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Our Estonian Voyage

  #1  
Old 08-06-2013, 05:41 PM
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Default Our Estonian Voyage

August 4:th at 22:38 was the ending point of THE most eye-opening, amazing, awesome trip of my entire short life!

It all dates back to about six months ago when me and Missynet started planning a get-together so we could finally meet, the initial plan was that I would have gone to stay at their place over a weekend, but some time ago she approached me with an alternative option: There`s a huge meet called Jogevatreff taking place at the same weekend, there`s only one little catch: it`s in Estonia!

I`ve never driven one meter outside Finland, and the trip would probably mean driving a four digit number, way more than I`ve ever driven so at first I do have to admit I did stare at the message for some time pondering what to answer, but as a huge fan of a Finnish backpacker-travelling show Madventures, this is something I`ve wanted to do for years but haven`t got the chance, so an offer like this was like a layer cake of opportunity handed to me on a silver platter! I even managed to persuade my wife to give me green light for the idea so it was then decided, Estonia here we come!

Luckily there was still a month to the D-day so I could get my bike in spec, order a new passport and so on, but I can tell you that month went like in a flash, and the day came when Missy came to meet me at a gas station in the town of Joutsa some 60km from here so we could drive through the lake Päijänne scenic route together. So there I stood at the yard, in rain, nervous as hell, waiting for a black and gold 1000F to turn from the crossroads to the station, before long it did and curved right next to me standing in the parking lot struggling not to jump up and down! So a quick coffee and a formal introduction later we took off to the scenic route, soaking wet from the rain, heading to our place to get some food and sleep for tomorrow.

DAY 1: The drive

Basically the trip started yesterday from here, but I started counting from the morning we left cause that was the spot when I zeroed my trip gauge.

The alarm went off at 4:50, and the first thing that got my attention was a hissing sound so I trudged to the window and opened the shades: rain. great. The ship we were supposed to go over to Estonia was departing at 9:15 so we didn`t have time to wait for better weather so we got suited for rain, and took off. Luckily the rain subsided at about 2/3 of the way to Helsinki and we got through the city in fairly dry conditions. At the harbor we loaded up to the ship and headed for the sun deck: the trip had officially started!

At Tallinn we drove to a gas station for hot dogs and to ponder our next move. The goal for the day was to reach the city of Tartu in southern Estonia by nightfall but the route there was pretty much open. (I was fluidly following missy most of the way so I`m not entirely sure if the route went exactly like this, but: ) So we decided to head east to the Narva highway and turned south after Kostikvere to the Jägala-Käravete road to Aegviidu, and onward through Väike-maarja to the Avanduse mõis, which is a sort of a manor house (more like a castle) in the middle of the beautiful Estonian countryside, near the little village of Simuna. The scenery at the Estonian countryside was beautiful, but at the same time somehow strange. All the time there was those little things that just doesn`t add up, like there could be a cinderblock house with no outer cladding, looking completely deserted and unfinished, yet there stands a fairly new Audi at the yard, or there was this one house that was actually leaning towards the road, looking like it could collapse at the next storm, and as the -effect there is a satellite dish hanging on the wall. As I said to Missy it was like this weird mixture of old soviet-russia and contemporary europe in some kind of an alternate reality or something. No matter how bad of a shape the actual house was, the yards were kept in perfect condition, I was told that the yard and garden is actually the thing Estonian people gets judged by and take pride of. I`m a big enthusiast of everything post-apocalyptic and have spent hours just looking at pictures of ghost towns and deserted cities on the net so as sad as they were, all those collapsed buildings, deserted factories and others such were like candy for me. Another thing that I noticed was the vast amount of large birds everywhere! At first I mistook them for storks cause they were different color than the ones we have, but I was told they are actually cranes. People erect long poles to their yards and attach stuff like cart wheels at the top so they would nest there and kill snakes from the fields, those poles were actually a pretty common sight at the countryside, a large nest sitting atop and two-three heads sticking out looking for the parents to bring them food.

From Simuna the route is not entirely clear for me but I think we drove through Võtikvere to the town of Mustvee at the shore of the lake Peipsijärvi. We have something like 182 thousand lakes in Finland but none of them are so big that you cannot see the opposite shore at all. It was kind of weird and yet fun driving at the shore of what seems to be a sea but smells like a lake.

