Riga capital of Latvia

Trip Start Apr 29, 2006
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Trip End Nov 15, 2007


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Tuesday, June 27, 2006

No problems at the border in Latvia, just funny looks and I think they took a copy of our vehicle registration papers.

We pulled in to a service station for lunch when a young fellow came up to us very jovially. He shook hands and introduced himself as Mark (a vet working in London). He had seen us before the border and followed us waiting for an opportunity to stop and chat. We could actually tell he was an Ozzie before he spoke because he had the coolest yellow thongs on which only a dinky die Ozzie would wear. We stood and had lunch with Mark as we'd been sitting and driving all morning. He said he's been working in London 3+ years and takes every opportunity to go abroad.

Our arrival in Riga was badly timed (as so often happens) because, once again, it was peak hour. There are many bridges in Riga and as many cloverleaves to get on and off them. The traffic was woeful and fumes hung heavily in the warm air. We were getting more and more tired and cranky. At one stage we lost Lou & Lynn in the centre of town. When we did finally catch up we were all stressed and headachie and 800m from a caravan park. We hadn't intended to stay in Riga, but by 7pm or maybe it was 8, it's hard to tell with so much daylight, we opted to stay at the camping ground which happened to be Kipsala which was almost full with a huge contingent of German motor homes. It was also very rudimentary with no cooking facilities, day room or shower curtains. But..... the shower was free and was not push button! Hurray... aaaahh bliss, to wash my hair with two hands and not get soap in my eyes looking for the button when the water goes off! Unbelievable comfort!

Overall, the housing in Latvia is timber and rather run down, with poor workmanship on plasterwork. Many of the roads are cobbled. There is also a lot of road work going on in Latvia and the drivers are suicidal. They barge through the road works on the wrong side of the roads straight through all red lights. In the end we just followed a bus or truck doing the same, taking our lives into our hands, but we figured the buses & trucks had a better view and they were bigger! Euro was not accepted in Latvia.
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