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Wima Rally 2017, Estonian Svenja Tour

We are really here! As we wake up in the morning, we can’t believe it yet.
2750 km without any big problems, no breakdowns, no accidents, often rain, but also many nice and sunny days.

We’ve seen so much of the countries and the people on the way here. Now it’s time to get to know Estonia!

The program of the Estonian Wima’s is very impressive and shows that we will have only little time for other activities ūüėČ

But the most beautiful is, that we can still use today (as arrival day for all remaining Wimas) for more discoveries. The official part of the rally will start in the evening.

The breakfast setting is already working very well, so the  potential has been dramatically improved by the speed and number  of the kitchen crew. After breakfast we mount our now lighter motorcycles and drive eastwards.

 

 

There are basically only 3 goals:

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1116.

The sun is shining, the traffic is very quiet, the navigation was already worked out weeks ago, what could possibly go wrong?

So we set off at a brisk pace, and around Rakvere following the main road. The striking and large castle has to wait until Thursday, as it is the focus of the rally and is therefore only seen from a distance.

So we are quite fast at the turnoff at Sake which leads us towards Velaste. The road is narrow, but has a perfect tarmac and runs in curves along of the steep coastline to the Baltic Sea, so that we can always have a view of the sea. This way we quickly reach Velaste Juga the 30m high waterfall (which is rather unexpected in this flat region) that Svenja has already visited.

It’s true, the waterfall funnel is impressive, the waterfall rather less, the broken-off spectator platform a little more. It’s a pity that this was not repaired. The locked double spiral of the spiral staircase leading to the platform would in itself be a challenge.¬† ūüėČ

So we look over the edge of the vertical rock, which is completely unsecured. For Austrian conditions completely unthinkable. And judging by the traces, the path to here is frequently visited.

After a short stop in the coffee shop on the opposite side of the road¬† (WC for all, and coffee for Su and Renate, – I use the sun for a little nap) it goes on along the coast until we are spit out shortly before Sillam√§e, again on the main road. From the main road, the slab concrete buildings of the Eastern Block era don’t look very inviting, and so we drive straight on towards Petersburg! Yes, that’s already written next to Narva as the¬† streets target.

Finally, we reach Narva. The city looks different to the cities we have seen in Estonia so far. Both the size, as well as the dimension of the shopping houses in the outskirts of the city are impressive, and at the same time a little morbid.
We find out later that Narva is very much Russian-occupied, whether this makes the difference?

In any case, we are fighting against the increasing traffic swelling and a breakneck roundabout up to the border crossing.
Massive fences, cameras, barriers, etc… give a very gloomy impression.

And that’s where something happens for the first time that hasn’t happened before: we are not allowed to take a picture! A customs officer who explains to us in Russian and Estonian that we are not allowed to stand here, stop here or take pictures. Okaaay?

So we’re moving away from the border crossing. We stop at the parking lot in front of it and take our photos from there. Afterwards we cross the roundabout to the southern part of the Hermanns Castle, where we walk from the parking lot to the Narva to see the border river from close up.¬† The fortress on the Russian shore also looks defiant and huge.¬† In addition, children are bathing on the shore. Are they aware of how tense the situation in Estonia has actually been since the Crimean annexation?

In the back country, British and NATO troops are practicing for emergencies, hidden in the woods. This is probably only a small hope for the Baltic countries in the event of a hopefully never happening annexation, as the Suwalki Gap is a bottleneck in the connection with the rest of Europe.

We meet a French couple on a Honda Pan European at the parking lot for the second time, and the name of the motorcycle is their program: For 45 days they have been travelling through Europe, across the Benelux, Scandinavian countries and Estonia you have already come, further south, via the rest of the Baltic States, Poland, Czech Republic, Austria, Italy and back to Paris.

11.000km are planned for the 45 days, we are impressed.

Only at home do we calculate the average of our last days, and are calmed down again.¬† ūüėČ

We are now on the road for the 9th day, have been in Riga for a riding free day, but nevertheless we have scoured some places of interest on the way. Today only half a day has passed, and I have 2.950km on my speedometer. How many KM would we have unwound on 45 days of pure driving?¬† Whoever posts the most correct thoeretic kilometres performance to me in the comments¬† will receive an original Estonian present from me, and I do not care where on this world I would have to send it.¬† ūüôā

There, we made it, 3 girls on two Versys and a Duke 390!! came up to this point.
We have travelled the long way here without mishaps,¬† mostly in nice weather, visited many places, or seen from the way and would only have to drive 130km to arrive in St. Petersburg.¬† We had only a few involuntary km of road, no falling over or loosing luggage …. And always been happy with our ad hoc booked hotels. Booking.Com App and free european mobile roaming for the win!

 

 

 

Somehow this situation seems so unreal to me and yet, we are really there.

We take this moment with us and turn around. From now on it’s all about getting to know Estonia and the other Wima’s better.

We drive back on the same route to Jöhvi, where we turn south towards Lake Peipus. On the way is the Orthodox nunnery of Kuremaä and there we stop to make a round about the impressive terrain. The whole ensemble is beautiful, both the gardens and the buildings are in a perfect, beautiful condition.

