Continued from this post.
Day 3: Mukri (196 km) to (almost) Laiksaare (339 km)
I opened my eyes 7 AM. It was still raining cats and dogs. We had planned for an early start, but nothing could persuade me to step out of the tent. So I laid there another 45 minutes but then it was time to face the reality. I woke Tim and started putting my stuff together. The rain had eased up a bit and by the time we were finishing the breakfast, it had stopped completely. Everything was still wet, of course, including the tent that I packed and put into my bag. But at least it was not raining.
We started again at 9 AM. The progress was slower than a day before, since the roads were softer and often covered with water. The trails were mostly gravel with some forest trails in between. Two hours into the race I suddenly saw a big wild boar running/jumping across the road with a pace that would leave Usain Bolt in awe. There was another wild boar, much smaller, running to the other direction. A magnificent scene!
Some two hours into the ride we reached C.R.Jakobson’s Farm Museum. There was some event going on, whole bunch of sheep and farmers selling live sheep, sheep meat and sheep skins. We went inside and I had a soup with lamb meat. It was delicious! When we went outside, some competition started. Sheep were supposed to go through an obstacle track and the winner (or rather the owner of the winner) would get a prize. The announcer told that there would be four dogs keeping an eye on the sheep and should any of the latter try to run the wrong direction, the dogs would bite the wrongdoer. Anyway we did not have time to stay and watch this inhuman sheep race thus we left. On our way out we had an unexpected encounter. My friend Tim has exactly one mother (like the rest of us, bar some people from ultramodern families) and there she was, evaluating the sheep. After the small chat we continued our hike.
The weather improved as time went on and so did our pace. In the morning we had set a goal to leave 70 km for the last day for an early finish on Sunday thus when we reached Kopra Talu (74km from finish), we felt entitled to stay there. However, since it was still only 7PM, we decided to continue to Kilingi-Nõmme. It was only some 10km after all. Reaching Kilingi-Nõmme we discovered that staying there was really not an option since the camping place was already occupied with people partying. 15 km further was Rae Järv’s camping place with picturous lake and large camping site. When we reached that, we found that this place was occupied, too, by a bunch of drunken people listening very loud (and bad) estonian pop-music from their car stereos and shouting and screaming loudly (it was Saturday night, after all). Staying next to these citizens did not seem to be the most attractive option thus although it was late we decided to continue. I kept my eyes opened and after the next 10 km (it was already pretty dark) I found a good place to put up a tent and there we stayed. From the Kopra Talu we had cycled 33 km…
Day 4: (almost) Laiksaare (339 km) to Ikla (370 km)
Although we went to sleep pretty late, we woke up even earlier than the previous days. As we packed the (still wet) tent, I discovered not one or two, but 4 (yes, four) ticks (those small insects that suck into your skin and have a 1 out of 4 chance of infecting you with a pretty bad disease called lyme borreliosis) on my body. I removed those tiny bastards and made a mental note never to camp in a high hay again.
We cycled a couple of kilometers to Laiksaare, had breakfast there and then continued to Ikla. This day there was a lot of asphalt and despite of the accumulated tiredness we made pretty good progress. I had told Kertu to pick us up half past 12, but we were there 11:33 AM already. Luckily she was there half an hour earlier, too. Quick shower in Kabli and to Tartu we went. Our hike was success!
Overall impressions of the track were very good! The hiking route is great and kudos to those people behind it. There are quite a few people using that track already. We met several bunches of people (from 2 to 8 people) doing the track, some of them doing it even the opposite direction (Ikla to Oandu). I totally suggest everybody to try the track out. Do it on bike, though, it would be very boring to just walk those 10 km stretches of gravel roads. But this would certainly be an experience to remember, I promise.