From Mustvee we headed south along the shoreline and the Jõhvi-Tartu-Valga road to Metsaküla and onward via Aovere-Kallaste road to the Alatskivi Loss (castle). after an hour of walking and chatting we continued to the Tartu road and past the city to a small-ish borough south of Tartu called Ülenurme, where there was arranged a place for us to sleep and operate out of for the next few days, and also a garage for the bikes. At nighfall we took off for a nice evening ride around the outskirts of the city and to a nearby hill to see the lights against the darkening sky. At that hill it happened, my first time! To get to test the 1000F Hurricane that is As I said to Missy, after the f2, one word came vividly into my mind: panzerkampfwagen. It´s bigger, longer and heavier than the f2, everything is further away, except for the footpegs, feels like my knees are in my chest as I have to lean unnaturally far ahead to reach the bars! I guess with extra padding on the seat, a riser set and possibly modded rearsets it could be good for me, but somehow that riding position is just so wrong for me, maybe I`m just too short for a big bike like that, idunno... So after a long stretch of nighttime outdoor philosophy it was time to get some sleep for tomorrow´s big ride. As we were pushing the bikes to the garage I took a look to the trip gauge: 512. Over three times what I`ve ridden, and the first time I`ve filled the tank three times in one day.

Day 2: Jõgevatreff

At saturday morning we headed out to the Kuremaa mõis (manor) north of Tartu which acted as the spot for the Jõgevatreff, I`ve never been to a really big meet before so seeing so many different bikes from all over the europe was awesome! Because of the sleeping arrangements we didn`t actually buy tickets to the area and drove to the spot mainly to take part to the huge rally from Kuremaa to the nearby town of Jõgeva. As we were waiting outside the gates, bikes of all shapes and sizes started to gather at the gate from all directions, and soon it was our turn to join the line and to start the rally! The Estonia`s finest had closed all intersections along the way so the whole road was at our disposal, we were somewhere at the head of the last third of the whole pair line and even that I tried looking at the fields and open spots I could not see either end of the line! There were literally well over thousand bikes present there and the enthusiasm was almost palpable!

A motorcycle is a rare sight at the roads of Estonia and the ones who do ride are respected totally differently than for example in Finland, common town folks usually actually wave at motorists driving past so it was quite a surprise for me the see literally hundreds of spectators along the roadside at the whole 11km way to the town, the children were cheering and stretching their hands for high-fives from the banks and youngsters were constantly giving us signs to rev the bikes so I figured to lighten up their day and as we were driving slower at crossroads etc I did go to the side a couple of times to slap some skin with the kids and did give the throttle a few twists aswell, don`t know who got the best kicks out of it but at least I was grinning from ear to ear

After the rally we spent some time at the Jogeva town taking photos and just relaxing at the park, I did keep a count of people interested at our bikes and Missy won hand down but it was satisfying to see that my bike didn`t go unnoticed either! Most people seemed to awe at the meters cause on both bikes it has actually turned a full circle an now start with zero.

After the rally we rode around the area via the little roads, most of the time I didn`t know where we were and didn`t care either cause it was absolutely trivial, just enjoyed the weather and the newfound joy to just ride aimlessly around to nowhere and back! The wandering ended to the city of Tartu where we went to get some eats, there also seemed to be the "Tartu puhkpillifestivaal" or the wind instrument fest going at the same time so there was a fair amount of people and brass music all around the town center. Later in the evening we took a tour around the less known parts of the city like the "slums", to me it was really interesting to see how the city was built and to compare little things to Finnish cities in my mind, after all the country is just a 2,5h ferry ride away from finland so there are many similarities and yet it`s so different. Like it was a bit of a shock for me to see in what kind of
conditions a regular flat renter lives in at Estonia. I did know OF it, I just didn`t know the scale of it, they have approximately one third of the monthly income of a regular finn, and yet there was coffee, sandwiches, supper, a place to sleep for two nights, even a garage reserved at our disposal! That got me so moved I just had to leave a bill of 50EUR to the table to show my gratitude, here a fit compensation for all the services provided but to my knowledge a considerable sum for them. Hopefully they don`t see me as a showoff... When we closed the garage doors my trip gauge showed 728km.

The night ended to the balcony after a few beers and a whole lot of wise words at around 2 am.

Day 3: homecoming

Sunday morning came way too quickly and it was time to start planning the trip home, so we packed my bike (Missy stayed at Estonia for a bit longer) and started planning the route back to Tallinn. At first we headed to the city of Paide, or more precisely to a roadhouse-grill near it to grab a bit of the local speciality: a kind of a burger but with small wieners and salad similar to coleslaw in between, it was...different, not bad but truth be told a bit odd

At the grill amongst all the other bikes parked there I saw a green trike that seemed oddly familiar and on the inside I saw a group of guys I noticed was speaking finnish. At second glance I noticed the text on their backs, and immediately recognized the group and the trike, and we changed a few thoughts at the parking lot before continuing the trip together. That however didn`t last for too long cause we went on a different route to see the Tuhala nõiakaev, or the withce`s well that is some kind of a spring well that floods violently twice a year (search it on youtube to see) but as it was not flooding at the time we decided to not walk 2,5km in full gear in sunshine and decided to continue the trip via the trip`s only (mostly) gravel road to the Tallinn ringroad and into the city, where we took one last stop at a mall to get some things to bring home, and after wistful goodbyes at the harbor loading gates it was time for me to drive to the ship and head home.