Every now and then an elderly nun is waving through the landscape, and the other visitors also have the classical Russian touch. The whole scene has something like that from Dr. Zhivago and fits so well into the charm of the eastern region of Estonia. ūüėČ

Despite the divine help (yes, we also drank the holy water on the spot) it is now starting to rain.

In the meanwhile used routine we put on our raincoat and drive further south. I recklessly kept the mesh gloves on without pulling the overgloves over it.

After just a few minutes, I realize that this was a mistake. The rain is getting stronger and stronger and the temperature drops to 14¬į.¬† The gloves are soaked very quickly, but now it is too late, so heating grips to max. and through. Arriving at Lake Peipus we have to realize that the shore is not accessible. Either the houses of the villages are on the shore, or a dense forest belt prevents access to the lake. So we circle the lake southwards until just before Lohusuuu we see a trunk road that could lead to the lake.

We turn around in the pouring rain and drive back and into the forest strip. Unfortunately, the road also ends about 200m upfront to the shore at a private property. The signs are clear and the black Range Rover with darkened windows in front of the garage brings back memories of various James Bond movies.

But, the whole situation is so ridicolous for me and therefore I simply circle around the property until I stand on the shore of Lake Peipus.

The wind and rain make the lake look like a wide, turbulent sea, ok, the sight was definitely worth it to crawl through the undergrowth.

But now back to the waiting group, which is somewhat protected from the rain in the forest, but of course impatiently waiting.

As the rain is still raining, we turn back into Lohusuu and drive almost directly back to Jäneda. On the way the rain stops and the sun is shining again. Errr, really?

At Aravete we enter the main road again and fill our tanks up to the limit. At the petrol station there is a very modified Austrian Pinzgauer and¬† a small Wima group that is looking for a gravel road.¬† In recent years, many Estonian gravel roads have fallen victim to EU subsidies. And as beautiful and important as this is for the infrastructure, it will shrink an enduro paradise. So maps are only relatively up-to-date, but thank goodness I happen to know a gravel track just around the corner.¬† ūüėČ

I show them on the map the approximate start of yesterday’s gravel road and they set out to find it. (and so they did!¬† ūüėȬ†¬† )

But we return to Jäneda, now almost dry.

We are back in time for today’s opening evening of the Wima Rally and admire the grown tent city and the many Wimas, from all¬† countries that have now arrived.

The evening event takes place again in the “stable” and starts with a lot of music, folklore performance, speeches by local politicians and a short introduction to the Estonian language, which, unlike the other Baltic languages, is closely related to Finnish. Yeah, and that’s what it sounds like.¬† )

 

 

 

Important words are:

Hello Р              Tere
Yes                  Рja
No                   Рei
Thanks Р          aitäh
Please!          РPalun!
Cheers!¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† – √ēhtus√∂√∂k (sounds like: tarvesex)

And so the evening finds again a witty end. Even I find in the masses of Wima’s familiar faces from the last rally in Hungary.

For our older members there are again many girlfriends who they meet again and with whom the experiences of the last year are exchanged.

The exact time I don’t know, but since it wasn’t dark yet; -), it can’t have been so late, when I got back to the room and lie down.

 

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Kilometres : 410

Weather: Sunny, cloudy and rain, 14-20¬į

Arrival Day, Wima Rally 2017

Cheers, hustle and bustle, cheerfulness!

Today is the last day of the arrival tour! Tonight we are already in Jäneda and celebrate the WIMA Rally 2017 for the next 5 days.

In the guesthouse: http://www.janedaturism.ee/en

The castle: https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/J%C3%A4neda

The journey so far has been exciting, interesting, varied and accompanied by many wonderful impressions. It is almost impossible that our Estonian Wima’s can top this with the rally itself even more.

We enjoy the early morning and enjoy our breakfast once again, because it will be a long day.

The first half of the next 320 km lead us along the coast, the other half of the road leads us from Pärnu into the interior of the country.

It takes unexpectedly long until we reach the border to Estonia, just before Pärnu.

Before that, we drive through the foothills of the Positivus Festival in Salacgriva,  with its miles of camping sites along the road. The festival stage itself is a little bit staggered into the forest.

The crowd of people is huge, the last day of this 3-day open air event obviously attracts a lot of listeners.

In the meantime, in good tradition, there is again a felicitous photo session at the border, which is in the process of being restructured, but still, with three motorcycles, a woman finds a quiet place in the middle of chaos.

We leave the highway to get an Estonian flag in Pärnu, so that we have a more decorated motorcycle at the entrance to Jäneda (we brought our flags with us)

In the morning we woven the blue, black and white woolen braids into our hair already.

The colors blue=trueness and trust, black=the ancestors and the past, white=snow and future which shall be symbolized by the Estonian flag, are already supported by us. Unfortunately there is no souvenir shop in Pärnu, and so we leave shortly after, without having done anything, for the interior.

Traffic will be reduced and limited to individual cars and trucks that will soon disappear from view.

DCIM100GOPROGOPR1096.

At a construction site traffic light we are stopped and watch a truck, which keeps the torn road in front of us with plenty of water dust free.

