I met Krystian and Gosia at the camping near Jeziorany. Gosia invited me for a beer at there tent. She speaks some English but her husband does not. In fact one rarely finds people speaking English. They are from Gdansk and spend one week with their child at the lakes where the Masury is famous for. In August it is already pretty cold in the night unlike July.
I did not find the camping near Gizycko and it was already dusk, so I camped wild a few kilometers outside in a clearing, collected some wood and grilled some meat and potatoes. Is was a pretty nosy night as the dogs of the neighborhood seem to communicate all till dawn.
The camping in St. Judy was 29.50 PLZ a night in a boring environment and it also had fenced units which I dislike a lot. I continued to Elk. Next to me was a group of teens, which borrowed my saw to prepare the campfire. They cut down three trees and collected branches and invited my later. The traditional way of barbecuing is that everyone pins sausages on a long branch and roasts them over the fire along with drinking some lemonade. I drove west on the roads that are actually unpaved forest roads. I drove east and was a couple of km from the Belarus border in expectation of some evidence of the border. At one point returned as I was not sure if it is marked and I would be in deep trouble if I crossed the border accidently
The Masury area is famous for its lakes. Usually a group rents some kaiaks for a week or two and at the evening they just stop at the nearest camping. You find many campings here - in the evening one can see dozens of camp fires around the lake. There are two types, one framers setup with outhouses and they come in the evening and ask 3 PLZ per person or the one on a cleared spot in the forest with no sanitary facilities of course. The one near Augustow was of the last type and I like being alone with the nature that way. Here I met a group from Dresden which where doing kaiak round trip.
I approached the Lithuanian boarder. I knew that you have to get some insurance for your car as the green card is not valid but I did not know how. A official looking and kind of uniformed guy waved me to stop before the hut. First I thought this had to do with the crossing procedure, but he sold me a insures for 20 EUR for a coverage of 30000 LTL (ca. 8000EUR) for persons and 30000 LTL for property. Later I thought what would happen if a crashed in to the AMG Mercedes in Vilnius. There are more insurances behind this first one and they are likely much cheaper better - if you know. Border crossing was about 15 minutes. And on officer ask ho much horse powers the car has for his personal interest. It is quiet a culture shock when you came from Poland a western style country at most. Everything is 50 years back you encounter horses pulling a plough and wagons. I drove up into the enclave to Belarus and was checked by the police stop. The national super market chain is called T-Market and branches are in every city.
decided to go camping at a camping spot in the forest on the map. There was a couple in their 30th and and some twens. I as well as the group collected wood for the camp fire. The lady came with her mobile and her friend explained me on the phone that camp fires are not allowed be cause of the danger of forest fire. A rule that obviously only applies to foreigners, as she had no problem with the group. Nevertheless I ask the group if I could join in. During the evening more and more students appeared with cars and motor cycles until there were forty. The beach was very muddy and you immediately sunk in if you did not use the broken pear. They explained that this was there summer-end-party Tom was studying foreign languages but dropped out of university - also his parents do not know. Elena has now to live in her own apartment - with neighbors - not in a private house as she had trouble with her father. And Xana will go to Finland next week and work as scientist. There was of course Starka, the national high spirit drink, and beer and sausages where grilled on the camp fire. Music came from the stereo in the Mercedes MB100 party bus.
After some bathing till noon the party dissolves. I was advised several times not to stay there as these remaining guys ware dangerous. I drove up north through congruated road and stayed near Kertgoja, where other people were camping. A man appears and offers me with some Russian and sign language t shower and may be a room but I was no interested.
Gdansk is a historic harbor town with a very nice old town. I had no time so I just stayed 15 minutes took some photos. Enough time for someone to try to break in my car.
Greetings from the Baltikum
- Polish Zloty Exchange Rate 2002-08-27
- 4.00 PLZ/EUR
- Gas Eurosuper 95
- 3.29 PLZ/l (0.8225 EUR/l)
- Chicken legs (Supermarket)
- 5.74 PLZ/kg
- Bottled beer
- 4.50 PLZ/l (1.125 EUR/l)
- 1.00 PLZ/kg
- Lithuanian LItas Exchange Rate
- 3.44 LTL/EUR
- Starka 40%
- 24.96 LTL/l (7.25 EUR/l)