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As posted on my Ural forum, I thought I'd share with you worthy lot too!!

06-June-08.

Set off from home in Tallinn at about 11, coz I'm lazy and everything takes me about 3 times longer than it should....

I rode steadily for about 45 mins that took me South West of the Estonian capital, past the small towns of Keila and Rummu (the latter being home to a postively charming federal penetentionary in the neo-depressive, ex-soviet style!!... horrible...). Followed signs to a petrol station to top up and ended up in a toothless, but surprisingly fluent-in-English farmer's courtyard where he was manning pumps that looked like they dated back to the cretaceous period... as did the fuel....

Next I left the tarmac and headed North to the coast. The Northern and Western edges of the Estonian Republic are all coast line and, despite being a very flat country, does have some nice cliffs as well as long sweeping beaches that gently slip in the the non-tidal, lightly-salted Baltic Sea in the Gulf of Helsinki. Estonians like their personal space and so there are a few summer houses on the beach, but out of sight of the neighbours (about a mile away!) and set back amongst the pines. Oaks, the national tree and symbol of the pagan traditions of the region, were the most abundant trees, but now pines prevail and former tend to be protected...

After breaking through the pine forests, I reached the coastal road. By roads I mean gravel tracks. Anything less than a main road is not paved in the rural areas and this I have come to relish since I developped a taste for getting of the beaten track: not something I did much in my Sportsbike days where long sweeping bends and tight hairpins were the goal of any outing. This track posed no great problems for the Ural and 2WD was not needed, although, not having a passenger, I kept speeds low on the very bumpy bits, or where the central grassy ridge was particularly high as land-owners tend to frown on any Urals that arch gracelessly over they fence and land in an oily heap on their property: plus the stains the rider tends to leave behind are just so hard to get out!

I followed this track looking for possible future camping spots for my girlfriend, myself and Pretzl the dog. Wild camping is permitted and is unrestricted in the state-owned forests, but on private land its not a given for similar reasons to those given above.

My first 3 pictures show where I stopped first. There is a stone message from previous visitors that reads Suur Aitah!, or Big thanks/thanks a lot. Despite not being the first, the area was spotless and that is never a given where "hu-man" has been before.

More to follow...
 

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A grand day out. cont.

After that I continued down the track that "deteriorated" as it plunged into a pine forest. Here it was two tyre tracks with alternating potholes, tree roots, streams and a ridge between the two that made a good go of inpersonating the Andes of South America! At this point I took it nice and easy and considered stuffing two boulders and a pine tree in the chair to get a semblance of stability! I emerged at the other end, plucked pine twigs from my collar and continued.

I next found another beach. No immediate camping options, but a nice stop for a picnic. Again, duly stored in the GPS. I sat here a while, enjoyed the breeze and watched the Swallows swooping for their lunch over the very still waters of this small bay: check out the next 3 pictures as one is just visible skimming above the water...
 

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A grand day out. cont.

After that I got back on the road and heading a town for petrol and food, having not eaten since about 10 in the morning and it was now close to 4pm. I arrived a little later, dusty and tenderised by the road surface, in the port and resort of Haapsalu: spa town and gateway to the island of Hiiumaa. There I walked a bit, and attempted to retrieve the 2 inches of height that the ride had robbed me of. I visited the "Bishops Castle", some of which dates back to the 1200s. I then wandered some more down the pastel walled lanes of the old town to come to the Promenade where I had a peculiar chicken salad, where the chicken was seasoned with mayonaise and barbecue sauce!!! Then garnished with a strand of grass....ooookaaaayyyy, then....

Then back in the saddle with a full tank and back to Tallinn. The ride back was not too interesting apart from the 3 miles of road works where I laughed and toyed with my prey in their tin boxes, trying to navigate the gravelled potholes, whilst I overtook and left them in my dusty wake...muuuaahahahaha.

This sense of triumph at being overtaker, instead of overtakee, was shortlived as, 3 miles later, they all sailed me again in the inimitable Estonian style where you feel like each car is going to take your back wheel with them on the way past: its not frikkin' Formula 1, sunshine!!!

On that ride I reached 60mph and realised why everyone has told me the effective top speed is about 55.... I arrived back home at about 8, filled up, did back flips in the forecourt at the admirable 43 MPG my bike had done, then went home to nurse a bad back brought on my impromptu back-flips....

All in all a grand day out, only somewhat spoiled by a bit of tailgating and the fact that, while I had been thinking "I wonder what beers she'll buy for us tonight", my girlfriend had been thinking the same about me (but with a "he" substituing the "she" before I get any sarcastic comments) and our evening was doomed to be booze-less (you can only buy alcohol in shops until 8 pm here)... ho-hum...such is life.
 

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A grand day out. Last part.

A few more shots.

Here is another shot of the castle walls from the top of one of the towers. Its impressive but, when I think back to the castle walls of England and Scotland where they were built 6 metres thick in places (18 ft), these make me think how they repelled attacks!

There were a group of grannies auditioning for the festival folk dance in the castle grounds.

There was also a bloke with a huge telephoto lense, taking pictures.

You can then see what his lense was pointing at: the pretty young ladies having a rest on the benches: the dirty little scoundrel!! (hmmm, I wonder how much one of those lenses costs....

Hope you enjoyed the ride!!!
 

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Sir FallofaLott
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Fantastic pics and write up :thumbright:

My youngest loves looking at ''those funny 3 wheel bikes'' :D

If I had the space and money I'd have one like a shot :thumbright:
 
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