About Latvia 2014

Dear followers!

You will be soon able to follow me on my new project, starting on 1st September 2015.

I will cross again this wonderfull country but in a different way and with a new purpose.

Discover this new exiting adventure here:


into the woods

I left Krasni under the rain. I like walking under rain. It's like for any any other weather conditions, one must have the right equipment.
 My mountain boots are waterproof. In addition I'm wearing mountain expedition gaiters, waterproof too, which allow me to walk in mud and water.
On top, I'm wearing a plastic "poncho" that covers the bag and myself down to the knees. Very efficient, but after few minutes you feel like in a sauna. At the end, you end up sweating and wet as if drenched by rain, but the bag is kept dry.
When wearing this poncho, i never wear anything else than a t-shirt underneath. So, when i stop, I just have to change t-shirt and don't get cold this way.
Krasni is located by an asphalt road. After 100 metres I turned left and took a path that was a very straight line of 5 km. A mix of melted snow and mud. At sight it seems not far, but realising that to reach this point you can clearly see will take you one our makes you think of the scale of time.
We leave in a world where everything must go fast. Fast train, fast connection, fast delivery...
 People don't understand why I walk. For them what I am doing is "extraordinary".  Walking seems unreal, while it is something very natural to all of us.
But walking takes time. Nowadays, taking its time is a real luxury. If time is money, the more you take, the richer you should get.
I left this road to take a smaller path entering into the forest. I was about to walk 30km in only forest.
The GPS is set to show even the smallest path. At a crossroad, it shows three ways, one north, one south and mine, east.
The problem is that my path which was indicated by the GPS was not there. As sometimes the satellite can only track you at 10 or 20 metres around you real location, I decided to go  and find this path by zigzagging. Nothing.
I ought to go east. The other ways were not leading me to any other paths I could joined and get back my direction.
Only one solution, the old way of navigating, the compass.
I took the map out of my bag, set up my direction and determined my azimuths. Compass in one hand, GPS in other, I made my way through trees and bushes.
Obviously, off road navigation is slower and made difficult by many obstacles.
After 4 km, I found myself on something that was looking like an former path. I was back on the path primly indicated by GPS. An abandoned path one could hardly distinguish.
I walked like this until night came. It has been raining all day and I was starting to feel pain in my shoulders and feet, it was time to find a shelter for the night.
The GPS shows all constructions on map. But it doesn't say id there are still inhabited our simple ruins. Nor far was one, but it turned out being a collapsed old barn.
The nearest other houses were at 1.5km, so I decided to take my chance there. As it was by the banks of river Viesite, I thought that it could be a farm.
I found them a 3 storey house, soviet style, and 2 huge barns. The property seemed to be empty, no dog, no smoke, no light.
I didn't like this place and didn't bother enquiring if someone was there. 100 meters from there, I saw smoke coming out of trees. There must be living people.
I took the path that leading me to a big barn. On the left was an empty house, but  as I was getting round the barn, appeared two dogs, of which a huge one, closely followed by a woman and a young boy.
They were very surprised to see someone like me, there in the dark.
The lady told me later that she had an apparition when seeing me: here come Jesus Christ!
Well, imagine me, with long hairs and beard, a front lamp making an halo over my head, that might looks like an apparition.
But this night, it was them to make miracles.
The lady's name was Vesma, her grandson Lukas.
She lives her with her husband Antons. They breed organic rabbits.
The farm is ideally located, the place is called Jaunpates. It is surrounded by trees and has a lake few steps away. They suggested me that I should come back here during summer. I wont forget the proposition.
When I explained to Vesma what I was doing here, she spontaneously took me by the arm and brought me in. They were very welcomed.
They were concern about my safety in those wood, for it is a place where wolves lives. Unfortunately, I didn't see any. But I noticed foot prints. Wolf make a specific foot print that differs from dog. They are thinner and longer and the claws are all directed ahead. Of course, I'm not a specialist, but badger, deer and wild boar foot prints all around made me think it was a wolf hunting pray
Once more, they served me home made product. I had a shower and good rest.
In the morning i made a tour of the farm, took some photos of lovely little baby rabbits and it was time to leave. I would have liked to spend more time with those gentle people, but they had things to do and me, still a long way to walk

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