676km down: 5,549km to go.
The rain that had started during the night unfortunately did not stop in the morning – taking down tents and packing up in the driving rain is an experience I could happily live without repeating. We all huddled under the awning and ate breakfast. There was a horde of Mosquito who also wanted to have breakfast on us – I had one have a big drink on my forehead before I realized it was there.
We set off and for the first 10k the rain had stopped and we had a flat road with a good surface then we hit the dirt track – I had thought it was only 10k but it was actually over 30. It was not pleasant as it was soggy and we got stuck often, by the time we got out we were covered with mud but happy to be out of the dirt. This happiness lasted for about two minutes until the rain started – it pelted down! We took shelter in a shop and hoped the rain would stop. I was standing under a warm vent thinking it is amazing how you can be so happy about such a small thing.
A group of us waited for about 30 minutes but it was clear the rain was not going to stop. We set off again and rode in a glum convoy to the lunch stop where we huddled under the awning again. The rain tricked us and the sun came out so we road off feeling quite hopeful but five minutes later the rain came back and pelted down.
We road for about 40 minutes and then today of all days Daphne got a flat tyre – back tyre of course. We looked for a safe spot off-road to change it, we walked up a drive and met an Estonian who was building a house there and he showed us his barn so we could change the tyre in there. Off we set again with rain still pelting down, by this stage it was after 2:30pm and we still had 70k to go. The lunch truck came past with one seat offered to Daphne or Shirley but they decided to keep going. I thought what the hell I know I could ride another 70k but in this rain why would I want to so I packed my bike on top, jumped in and rode to camp.
The good news of the day was when we got to the camp there were rooms available so I did not have to put up the tent. As the place is a cross country skiing site in winter there were lots of rooms – I got a 4 bedroom bunk room to myself for 5 euro! It had a shared toilet but hey it was inside! Also there was a drying room where we managed to dry out all our wet gear and tents, cleaned and re-lubed my bike. Have to say – I slept the best so far this holiday, only woke up once.