A man standing on the beach

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Do I have time for something new? No.

Could I start writing a weekly blog post? Yeah, probably.

And so it’s starting now. The Weekly.

Once a week I will publish a personal blog post about the last week. About the things I’ve been up to in the previous week. Or what’s been on my mind during that week. Also about the boring stuff. Most likely. Let’s see where it goes and for how long.

If you enjoy these kind of posts, do let me know!

Leaving Bali, and Coming to Latvia

As many of you guys know we have recently returned from Bali to Riga, Latvia.

These were beautiful 5 months in Bali. We would have gladly stayed for 5 more. But then things changed overnight.

The government changed the visa rules, and we had to leave.

Having no any good options, we decided to come to Latvia.

To our apartment. The one we are paying for also when we are away.

Cycling near Riga
Cycling in the forest near Riga

The Self-Quarantine Went Smoothly

Upon arrival we had to do a 14-day self-quarantine.

It wasn’t a problem since you can easily and cheaply have your groceries delivered to you in Latvia. And also because we were just so tired of the last weeks of traveling around Bali and Nusa Penida, that we were happy having a couple of weeks on our own.

Not meeting anyone. Not leaving the apartment. Not planning anything.

Just staying at home and working.

I worked 12 days in a row. It felt great.

On the downside – I started to feel like I’m forgetting what it’s like to walk.

The Self-Quarantine is Over

And the last week our self-quarantine ended.

What did we do on the very first day?

We rented bicycles in Riga and went sunrise hunting to the Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower. And spent the whole day cycling around looking for unusual spots near Riga. Waking up at 4 am, cycling for a total of more than 40 miles / 64 km. On the first day. After a year or more without any cycling.

Watching a sunrise in Riga from Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower in Riga
Watching a sunrise – Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower

Sunrise in Riga - from the Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower

Standing on the Bumbu Hill Firewatch Tower

Cycling off road
Cycling off road in Latvia
Cycling on the beach in Latvia
Cycling on the beach
Kaspars in hammock
They say it’s summer. I say it’s COLD in the morning

It was super nice.

But it was also super tiring. So all I wanted the next day was – to work.

And not go anywhere.

For the next 2 days we did just that. We worked.

And planned the next adventure – kayaking.

3 Days of Kayaking in Riga

We spent around 10 minutes to plan our next adventure.

A total of 10 minutes!

The plan was similar to the one I had before when kayaking in Riga – to look for some lesser know waterways, and to try and go as far as possible. And to return back in one piece. With a kayak. In one piece as well. Preferrably.

The rent was for 48 hours.

The starting point – near Riga city center and our apartment.

And initially we were thinking of doing a 3 day, 2 night trip. With sleeping somewhere outdoors. With our hammocks. But then the plan changed, because we remembered that we hate these things in Latvia (sleeping outdoors). It’s cold for us. It can always rain (and become even colder). It sucks.

Kisezers lake on a sunny day
Kisezers lake

So the new plan was – to leave the kayak somewhere safe.

Somewhere half-way preferably.

Because we couldn’t find any cheap hostel or guest house near the river / lake. Not in 2 minutes we had for the research.

At the same time it took only a minute to arrange a safe storage of our kayak. For free. Awesome, huh?

There were some other awesome things during these days.

Including the weather which was nice for the bigger part of the trip.

And we saw some pretty cool places while kayaking in the city and out of the city.

But there were also some things that sucked.

Walking with a kayak
The happy moments. When there was a little bit of water. When we didn’t have to pull it over the grass

Like the finding, that the canal we were taking is… almost dry.

You know, it’s an evening of a beautiful day. You are just a short ride away from your final destination, where you plan to leave your kayak and go home for a night. You’re feeling a bit tired, but great nonetheless. And then there’s this wall.

Ehm, where’s the canal?

You get out of the kayak. To check out what’s on the other side of that wall? Ok, so here is the canal. But why is there a wall? Whatever, you think. You drag the kayak over. You get it back in the water. And start paddling again.

To find out shortly later, that you aren’t moving anymore.

There isn’t enough of water.

A bit further it looks even worse. There is no water at all.

A short talk with a stranger walking by, who looks like she is living there.

And you are dragging the kayak further. It should be possible to get to the Gauja river, she said. And you are going to get there. Because that’s where is the place you plan to store the kayak. And the other option is to sleep outside with no camping gear or warm clothes.

It was very tiring. But we made it.

It was close to midnight, and we had to get back home.

The next adventure – finding a taxi to get you out of that forest.

Not without failures at first, but we get one. It starts coming our way, as I see in the app. But then I realize that the pickup point is on the other side of the river. Fck, and it’s far away from us. I send a quick message, and the driver accepts these changed.

Huh! Without changing the rate.

And takes us back to the city.

Kayaking on a lake in Riga, Latvia

What about a kayak?

We can’t go back the same way, as we were planning.

The plan was to take the same canal at first and then do something different.

But now we know that this isn’t an option anymore. Not if we can find anything even slightly better.

And we find one.

To transport a kayak to another lake, and to kayak from there.

It’s not an easy task. Because it’s a weekend. Many people are kayaking. All boat companies are super busy for the next 2 days.

The next day our kayak is delivered to the next lake.

It’s already late evening. 6pm. 

But we have the kayak. And we are prepared for a night outdoors this time.

We only hope that isn’t going to rain. Because we just don’t have rain gear.

We start kayaking.

It starts raining.

It stops. And then starts again. It stops. And rains again. Soon Una is all soaked wet, me – partly, because I have a rain jacket.

But still there’s a hope, that when we stop for the night it will not rain anymore.

Urban kayaking
Urban kayaking in Riga

At 9pm, when the sun sets, Una leaves for a bus, to go home.

It’s just too cold already.

We agree that I will take the kayak to a nearby park. Spend a night there. And kayak back to the rental shop in the morning.

1 hour later. It’s raining cats and dogs.

I’m all wet. It’s pitch black. I have stopped in a place I don’t know, but where there is some cafe or something near the coast. I chose the place solely because of that. So I could get help, if needed.

I’m trying to think of a solution.

I find out that there’s a boat rental next to me.

I walk there. I call the number I see outside to ask if I can leave a kayak at their place for a night.

No answer.

I send an SMS.

No answer.

I walk barefoot in the direction of that house I saw earlier. Of that cafe?

Turns out it really is a cafe. A cafe I know. There are people partying. Drinking cocktails.  And there’s me. Barefoot. Soaked wet. With a winter hat and in a life jacket. I walk in to the bar, and ask – can I leave a kayak with you until tomorrow morning?

Sure, no problem. Just leave it there next to our kayaks.

And just like that, it’s all solved.

I leave the kayak. And go home on a tram.

We picked up the kayak the next morning. And took it back.

This week’s adventures were over.

Kayaking near a port

If you enjoy these kind of posts, do let me know in the comments or on Facebook!