Hey Dudes,

Guess what ! It’s over !!! We have finish our Bike Trip Around the Baltic Sea !!! As someone said, every good thing has a end, and so our trip has finally found his end in Klaipeda after our journey on the Curonian Spit.

On our last post, you saw a picture representing a kind of desert, it was taken at the really farest point we could reach on our trip, just before the border between Lithuania and Russia. After this picture, we went back in our guest house and we had a good dinner there as you already know.

The day after, our planning was to leave quite early this guest house to go back to Klaipeda where we had to spend some time, buying some stuff, packing our luggages cause our trip back was composed of 20 hours by ferry to Kiel in Germany and 10 hours by train to reach Sand am Main. And maybe it shouldn’t be so easy, have a plan, follow the plan. So we started the day by discovering that Ben’s bike was flat on the rear. And as we decided to ride light, we let all the tools to fix a punkture in Klaipeda, what a great idea ! The upgrade of the plan was to find a way to leave this lonely place to reach Klaipeda as soon as possible. We thought about the bus. Next bus in 2 hours, not possible. Hitch-hiking with two persons and two bicycle, not on the main road, really difficult. So, we had to find a way to fix the bike, and we found it. Luckily, there was a guest house where the owner was also renting bikes and he could fix our in 30 minutes, for free. We were so happy to find him !

So we left quite later, and had to ride fast. Everything was allright, we rode 22km in one hour, and we had to ride 17 more to reach Klaipeda. But maybe it shouldn’t be so easy… Ben started to feel something strange on the back of the bike, like if the wheel was flat. And it was !!! 2nd punkture for Ben in 20km though he hadn’t one for more than 3.500km !!! And this time, no tools, no bus, no city, no town, no one. We had to reach the road and hitch-hike desperatly, hoping to find a big-heart people to carry us two with our bikes. And we did ! A guy, around 50, with a beautiful car, kind of 4×4 stopped a few minutes after we reached to road. How nice was he ! Not enough to bring us to the ferry, he drove us until the house where we had our stuff, as well we finally didn’t waste any time, and could follow our plan how it was first.

So, once there, we wanted to find a gift for our last hosts there, Gvidas and Viktoria – and Ruth -, find some gifts and souvenirs – Vodka is really popular there – and get some food for our journey on boat. The time to do everything, we just had a couple of minutes to spend with Gvidas and Viktoria and we finally left the city to reach the port. On the road we met 2 cyclists with luggages and trailers, we followed them a while and finally the guy spoke to us… in french !!! Yep, in french, after 10 weeks spent on the road where we met several cyclists, main of them were german, we also met some australian, danish, swedish, spanish, but not french. We had to wait for the last day. What a last day !!! Then, nothing particular to explain, we went on the boat, we had reclined seats – cabins were too expensive for us – and when we discovered the room, we were affraid to have a hard time there. But finally, we put our matress and sleeping bags as we were camping and had a more or less good night. We arrived the day after in Kiel where we had a couch surfin in Alicja’s place, where she lives with Matteos. They’re both Polish and we were happy to meet them first because they were really nice, and also cause we didn’t go to Poland, so it was a kind of Polish night.

We left early in the morning the day after to take the first of of eight trains of the day. And we can say that, for once, it was pretty easy to get those trains with our bikes, we found lifts almost everywhere, available place almost on each train, no late in schedule… German precision perhaps ! We arrived in Sand around 4pm and the idea was to go to visit Monika’s best friend, Maria, who was celebrating her birthday. But it was a surprise, and we are glad that the effect was well done, she was so happy to see Monika. So we were too ! And there, the theme of the party was OktoberFest (the real name of the Beer Festival in Germany), you can imagine that we had a good party there with our german friends ; drinking beer and eating the piglet Maria’s papa had prepared on a grill…

The last day finally arrived after this party. We had imagine that we could ride not only the two of us for this last stage, so before arriving, we told our friends and family that they could join us for the last 20km of our trip. And as Monika’s friends were too drunk – tired – lazy (make your own choice) to do it, we knew that only some members of Monika’s family would do it. So we met her father at 12am, he was with one of his sister and his grand-daughter. Some kilometers later were waiting Monika’s mother, ‘sister and ‘nephew. So we were 8 for the last km. But after a while were also waiting the other Monika’s sister with her husband, second daughter and dog. We finally were 11 to ride the real last kilometers and after riding all around the town, we reached Monika’s house around 1pm where was waiting one brother and where they had prepare a grill with lot a good things to eat and dring all together.

The conclusion of all that, in some numbers, looks like that : we letf 10 weeks, we rode 3 624 kilometers, we have been in 7 countries, we spent 41 nights under our tent – 19 in Couch Surfing / Warm Showers  – the others in pensions / hostels. We had 3 punktures together, we lost more or less 12 kilos together (but they already came back), Ben broke 6 spokes and we had 0 serious problem.

The last words will be for all the people who helped us during those weeks, we think about all of you who lend us a place where to sleep, to all of you who gave us water and sometimes more on the side of the road, to all of you we wet and with who we had good time, to all of you who read and wrote us here on the blog. Many many thanks for everything ! And even it could be a “cliché”, we would like to dedicate this trip to Yannick Mace who left us too early some years ago, and who permit us to live this extraordinary experience, we thought about you every day. One photo is for you, guess which one 😉

Here’s a little video we recorded up to Nida, on the Curonian Spit, and then, the pictures !

Ben and Monika, around the Baltic Sea