Riga to Saulktasti, Latvia

29th July 2016

From Riga we drove a short distance to a seaside stop over in the carpark of a restaurant. The little 35 miles should have seen us in Saulkrasti and on the beach by lunch time but traffic and never ending road works meant queues, queues and more queues.

We finally arrived in Saulkrasti and parked up when the owner came over and asked us to move to the back of the carpark as the market was due to arrive! Excitement, our very own market in our carpark. As my mobile phone case broke on day one of the holiday and I hadn’t found a shop selling them yet I was hopeful of a phone stall. No such luck but we were not completely disappointed. The market was mostly food a bit like a farmers market.

The beach was brilliant, nice and sandy and not too busy. Best of all the dogs could come to the beach with us which I regretted when Dug got sooo excited and scratched my legs to pieces, sand and blood do not mix.

I’m not normally a beach or water fan but I couldn’t come all this way and not take a dip so life jacketed up I took the plunge. Surprisingly the Baltic was actually not that cold I swam for a while then took to the kayak for a paddle. Back on the beach Dug and Rory were busily digging huge holes in the sand.

Lucy spent the whole time in the water and her killer whale we purchased a few years ago in South France was well used again.

Neil was keen to get Dug swimming as he’s not been as confident in the water as other dogs but even with encouragement and literally dragging him in he was straight back on the shore. Rory on the other hand was straight in and really happy to be swimming with people, he enjoyed swimming behind Neil’s kayak and chasing the kids toys.

Once beached out and all sand showered off we popped into the restaurant for an awesome meal. I opted to go Latvian and asked for the Latvian style Pork chop as did Michael who soon regretting not checking more detail when it came out looking like an omelette. It was delicious, strange as I’d never thought to put a pork chop in an omelette but at the same time nice, poor Michael can’t stand eggs.

Neil opted for the stuffed chicken which he really liked as it was stuffed with blue cheese and Lucy bravely went for Baltic pork medallions which luckily she loved.

From our table we could see a wine stall on the market, the stalls owner popped into the restaurant and sounded English. I went over to take a look at his produce and returned with two bottles of expensive fruit wine which the friendly chap from Leeds conned me into buying 😂😂 Turned out his parent were from Latvia but moved to Leeds when he was a child, he had a sister called Karrina and told me the origins of my name and how it is in fact a traditional Latvian name!

As the night drew to a close we happened to notice our carpark getting busier and busier, the derelict hut near the beach turned into a night club! All through the night joyful party goers came and went in the carpark and did I laugh at 5am when I looked out to see a row of 5 or 6 men peeing against a hedge.

Overnight Location: Saulkrasti

Overnight Coordinates: 57.24707°N 24.40400°E

Live Tracker: https://track.gs/uCQlbU

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