TLRJ – Day 2 The Baltics
Got up early today, had a shower and packed my stuff. At 6:30 a.m. I met John at breakfast. At 7:10 a.m. we started our day in nice sunshine. The hotel was conveniently located next to the motorway, in no time we were rolling towards Warsaw.
The road to the north east had a nice surprise: all the road works were gone and we could roll on a new dual carriageway. We could make up some time in relation to Garmin’s calculation. I had estimated a 10 hour ride for today. After three hours, we stopped for our first fuel stop. We could go much more, but we decided that this pattern (stops every 170 – 200 miles) gives us a good structure during the day. We met some bikers from Austria that are on a trip to Murmansk and the Norwegian west coast. But what was particularly different about them was the fact that one rider had only one leg! I have never seen this before. We saw them a couple of times today, they rode faster, but we more steady. After a friendly chat we continued our ride. The nice road ended in the north east of Poland and from there is was mostly a normal road to Kaunas in Lithuania. Which means overtaking, overtaking, overtaking. We might be slow on motorways, but we are quick on these type of roads as trucks block a lot of cars. But not us. Not for long. We stopped at the Lithuanian border sign as John did not have that picture. Close to Kaunas, we met a dual carriageway again. Riding was very calm. I didn’t find the time to take a picture of the many picturesque stork nests along the road…
In Kaunas it was time to fill up again and a quick Bratwurst hot dog. The motorway turned into a nomal country road again, but we made good progress. After the first massive bump at the village entry, we learned to enter the towns. A quick stop at the Latvian border. The clock turned forward one hour. In Daugavpils, I decided to ignore the bypass around the city and entered the city. I was simply curious. We saw our first Lenin statue and orthodox church, which golden tops were in stark contrast with the dull city. We arrived in Rezekne and filled up again. I had booked a new hotel that is really nice and well run. Glad I did that. The rest of the city is quite….hmmmm, dull? So finally a shower tonight nd a proper change of clothes. We had dinner together (rabbit liver, quite good) and pork chops. We had for the first time some time for a longer chat. While going through the plan for the next days, we realised what is ahead of us! Days 5, 6 and 7 will be massive! But we are seasoned Iron Butt Rally veterans, if we switch into the right mind set, we can do this. We just need to leave early on these days.
Tomorrow morning, we’ll hit the Russian border after 30 min. After the bureaucratic hassle, Moscow is calling!