Days 1-7 - Glasgow to Estonia
- 7000 miles – 11000 km
- 15 days but only 10 days of riding (26 August – 11 September 2016)
- 9 nights of camping
- 1 girl
- 1 bike (Suzuki GSX650F restricted to 47hp as I was still on A2 licence)
Glasgow – Dover – Calais – Szczecin – Mazury – Lithuania – Latvia – Estonia – Finland – Norway – Nordkapp – Tromso – Sweden – Lulea – back to Norway – Trondheim – The Atlantic Road – Trollstigen – Oslo – Malmo – bridge from Sweden to Denmark – Germany – Calais – Dover – Glasgow
From my previous trip I learnt that few things would become handy, for example a small jack lift. When I needed to clean and lube the chain in my bike I had to push it to lube the whole chain which was time consuming. With jack lift I could simply lift the swingarm slightly and lube the whole chain quickly.
On my previous trip I have put my sat nav in the tank bag, so to check the route I had to look down every time. The biggest issue was that when sun was high up, it was shining directly into my sat nav so I couldn’t see what’s on the screen. I decided to get a sat nav holder this time so it was more in front of me which was a good idea.
To make more space I bought sachets of shampoo and shower gel instead of taking full size bottles, and travel size tooth paste. I also took travel microfibre towel which takes a lot less space than normal towel.
To make this trip cheaper and more interesting I decided to camp instead of using hotels. I bought Vango Helix 200 tent because it’s really small when packed and it was fairly cheap. It is meant to be a two man tent, but it was just enough for me. After I put single air bed in it, bike luggage, my leathers and helmet there was no room for more. The tent was fine on the whole trip though (except when I accidentally broke one pole) but it’s still fine and I’m still using the same tent at the time of writing in 2018!
Set off from Glasgow at around 7pm, and rode 500 miles to Dover without many breaks. Was only stopping when I needed fuel. Got to Dover just after 2am.
Got on the ferry, pretty tired. After and hour and half arrived in Dover. Because of the time change, it was early in the morning when I got to France – around 5am. Still had a long way to go through France, Netherlands and Germany to get to Poland in the evening. It was really hot during the day, must have been well over 30 degrees. I was tired, and at some point I started feeling unwell because of the heat and probably from dehydration too. Started stopping more often to try cool down and to drink more water. But I couldn’t cool down at all as it was hard to find any shade and even when I found a shade, it wasn’t much cooler than in the sun.
On a good side, this heat was better than my first trip through Germany in September 2015. I rode all the way across Germany in torrential rain. It was so bad that it was hard to see anything. I was all soaked through and the rain wasn’t stopping at all. I did about 400 miles in that rain. So I shouldn’t really be complaining about the heat as out of these two I much preferred the heat!
Then I just kept going for the rest of way to Poland, stopping to get petrol and for a quick rest every now and then. Eventually got to Poland about 7 in the evening and went to see my dad as he lives there. Went for a bath, and my dad did a barbecue. Sat on the garden and talked for couple hours as I have not seen my dad in about two years. I was knackered though so eventually went to bed.
I spent next 4 days there with my family and friends.
Following 4 days spent in Szczecin with my family and friends I set off again. This day wasn’t very interesting, I wasn’t stopping much as I was born in Poland and already seen a lot of places there. I never been to Mazury though, and since it was on my way anyway, I decided to stop there for the night.
Mazury to Tallinn.
The previous day I noticed that my chain wasn’t very smooth. Once I woke up I have put my bike on the jack stand and the difference between slack spot and tight spot in my chain was very big. Apart from that I didn’t notice anything wrong with my chain, so packed my tent and set off to Lithuania.
The next stop was Hill of Crosses, near town Šiauliai in Lithuania.
After that I kept going to Latvia. It was very hot, so stopped on the beach in Jurmala.
I accidentally took a wrong turn when riding through Riga in the rush hours and ended up in very bad traffic. Normally I would filter through, but cars were so close to each other it was hard to get through even on the bike.
When I eventually got out from there an hour later, I kept going to Estonia and stopped at a campsite near Tallin.
Here’s a quick trailer of the whole trip: