I woke up feeling rested and relaxed.

Route day 12
Figure 1. Route Day 12

Leaving Gulbene the roads were OK for the first 8-9 km but then it’s just soft sand, so I opt for riding the "big" road instead. The traffic is sparse and the bad quality of the roads keeps speed low. But when there is traffic I escape to the soft shoulder, its slower but safer.

Big road
Figure 2. Big road

Then a farmer waves hello from his tractor, the first person that greets me in Latvia.

The ride was uneventful, really hot, really dark clouds, humid.

When I arrive in Madona I find the tourist information office on top of a hill. Not a great location for cyclists but they were extremely helpful, they had lots of information on cycling towards Lithuania and also maps of Lithuania. They also helped me with calling to Smeceres krogs where I wanted to stay, but they were fully booked.

So armed with a map of town I start to ride around, the first B&B I stop by was full, next stop is a hotel down by the main road, I get bad vibes just from looking at it. So I end up in the towns "business class" hotel. At 43 Euro it’s acceptable.

Figure 3. Hotel

There is no ventilation or A/C but the evening is really cold.

Figure 4. Room

I spend the rest of the day walking around, eat two meals, go to bed. Not a very exciting or friendly place.

So now I have spent 3 days in Latvia, I see more Estonian and Lithuanian cars every day on my way to work back home than I have seen here in 3 days.