Jason (+ Bike in Europe / - Bike in West Africa) travel blog

Haapsalu Train Station ... Now a Bus Station & Museum

Haapsalu Train Station - Under the Roof

On the Island - Scene along the way

On the Island - Lunch at the Ruins

On the Island - Does this road sign mean I'm on the...

On the Island - Waterfowl

Jason going from one island to the next

Off the Island - Sunset

Start: Haapsalu

End: Triigi

Weather: Sunny

Ride: 70km

It was 6.30am and barely light when I awoke. I started the day by completing yesterday's journal entry then ate breakfast and packed up camp.

Tossed up whether to go straight to the ferry dock or whether to go to the Tourist Bureau to enquire about the ferry timetable and photograph the train station along the way. Chose the latter and even though I arrived at the Bureau after the scheduled 9am opening time, the office door was closed with a note attached stating it would open at 10am.

I thought I would miss the ferry if I waited, so I snapped a couple of shots of the train station then rode 9km to the ferry dock as fast as I could into a headwind, my sunglasses flapping a bit in the wind because I had broken one of the arms (which came as a surprise because they were designed to pull apart as they often had done when I didn't want them to). I arrived just after 10am and was sold a ticket for the 10.30am ferry.

Met some Swiss backpackers on the ferry. Two were native German speakers and the other a native French speaker, so they were already speaking English when I joined the conversation. I told then what I knew about Tallinn and Estonia and they told me about Riga and Lithuania and we all discussed how little detail was in the guidebooks on Hiiumaa, our island destination.

We watched the mainland disappear (along with my sunglasses which I think I must have dropped them when I bought my ticket - a consequence of not having them attached to my head because of the broken arm) then went inside. I ordered an omlette with vegetables and received one with ham & cheese, but it was still good. I was too caught up in the conversation to venture on deck for our arrival and soon I was pushing my bike off the ferry and onto the island.

It had just turned noon, which gave me less than two hours to ride over 35km to another dock to catch a ferry to the other main island. Otherwise I would have to wait until 6.30pm. With the headwind it was a big ask and when I noticed a bulge in the rear tyre I knew I wouldn't make it.

The bulge wasn't yet rubbing against the bike frame, but it would only be a matter of time. I knew that refitting the used tyre was a temporary measure, but I thought it would last more than one day. I needed a new tyre and according to the cycle map there was only one bike shop symbol on my route until I reached the next city approximately 200km away.

The bike shop was in a town called Kaina less than 20km away, so I headed straight there. Unfortunately it was closed and I couldn't see any spare tyres through the window regardless. I bought lunch from a supermarket and ate it by the ruins of a church as I contemplated the likelihood that the tyre would last another 200km.

At 3.30pm, I headed out of Kaina the way I had entered for 3km until I was back on the cycle route I was following. The route circles a large lake that was home to large numbers of waterfowl and nearby in wetlands were lots of cranes.

I wasn't enjoying it as much as I should have because the bike was sluggish (So slow in fact that I lost a race with a slow-moving agricultural vehicle in which neither of us reached 20km/hr). I stopped to check the tyre, but it hadn't worsened. The problem was a slow leak. Yet another puncture!

I was able to nurse the bike for several kilometres because I was concerned I might miss the ferry if I stopped to change tubes. I was also concerned that if this tube punctured so quickly the other tube, my last remaining spare (& of dubious quality), might also puncture and I would be in a real pickle.

When I had completed the lap of the lake I had hoped to return to Kaina (only 3km away) to revisit the supermarket, however now I didn't think I had time. It was a good decision because a couple of kilometres later I was forced to submit to changing the worsening punctured tube.

After a quick tube change I was back on the road and making good progress. I reached the last village before the ferry dock with 5km to go and half-an-hour, so I bought food for dinner & breakfast and to eat straight away.

The last 5km went slowly, but I still had a wait of about 10 minutes before I was allowed to board at 6.15pm. It was a pleasant trip on a basic car ferry with a good café lounge and I drank cocoa and watched the sun set.

It was almost dark when the ferry docked at Triigi and I discovered that the rear tyre was very slowly going flat, so I sought a campsite straight away. The dock's access road was lined either side with forest and I took the first track off the road then found a place to camp under conifers off the track.

Once camp was set, I prepared the punctured tube for patching then ate dinner and retired, exhausted by concern for the rear tyre.

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