At 18 o’clock I arrived to Riga. And it impacted me, because it is a giant city, if I compare it with other European cities. Although it was on Friday there was activity as if it was a weekend.
Riga, which has a population of almost a million inhabitants, lies on the Daugava River and it is a stop crucial for the cruises that travel through Baltic Sea. For this reason I knew that it would be a good place for my sales but that it would be also a more expensive place to stay.
A couple of hours later I met Iosu, the Spanish guy, and we decided to go to the camping site to stay. In the night a storm with thunders and flash of lightnings was released, for moments I believed that the tent will come out flying as if it would be empty. Then the water began to enter from all the sides. In the morning I woke up with temperature, there was a puddle of water inside my tent and half of my things were humid, inclusive my only couple of slippers.
We have breakfast and while I checked up the bike I saw another spoke broken, it was already the fourth or fifth and I began to suspect that they would continue this way as long as I doesn’t buy a new wheel. This already had more than 23.000 km. And that pain…. it was 50 Euros and without anaesthesia.
On the end of the afternoon with Iosu, we move for a hotel in the outskirts of the city, I didn’t feel well and I needed a bed.
The following day the weather made better and we visited some places; as the central market. There are five old hangars of German zeppelins of the years 30. They have a total surface of 80.000 m2, it supplies to the whole city and it is one of the biggest markets in Europe.
Each hangar specializes in a food type, as bread and milky, or meats or fruits and vegetables. But the most curious thing was the silence that there was, nobody screamed, nobody discussed neither anybody offered anything. Everybody wait to a very calm rhythm; for moments I felt that I wasn’t in a central market. Very different to the African markets.
That same afternoon Iosu was astute and he left; but I preferred to know a little more the city and to get some money selling my dolls. But to exception of that afternoon the weather never helped me.
For an economic reason I abandoned the hotel and I left to the facilities of a sport field in the other tip of the city in front of a great lake and there I stayed during 5 nights more because the rain didn’t stop. It was incredible in spite of we were in the summer days. For moments I was furious and I wanted to leave but I couldn’t, the rain was very strong.
One day I packed the bike and in spite of the cold and the black clouds, I left to the route, I thought that it could advance and that the weather could make better, but suddenly a rain began and I continued pedalling. It was enough cycling 10 kilometres to realize that I could not continue more and that I should return; I was soaked and I felt my flooded slippers. So I returned.
I remember to Aldis, an older man that told me with a lot of patience: “usually the temperature in the winter is 10º below zero and it is pleasant because it can sometimes lower up to the 30º, as that week in one of the last winters when the Baltic Sea froze. A lot of people could not travel, because there were few ships that crossed from the Baltic countries toward Finland or toward Russia, the only way was behind an icebreaker.”
After I listened the stories of Aldis, I relaxed myself and I realized that my situation was not so serious, and I resigned to wait, up to rains ends and the sun shine again. Riga and their rains will be part of my trip too.[:]