Travel Through Estonia on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Estonia on a Harley (11/6/99 - 16/6/99)
Distance 1031 km (146119 km to 147150 km)

This is part of the fifth section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from  Finland
 

 11/6/99 Exit and entry efficient with no payments required.

12/6/99 A new rear tyre from Dunlop. The old one not nearly worn out because of the fewer km's covered in Russia than expected. Again excellent, pleasant and efficient service. In the afternoon headed straight south 240 km to Otepaa where a bike rally, mainly for Finns and Estonians was being held. About 200 bikes in a wood surrounded camp ground. We were warmly welcomed with free entry and a beer, also later were presented with a glass stein for having come the furthest. A live band, dancing girls, presentations, food and of course plenty of alcohol made it a great evening. The all brands, all ages (bikes and people) rally sported many ex-Soviet models back to the war days as well as modern western sport bikes, a couple of H-D's and one or two chook chasers. Lacking the high gloss customization of America but incorporating the more interesting bits and pieces add-ons practical and innovative and necessary for Eastern Europe individualization's.

13/6/99 Side car motocross racing was very popular in the USSR days and the Baltic's has a reputation of some of the best in the world. Estonia gets to hold the world championship for the under 750 cc class today and we joined many from the rally to ride to the Latvian border to watch these motorcycle birds fly, through the air and around corners.Local motorcycle rally where we won the long distance prize More spectacular than ordinary motocross with two balancing the motorcycle and the passenger counterweight shifting rapidly both in the air and around corners. A couple of spills and rollovers made the event more spectacular with the Latvian team winning. After our motorcycle weekend we headed back north towards Tallinn and camped. (Camping in Estonia means staying in A framed huts, usually with only two beds and very basic facilities). Each campground has a raging wood fired sauna with a wash room attached. To shower we overheated in the sauna then washed off next door.

14/6/99 Tallinn again to see the old centre of town. A well preserved old city with many 13th century buildings restored and awaiting the predominantly Finnish tourists. This city, like many others we have visited this trip occupied more by foreign nations than managing itself, each leaving its particular architecture, religion and culture. How the local language and culture survives such long occupation by other nations is amazing. Rode the dirt coast road after Virtsu to Parnu. With the majority of the population in cities the flat, wet timbered countryside is almost devoid of people and with the unusually hot 30 degree plus days the asphalt roads are melting, the tyres are sticking to the tacky tar and being caught in the wheel ruts of trucks cutting into the soft tar.Sidecar racing, big in the ex-Soviet states

15/6/99 Parnu is the seaside holiday spot and with school holidays on it is busy with locals and a few Scandinavians. The white sandy beach runs into a warm shallow but brown Baltic Sea hardly salty to the taste. The van park we stayed in is run down, poorly maintained, a contrast to Estonia's modernization (to the west) of its banking, postal and petrol companies. A country a step up from Russian westernisation with the population enjoying the freedom of their mobile phones and motorcars.
 

Move with us to Latvia or go to our next visit to Estonia
 

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