Baker’s Dozen

Our eighth biking day – and third day on our own along the Lithuanian coast – started with loading our luggage into a local taxi for transport to the Nida ferry dock. We all rode our bikes there and waited for the ferry to take us across the Curonian Lagoon to Ventė on the mainland.

With our bikes and luggage, our little group of 12 filled the ferry:

Once ashore, we pedaled south to the overlook at the point, then headed back north to the village of Kintai. On the way, we saw several storks. I wonder how corrosive that guano is. I wouldn’t want them clogging up my chimney.

The ride was easy and relatively short, a total of only 12 miles (20 km) for the day, our shortest ride.

We stopped at a market in Kintai to buy some fruit and nuts for lunch. We later heard that everyone else pedaled just a little further down the road where there was a nice bakery with fresh pastries. Oh, well. Anyway, as we were eating, a man pulled up in an old van and started off-loading chickens. Dale went over to see what was going on. The guy had birds of all ages and types:

After our little picnic, we continued inland to our designated meeting spot in Šilutė. Enroute, we bumped into the New Zealand couple, Stewart and Belinda, and compared itineraries; theirs said they were to meet the van in a different village, Rusne, about 8 km further down the road. Off they went. When we got to Šilutė, we found our van and driver and were soon joined by the rest of our group, with the exception of the New Zealanders. We walked around town and at one point admired the interesting windvanes they use here near the coast.

When it was time to go, I called Stewart on my iPhone (fortunately, we had exchanged numbers) and, sure enough, they were in Rusne. So, we drove over there to pick them up, then on to our hotel in Kaunas. It’s pretty amazing that this was the only miscue of the entire bike trip, given that we were traveling alone in a country where few spoke our language (including our driver) and the directions and communication from our tour operator were pretty meager. It made me appreciate the trip even more.

It was a pretty sunset that night over Kaunas. Tomorrow would be our last day of biking.

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