followed along. You gave many clues as to where you where camping, so I did a few minutes digging and comparing photos of a few lighthouses and the linked google earth file below has my best guess as to your location. How close am I? You need google earth to open the file, and if you do not already have it on your pc you do not know what you are missing....Well, Am I Close?

GOOGLE DATA FILE

I cant get the link to work.... cut and paste this
www.tomshellberg.com\est ride.kmz
07 KLR 650
96 650 Tourist
95 DR350
87 K100RT
86 Shadow 1100
85 GS550L

#13 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 09:57 AM

View PostTom Shellberg, on Jun 3 2009, 04:45 PM, said:

Well, Am I Close?


Pretty close, in fairness.

The ferry actually goes from a village West of Haapsalu, so follow the No. 9 road to the peninsula and you can just see the docks in Google Earth.  As for the camping site, if you take the distance between your lighthouse marker and your camp site estimate, our actual camping site was about two fifths of the way South of the lighthouse marker.  Say half a mile South of your Lighthouse marker...

Glad you all like the report!!  Almost as nice writing it as doing it....almost....
Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"

#14 Tom Shellberg

Tom Shellberg

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 105 posts
  • Joined:05-December 08
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Chandler,Arizona
  • Interests:Bikes

Posted 03 June 2009 - 10:38 AM

View PostWarthog, on Jun 3 2009, 07:57 AM, said:

View PostTom Shellberg, on Jun 3 2009, 04:45 PM, said:

Well, Am I Close?


Pretty close, in fairness.

The ferry actually goes from a village West of Haapsalu, so follow the No. 9 road to the peninsula and you can just see the docks in Google Earth.  As for the camping site, if you take the distance between your lighthouse marker and your camp site estimate, our actual camping site was about two fifths of the way South of the lighthouse marker.  Say half a mile South of your Lighthouse marker...

Glad you all like the report!!  Almost as nice writing it as doing it....almost....
Pretty close? I nailed the camp site within 1/2 mile and you say pretty close? :beerchug:  Damn, I thought I did pretty good, considering you made no mention of the island you were on, or even which side your camp was! Ha ha! I have traveled throughout Europe, but never that far east and I enjoy learning about the former soviet states......
07 KLR 650
96 650 Tourist
95 DR350
87 K100RT
86 Shadow 1100
85 GS550L

#15 Warthog

Warthog

    Russian Bike Nut

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 706 posts
  • Joined:30-April 08
  • Location:Tallinn, Estonia

Posted 03 June 2009 - 11:57 AM

View PostTom Shellberg, on Jun 3 2009, 06:38 PM, said:

Pretty close? I nailed the camp site within 1/2 mile and you say pretty close?


That would be the semantic use of toning down phrases that us Brits use!!  SO British translated into American would go something like "Bullseye!"

As for the not naming the island: check out last line, part 1!!  :beerchug:
Boldly going where common sense fears to tread..... and then limping back again.

Sportman 2007: "The Improbability Magnet"




0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users