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Update: Tue 00:15

Monday, 26 September

It's a travel day today so on the plus side at least it isn't raining. It had clouded over. I pumped the rear tyre up, as I expected to have to do, and set off west in search of the Baltic.

South West, more specifically, with a view to seeing the main (holiday?) island of Saaremaa from the town of Virtsu then following the coast road south. Unfortunately, Virtsu ends just as the ferry port begins and you can't see anything. I then failed to identify the (tiny on my paper map) coast road but picked up the larger road cutting through the woods to Parnu instead.

Estonia seems a mice place to roam around in. Lots of more intimate woods, I would say, than the large imposing forests of Russia with large irregular shaped fields mostly set over for hay/silage rather than food crops. There is, indeed, some livestock -- something of a rarity in Russia. A mix of old and new housing.

For those minded to do so you can drive here from the UK without requiring a visa for any country en route.

I then looked to venture cross country eastwards through the northern edge of one of the national parks. First, though, I had to pump the rear tyre up again at the side of the road. Maybe this isn't a 48 hour puncture after all.

I then made it all the way to the town of Tori a few km NE of Parnu where the tyre had gone flat again. Oh dear. Time to investigate properly. Shortly after I'd taken the wheel off the bike and was trying to break the bead a local drunk came over to help. His help consisted of having a go with a tyre iron then saying "no" a lot before calling a friend who could speak English who realised I was fine. I could knock on an unidentified door if I required any more help. As it was, with the drunk out of the way I had managed to break the bead on the other side of the wheel and was beginning to motor along.

The last time I tried too break the bead at home it took me four hours (plus a further 90 minutes to swap the tyre). These last two times it's been relatively quick. I put this down to my little valve tool (for removing the valve from the metal air hose). You might think that pressing on the valve until the air stops flowing out is enough to have all the air out of the tube and thus make compressing the tyre walls (essential for removal) much easier. Not so, it seems, and, indeed, an inner tube with no valve in it will sit there merrily full of air and takes a good bit of squeezing to get the air out. However, with no valve in at least the air comes out when you press on the tyre wall.

Anyway, tube out and there's a tear at the edge of an existing patch. Hmm, how annoying. My spare inner tube is still holding up from the repair at the Yamaha garage so while I repair this tube (to become the spare) I rummage about in the tyre to see if there's anything that might be causing any problem. Nothing by touch but I can see a tiny filament of copper wire that might well cause pin holes and I dig out a knackered looking patch. Eh? Then I see some raggedly dried goo hanging off the back of it reminiscent of my aging repair glue. Hmm, that tear I've just fixed looks remarkably like an extended version of the hole I fixed a few days ago. I guess my crappy glue really is crap which is a shame as I've just used it to stick another patch on the same puncture. Grr. Let's hope the Yamaha glue is slightly more industrial strength.

Job done in 90 minutes or so and I can pack up, let the kid hanging about rev the engine, bemoan melting the other tank bag strap on the exhaust, shake the hand of the drunk who's staggered out to see what the noise is, note there is a nearby waypoint labelled Tori Hell and head off towards the second city of Tartu, hopefully before it gets too dark.

Which I don't quite do. Can't say much about Tartu, then, other than at first glance it seems more modern than the capital.

Currently at lat/long: n58 22.261 e26 44.366

Hansa Hotel, Tartu, Estonia

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