Avoiding a bad road

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Rapla to Purtsi

As we approach Latvia we’ve been worrying about the coast road between Parnu and Riga. Although part of a Eurovelo route, cyclists have described it as heavily trafficked, narrow, lacking a sealed shoulder and offering no respite or alternatives.

In Rapla, we considered our options and this morning caught a very schmick Estonian railcar to Viljandi. From their, two easy days will get us to Valga in Latvia and then a train to Riga. With time running out we can choose which bits we ride on bikes and which on trains.

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Rapla Church

The weather is cool and sunny and everything looks fresh after yesterday’s rain. We enjoyed a fine breakfast at the Jõe Guesthouse with the other cyclists and then caught the train to Viljandi.

Viljandi street art

We struggled to find the centre of Viljandi but as we did so we learnt that it is quite a big town. A bakery with a golden pretzel sign filled us with hope but was a disappointment. A cafe in a shopping centre had a better range of pastries but we’d already stocked up. We’re looking forward to being back in Germany with it’s countless bakeries.

We sheltered from a heavy rain storm at a bus shelter in Mustla.

Mustla

In front of the bus stop is a diminutive statue of the town’s famous son, Martin Klein. Martin represented the Russian Empire at the Stockholm Olympics in 1912. He won what should have been his penultimate bout in that contest after an 11 hour grapple with the reining work champion but was left too exhausted to wrestle for the gold medal the next day. He took silver and became the first Estonian Olympic medal winner albeit for Russia.

Martin Klein statue, Mustla

A glorious tail wind helped us spin our wheels in fine fashion through pleasant rolling farmlands to a guest house near a lake at miniscule Purtsi.

Purtsi, Estonia

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