Travel Through Latvia on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Latvia on a Harley (16/7/10 - 18/7/10)
Distance 294 km (573693 km to 573987 km)

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

Coming from Lithuania or read our previous visit to Latvia   

16/7/10 The countryside, since leaving Poland, has been flat to rolling hills, grain crops ripening, interspersed with patches of birch and pine forests. Sandy soils, low areas flooded, even the higher areas seem boggy. We had internet located the H-D dealer in Riga, the country's capital, and headed straight there, hoping he might have a secondhand rear shock that fitted our motorcycle. Latvia has gone through a massive economic reversal recently. The small burgeoning dealership also sells Suzuki motorcycles, but it was the rapid increaseHarley dealer in Riga helped find a second hand rear shock absorber in H-D sales, and then the sudden drop, 80% in the last two years, that indicates the brand is a discretionary purchase. The helpful dealer managed to outsource us a fairly old secondhand rear shock, not cheap at 100 Euro, but we needed one, and new, they are more than three to four times that price here.

17/7/10 We had prebooked a room along the A1 north of Riga. A hostel attached to an upmarket hotel situated alongside one of the many peaceful lakes in the area. Friday evening the hotel was busy, in fact was full, wealthier Latvians, taking to the spa, the massage room, the restaurant or relaxing on the lakes sandy beach. The hostel on the other hand was relatively empty, a few local travellers looking for a cheap night's accommodation, a couple of locals with their children out for the weekend. Still the fact that the hotel was fully booked indicates there is still disposable money around, for those who have it. We stayed another night, fitted the secondhand rear shock, watched the "well to do" relax, and relaxed ourselves.

18/7/10 An early start to avoid the expected over 30 degrees. Daylight is at 4.30am, so it was easyCrossing into Estonia at a small border to wake, in fact it seems that the longer the daylight the less sleep we need in these regions. The locals sleep longer in winter, shorter in summer, almost a sort of mini hibernation. Taking a different road north than on our previous visit we headed North East then North. Here the countryside is slightly more hilly, well at least there are mounds in the sandy soils. More of the same, summer grain and fodder crops interspersed with forests. Nearing the border our road turned to dirt, a small border crossing with little indication that it was indeed a border, just one signpost.
 


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