Departing Riga was much more difficult than arriving. It took me a full hour of riding in circles trying to get out of town. Directions from locals were very confusing. Eventually I asked some biking enthusiasts who gave concise directions. Whew! That was a relief. I spent that night at Litagne NP. It was so peaceful surrounded by a 50m wide clean flowing river and lots of Baltic forests. I had the whole place to myself. It was so warm I was down to under-clobbers until the sun set.
The NP was just a few Kms from the Estonian border. My routine when camping had been an 11am start. By the time I wait for the sun to get high enough to be warm I stay indoors and read (or sleep). !0-11 hours sleep cannot be too bad!
Estonia was decidedly more modern, agricultural and the roads just got better. The highways were excellent and (mostly) well maintained. I decided that another night in a NP would be good and Haanja NP is the highest point in the whole of the Baltics. At 312m it is nothing to boast about but it does sport some good skiing in the winter and remnants were still present when I arrived. Luck seemed to be an important part of this trip. When asking a guy where to camp, he offered me his summerhouse for the night. Thay were leaving to go home to Voru and they kindly offered the house as a jesture of goodwill. Being almost entirely made of glass it was warm, dry and had a row of bus seats to sleep on. What luxury.
Tartu is a well known Uni city and I wasn,t sure whether to head further north or not. Estonia is a small country and it was literally 300kms to the north coast. So off I went to yet another NP. Unfortunately Lahemaa NP was difficult to find with my large scale maps and after riding up and down forestry tracks for an hour I found Vosu by sheer good luck. And it had a camping ground with a site manager who spoke good english. This always helps when you are in a foreign country. Esti Karavan was located right on the beach and I was their first guest for the season. What a privilege! Tanel offered me a sauna with the service and I was never going to refuse that. I spent 1 hr soaking up the heat and had one of the best nights sleep on the whole trip to date.