I had this route drawn down at least a year ago. But somehow, probably because of my occasional laziness, I haven’t managed to put my feet down the road.
This weekend I finally get out and, although quite late, was on trail before lunch. Weather is nice and the ground still a bit frozen. I had planned to reach the northernmost point of cape Juminda and back when drawing the route, but it was clear that it was a two day walk OR a very early beginning. Weather forecast for Sunday is not good and I have already overslept so I have to re-assess my possibilities.
Midway on the cape is a huge boulder – Majakivi – Stonehouse. That becomes my destination.
Mostly on smaller paths, occasionally across a bog and through waterlogged old forest until the duckboards leading to the boulder appeared. This is much better than I hoped for. When reaching the stone I feel like I had been there already – maybe during elementary school when we had an excursion the Lahemaa National Park. Will have to dig up some old photos to confirm.
Walking away from the boulder the duckboards take you to another bog – unlike the previous one’s this is still young therefore no trees have grown on it yet to obstruct the views. But this also makes it quite boring as no features stand out. I strongly prefer those in Kõrvemaa, where patches of forest and lakes and ponds make it more interesting.
A lookout tower, which I had no knowledge about stands high above the bog and also offers the sight the the sea. A rare stretch of asphalt I quickly leave behind and after crossing three smaller streams I’m on the path parallel to the one I started on. These roads are interesting ’cause they lead to nowhere – except to the bog, but still look as they have often been traveled with cars. But I doubt these were created to allow access cranberries.
It gets pretty dark when I reach the settlement of Pudisoo and even darken when I discover that I have taken a wrong turn. All I can see is that there are deep gorges on both sides of the road. I had hoped to see them in light, but I guess that I have to return.
Last few kilometers are in pitch black darkness and I get somewhat confused again on the crossroads.
Finally I get to my car after 6 hours and 27 km of walking.
I have a map lying aroun in my cabinet that covers the Lahemaa national park and Kõrvemaa natural reserve. I used this on my last walk from Kunda to Võsu, but the outcome of that walk was a little bit unsatisfactory so last week I thought that now would be time to have a go at it again. I spent some time sketching the possible rout to the map. Main goal was to follow the shore-line of the capes Käsmu, Pärispea and Juminda and the cut over the Koitjärve mire to Aegviidu, where I could catch a train back. I would say that I managed to fill about 70%
I went walking this weekend. The original plan was to test new equipment for a much longer walk and the secondary goal was to get from Kunda to Aegviidu in about 2,5 days. LAst part didn’t work out so good though.
Leaving home on Saturday morning I felt light and it sure was lighter than ever. I carried almost all the gear planned for Alps and the backpack was still about 6kg with two days food , but no water. So after two buses I was in Kunda, looking at the Finnish gulf and my watch which showed 0900am. And the mosquitoes began their everlasting attack.
Going was fairly easy – mostly on trails, occasionally gravel and some stretches of tarmac. And even some quite interesting off-road moments and river crossings. Some of which I forgot to take photos as I just discovered.
Although I had to alter my course a bit due to private property and cover more tarmac, I was in my first rest place on the old airfield near Rutja. Distance covered: about 17km in 4 hours. Had a quick snack and evaluated the damage to my feet done by too small trailrunners. The damage was worring with left heel having a open blister. So I only took one photo and then I was back on the road.
Some more landscape to keep me interested and plenty of stinging nettle. River and stream crossings were quite constant through the day, but I was lucky enough to find natural bridges so no swimming. In the mud of some small ditch I found tracks of a bear. And later on some bear shit and moose bones. The latter was probably not a bear kill, ’cause the skeleton was too intact. I figure that a bear rips the carcass apart pretty good. Again no picture, but I can show the locations on a map, so you can get off your chair and do something good for yourself.
After following some more bear tracks I reached the sea again and pressed on towards west. Feet were not very good at all. Mustjõe camping spot proved as pointless as you’d imagine a closed clearing to be with river very close by so death inflicted by blood drainage would have been a very unsurprising discovery in the morning. And I wasn’t done also. Some more bush-whacking and nettles led me finally to a trail again.