After a while the traffic light changes to green and off we go. Did I mention that the Versys are pleasant to ride standing up? At high speed I drive eastwards for the next few kilometers, and eventually I pass the water distributing truck on the way. But it’s too late, the Versys is already full of mud splashes up to the seat.

Well, it’s raining again soon anyway; -) Then it’s best to add a dusty layer, then most of it will fall off by itself. And so I went on at a fast pace along the gravel road. Every now and then a car, bus or truck comes towards us, apparently the traffic lights have only a symbolic value? But as an Austrian woman is used to dealing with cultural idiosyncrasies in a flexible way, so we will do this in the future; -)

At some point, this endlessly long construction site comes to an end and I stop in the shade of a small fruit tree to light a purely virtual cigarette.

In total there will be 2 cigarettes until our small group is together again. ūüėȬ† Yes, Iron mountain Prolog for the Win…

But the silence in the shade was pleasant, and so we all take a short break and admire our beautifully dusty and dirty motorcycles.

The negative: A clean motorcycle is quite the opposite.¬† The positive thing is that the motorcycles look as if we had covered half of the journey on gravel roads. That means we are now real adventure motorcyclists! ūüėČ

We continue our journey shortly afterwards, and that what has not happened yet, is happening all the time now: We come across Wima groups, at gas stations, cafés, or in front of restaurants where we pass by.

Most of them are from Germany, but also Britons and Poles are there. We also stop briefly for refuelling, but we continue on, after such a long journey we finally want to arrive.

It still takes a relatively long time, until shortly after Aravete, when the first time J√§neda is written to. The direction is right, the way is clear, so let’s go onto the final streak!

We mount our Austria flags and are looking forward to the finish line after about 2750 km of an exciting and varied ride.

About 12 km before Jäneda we leave the main road and turn north at Käravete (hmm, the name comes to me well as I have heard it before?) and the tension rises. The pictures of the manor house were already very inviting, now it will be a ladies residence for the next 5 days.  A classic Estonian property, like many others that we have already seen along the roads along our way so far, lovingly restored and surrounded by lakes and meadows.

After a few minutes we see the town sign, and at the first crossroads we do see the sign “Wima”, which will lead you to the parking lot in front of the guesthouse.

We park in the front row, grab our first pieces of luggage and march to the reception where we are received by the Wimas from Estonia with “Tere‚ÄĚ!

This greeting has something of Benjamin the elephant, but also other words like Aith√§ (thanks) sound for our ears first after something else. But more about this in the next evening, even if we don’t know it yet.

First the formalities are done and then we go to the room with our welcome goody bag.

The view from the window shows in the direction of the camping meadow, where the first tents are erected.

First a little ballast in the form of robe and helmet is thrown in the room and then back to the motorcycle to bring the remaining bags and suitcases into the room.

While the others are looking around the area, I use the early arrival to hike a little on Svenja’s paths.

There was a piece of gravel road about 10km south of here, on which Svenja passed on her baltic tour. Exactly this is the section Albu – Paunk√ľla, which somehow leads over Napu, that’s all I could see from the maps. The area is made up of woods and moors, and the wrong roads always end up somewhere in the middle of nowhere. But where a KLX comes through, I can do it with a Versys and her road tires too. ¬† ; -)

Of course, it’s not that bad, except for a few deeper passages with damp subsoil, it’s a wonderful track. At first it goes mostly over meadows, then through woodland, at Napu again across a meadow and then back into the forest and moor.

Nevertheless, I am glad that I removed the luggage, the track is only 1 lane, and there is surprisingly 2 times a car that comes towards me.

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In the maze of paths I try to stay on the right path and manage this without ever having to go back for the 30km to the Paunk√ľla reservoir.

The sun is shining, There are a lot of people on the “beach” and in the water. Of course, they are ¬†gazing at the Versys and me in the full motorcycle outfit like an alien. Somehow I can’t blame them either.¬†
So, just a short photo stop and then I pass the famous campground, continue north over gravel and then over the newly asphalted 207 and further over the 125 in the, admittedly, very fast turn back to Jäneda.

After this little (80km) joyride, which made me want to do more, I come back to the quarter.

Now it’s time to make myself pretty (the moto gear is ripped off, then showers and normal garment) and to walk to the “Black Stallion Stable”, which is about 200m away from the guesthouse.

Here we will find the food and also the respective evening events according to the Program folder.

Hopefully it doesn’t rain too often, otherwise the whole thing will be a wet and cool affair at the expected average temperatures of 14-20 degrees Celsius.

Arrived in the “stable” I meet the cheerful, but also famished flock of the already arrived Wimas. Somehow, I guess the service and kitchen still have to be put the right way.

We pass the time with an improvised band from all women’s countries and have our fun. When the food finally arrives, I believe at almost 10 pm, it is very good, after all. Let’s hope that tomorrow, when all the Wimas are here, everything will run more smoothly.

on the way home, at 11PM

Since it is much too late this time, there is no time for the diary. As tomorrow is the official arrival day and the official program starts in the evening, I have to plan an tour for tomorrow, but I do have some ideas.¬† ūüėČ

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