Sigulda to Klapkalnciems Beach, Latvia

2nd August 2016

The friendly receptionist in the youth hostel reception had given us a map of the park which showed all the trails on which there we things to do and see. The shortest was the red route which was 5km and the longest was the blue route which was a million km and would take a week. We opted the red route and set off after breakfast.

Discussions were help on who would take charge of the map, in Berlin first off I read the map wrong and took us 20 mins in the wrong direction and then after taking charge of the map Vickey lost it totally! Neil took the map today

Our red trail took us up the largest flight of wooden stairs I have ever been up, they went on and on forever. At the top we had been promised a fun cable car ride across to a town. I’m not sure who was most near to tears after climbing all the steps we got to the top and the cable car was closed for the day due to technical repairs.

From the closed cable car we set off on the red trail through a very small town. We stopped off in a newsagent type shop and purchased some drinks and took a brief look at the few shops. From the small town we then headed to a bobsleigh track. We had seen adverts for this right across Latvia, the Latvians seem very proud to have this Olympic size track so surely it was worth a look.


From the outside the track did not look that great, it looked a bit like a big concrete building site and it had no obvious entrance. We circled round looking for a way in, by now I was desperate for the loo and was sure they’d have one. We finally found a small door and entered in to what felt like a waiting room. We took a look at the very Latvian price list and worked out it would be €10 each for a three minute go but it actually went quite far as it went very fast. We discussed it for a brief moment and even though Neil had to wait outside with the dogs we decided to have a go. We went up to the counter to ask for tickets and she advised the track was closed and only opened weekend, now we were all ready to cry!

When we left the campsite the Tarzan go ape type park had opened, we were all wishing we’d gone straight there! That’s where we headed next.


The Tarzan park turned out brilliant. First off the brave ones of us went on a dry toboggan run, I went first and the most of the way down I couldn’t help laughing but then I couldn’t stop thinking about Lucy following down behind me probably out of control and crying 😂 Luckily she applied her brakes most the way down and was laughing by the bottom.


At the bottom myself and Lucy took the chair lift back up so Neil who waited at the top could take his turn. One slight down side to the area was the number of wasps and the chair lift ride up was going well till a friendly wasp joined us – you can imagine the screaming. Once at the top Lucy decided she was feeling brave so would go again but actually let go of the brakes this time, we obviously then purchased the obligatory souvenir photos.

After the toboggan and chair lift rides it was a quick lunch before we signed the kids up to the high ropes Tarzan climbing.

Billy decided the high ropes weren’t his cup of tea so he opted for archery while Lucy, Jake and Harvey queued up for the tuition before being allowed loose on the park. We tentatively listened during the instructions but still had no idea how to clip on and off the kids harnesses when it was time to go. Like neurotic mothers myself and Vickey promptly grabbed a young instructor and made him swear on his mothers life that our kids could not un clip and fall. The lovely boy gave the kids another run through and followed with them till they were confident.


Quite unluckily the heavens opened while the kids were smack in the middle of the course, there was no turning back and no shelter. On they would go in a thunder storm, poor Lucy was embarrassed as my only shelter was a poo bag to the head to try to stay a little dry. With a few hairy moments and lots of laughter all three kids made it through the 6-10year old section then Lucy had to come off as Harvey and Jake went to the over 10 year olds section, I was quite relieved as the 10+ looked darn high. I couldn’t even bare to watch the boys on the high section so we went down and took Lucy on the ringo after she went down a massive zip wire to finish the course.

Once the older boys were safely back on the ground and all unharnessed we thought about leaving but a last minute decision was made to let the kids go down a huge inflatable ball down the massive hill. They paired up with the little ones opting to go first. Billy and Lucy were quite excited as they were strapped into their chairs and we all giggled as it got winched up the hill. The kids laughter promptly turned to screams as the ball hurtled to the bottom with the kids flinging round inside like socks in a washing machine, you can safely say the regretting doing it. Amazingly even though both little kids had a cry Harvey and Jake still lined up and took their turn, they both hated it too!

 

From the park we headed back towards Riga, sadly we were now heading towards Ventspils where we will eventually get our ferry on 5th August to Germany. Although we still had 6 nights left it was still deflating to be heading home.

We stopped off near Riga at a hotel with a campsite which we had found on the Asci website. Myself and Vickey went in to take a look while the men manoeuvred round the small carpark. The receptionist was very friendly and asked if we were in tents, we replied no camping cars and she then asked if they were big. When we replied yes she offered to show us the pitches before taking our money, good job. The girl took us through a door which was signed sauna, it was strange as the we opened the door to the sauna it looked more like a living room. We then went the the rear garden which looked a state, the swimming pool was empty and dirty and the pitches were small in grass. We thanked the girl and said we go check with our husbands, we then ran for the hills.

We were all so glad when we arrived in our plan B stopover, this was lovely. A tiny site in a beach carpark. Each pitch had electric, a picnic bench and a fire pitt, I’m not sure who was more excited about the fire pitt- the kids or the men!

We popped to the beach, ate dinner then sang songs round our campfire into the evening.


Overnight Location: Klapkalnciems Beach, Latvia

Overnight Coordinates: 57.03815°N 23.40354°E

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