At our yard I took one last look at the trip gauge: 1125 km in three days. wow...

Plusses:

+I`ve never driven one inch on foreign ground before
+I`ve never driven such amounts in one or several consecutive days before
+New experiences, lot of memories
+New amazing friend!

Minuses:

-The new OEM CCT changed just before the trip failed at only 500km and the timing chain kept a helluva rattle half of the way
-The bracket holding the license plate/ mud guard had cracked at some point and has to be changed and possibly modded so it won`t happen again
-(on either side) a small piece of my heart was left at some point of the Tartu-Paide highway, I had so mixed feelings between not wanting to go and getting back home to my wife and my baby that I might have gotten slightly misty eyed for a second

I know I`ve already thanked you to the point of boredom, but once again out in public:

Thank you Missynet for everything! Doing all the arrangements, for your wise words and all the other things you did, you`re an amazing person and a huge persona and I will cherish our friendship and the memories of this trip from this day to everafter!

already looking for the next time!
 
  #2  
Old 08-06-2013, 05:41 PM
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And now the pics:


All waxed and polished on the evening before the trip and the first day rainstorm...



Friday morning getting ready to go


On the ship, some other treff-goers too.







Pic from our guesthouse`s yard

Nighty night


at the Kuremaa manor waiting for the rally


cool trunk lid


from atop of the hill at the front of the manor


Sometimes one pic tells a thousand words


a well kept F2, (after mine ) the best condition I saw


Getting ready for the rally parade





Some trikes had pretty interesting designs, on the front a flame decorated Honda F6C Valkyrie & 1500cc boxer six, a rarity in Finland


Many, many bikes


Another trike & the unmistakable sound of the 1300cc Vw beetle engine


Couple of Jawas


Showed this pic to one russian guy at work and he said it`s an išch, so he probably meant an IC.


Three-fiddy Jawa and a Highway patrol Kawa



at Jogeva


Some smaller participants too...


An older IC


A Dnepr

Possible Ural



Jawa with a velorex sidecar, both in mint condition


CX500 and a transverse V-engine


Two Rewaco RF1 GT:s



Trucker-pipes,mmmmmmm......


A Goggo scooter, apparently extremely rare to find one with that sidecar.




a few particularily tasteful CBR:s


The only time cops stopped us for a blow test was at the corner of that windmill so I wanted to take a pic of it too


Near the witche`s well. Lost? NO, this crossroads just doesn?t show in the map


From the countryside




On the way home...

 

Last edited by Mattson; 08-16-2013 at 03:06 PM.
  #3  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:11 PM
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So jealous....

Looks like a great trip!
 
  #4  
Old 08-06-2013, 06:24 PM
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Fantastic report Mattson, well done to both you and Missynet for organising it and meeting up.

And no wonder you got chatted to by the police with those swirly number plates and blurry faces

Cheers, SB
 
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Old 08-06-2013, 06:45 PM
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The wish was Incognito, so that I will respect
 
  #6  
Old 08-06-2013, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Mattson View Post
The wish was Incognito, so that I will respect

I had guessed as much - and totally understand!

However, I have searched the pictures thoroughly and can find not one can of WD-40 in any!

What gives??

It looks like a fantastic journey and I looked at the Witch's Well on Youtube as well - great stuff. Was it flowing when you saw it?

Cheers, SB
 
  #7  
Old 08-07-2013, 01:38 AM
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No, that's why we decided not to walk the 2,5km trail to it and just made a quick stop at the parking lot.

And yea hehee, probably shoulda taken a can of WD with me cause the daym CCT crapped out on me after only 500km, probably have to order the manual one...
 

Last edited by Mattson; 08-07-2013 at 02:10 AM.
  #8  
Old 08-07-2013, 01:52 AM
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Hee, what a write up.

One awsome trip indeed. Mine stiil lasting. Enjoing Every second visiting my home country.

It was richful in many unexpected ways.

Got some pictures to share But i Will arrive home on sunday.

I have never rided in a Rain for350 km, never rided 500 km in a one day.


I met an awsome person, But you just met one wackjob.

But Hey, shouldnt we count our richness by the Amount of Smiles from a day?

See you soon, will Pop in on Way back.
 
  #9  
Old 08-07-2013, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Missynet View Post

It was richful in many unexpected ways.

I met an awsome person, But you just met one wackjob.

But Hey, shouldnt we count our richness by the Amount of Smiles from a day?

See you soon, will Pop in on Way back.
Now THAT it was!

Oh believe me I feel the same way

Well, that depends cause in that case the value of SPD would be 1 -grinning stupidly in my helmet from sun up till sundown!

See you at friday!
 
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Old 08-09-2013, 12:05 AM
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Awesome write-up from what looked like an epic road trip... Love the pics... Bravo...
 

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