From that point on it purely going for the sake of getting there. I have travelled the path between Oandu and Võsu about two times before although in different direction so I was extremely glad when it ended in another much windier camping place and I could take off the trailrunners. It wasn’t pretty and it felt accordingly. You don’t want pictures – really. Time was 1915pm. With one longer pause of 20 minutes I had been walking for about 10 hours straight and it felt accordingly. I considered the distance to be about 30km, which left me wondering how was I so slow. fortunately when measuring the distance later I found that it was actually 44km, making the speed 4,4km/h. And that’s quite good pace considering the occasional off-trail sections and so on. When I timed my self on good surface I was going nearly at a 6km/h speed. You wouldn’t do that with a 20kg pack.
About some key gear elements. GoLite Pinnacle backpack needs some careful packing to be really one with your bosy. As its a frameless pack it doesn’t hold it’s shape. At first I just had the stuff inside the pack and I didn’t have all the space filled out the bottom of the pack was full and top was empty. Tha made the part with hip belt hold nicely to my back, but the rest of it curved away leaving a space between the pack and my back you could throw a javelin through. The other solution I tried and which worked much better was to but my sleepingpad inside the pack for a cylindrical shape and thenput all the things into the space created. that aactually takes a lof of space away. Using a Therm-a-Rest Z-lite could work better.
GoLite RS 1+ quit. I’m not sure what the exact temperature was that night, but I doubt it was under +5 C. I used the Multimat Adventure under it and the BPL Vapr bivy around all this. Although the sky looked suspicios in the evening there was no rain, but somewhat strong gusts of wind. The main problem reported when using quilts is that it’s a hassle to get it nice and tight so the cold wind doesn’t get in. I really didnt bother with it and occasionally I woke and had to adjust the quilt. Bivy kept most of the wind away anyway. When I checked the inside of the bivy at night thee was some condensation, but none at the morning. When I did set the quilt correctly around the pad it was really good. just have to practice it more. I have the longer version of the quilt and although I’m 188 I can close the top drawstring and have all my body inside the bag.It would probably get more stuffy than I like though.
BPL Vapr bivy. As said there was some condensationduring the night. What I like the most was that you can rise the headspace to get the mosquito net away from you face and have breathing room.
Trailrunners New Balance 461. Cant say anything good about them, ’cause urrently I have two huge blisters on my feet. Just a size too small and that’s totally my fault. And I did hit my toe on few occasions, when I didn’t watch the ground carefully enough. buthtey are still suitable for biking.
3 more days to go before my flight
I managed to be active and complete some plans again. Since the winter is freaking awesome this year I had made plans to go out touring as much as possible. This weekend became free so I decided to head to Lahemaa national park and look around. I had sketched two possible routes and chose the one around the peninsula of Vergi.
As I’m lazy as can be then I hadn’t prepared the previous evening and didn’t wake ’till 9am. So after eating and making tea and picking up the boots from my office and shopping and driving to Võsu it was already noon and I got on the trail at 12:15. The first part was following a ski-path and ended near Altja after which I followed a smaller stream and reached the beach at 14:00. The sight proved to be worrying cause the bay was filled with pressure ice and that’s not very good for skiing. Fortunately near the shore the ice was even and smooth enough so I had to take only a small detour. Skiing was OK ’cause there was also a thin layer of snow on the ice so it wasn’t very slippery. The pole tips could have been sharper though. Had the first break near Vergi harbor at 14:30. When continuing towards cape Pedassaare I had to walk for a kilometer or so ’cause there was no good way around the rough ice. Rounded the cape at 15:30. Occasionally the ice had built up wall, consisting of ice blocks looking like some construction details. The sun was getting lower also providing some decent shots.
When rounding the last cape the sun was setting and to my great satisfaction the ice far smooth until Võsu and made skiing very easy although I was getting kinda tired. When I reached Võsu it was already dark, but I had only a few kilometers to go to my car. Ended the hike at 18:45.
So it was fun. Weather was cold -15 to -20 but no wind and the sun was shining all the way. Should have started earlier and prepared on the previous evening, but still managed to finish at a reasonable time. So distance about 30km and time without pauses 6 hours.
I modified the ski-bindings and they held together well. Although not adjustable any more, but as I plan to use the same boots for skiing then it’s ok.