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J206 - Monday, May 10: Voiste – Borne 45 sur la N60

74.10km  –10H34’
Altitude : 27m
As opposed to Lithuanian and Latvian, which are indo-European languages, Estonian is a Uralic language close to Finnish.  It doesn’t make much difference because we don’t understand much of any of these languages.  Luckily, you can always find someone who speaks a little English, like this morning, for example, in the super market where René and I were trying to figure out if the pancakes had fillings that were sweet or salty because the packaging was identical, except for the name on the box.  A young couple at the fruit and vegetable department could help us.  English is frequently used by the younger generation in the Baltic countries and René never ceases to repeat that by speaking English you can make yourself understood everywhere.
 So, all of you students in the schools that are following us, and I know that there are many of you, make an effort in your English class!
At the end of the morning, we are looking for a place to spend the night, near Lihula because we are paralyzed by the thought of having to camp in these low temperatures.  There is a tour operator open at a tourist information office and once again I learn a lot, in English.  
•    One, the small hotel in town that closed two years ago because of the economic crisis has not reopened.
•    Two, It is not unusual to have such low temperatures at this time of year and Marika explains that the autumn was cold; the winter was severe, as is often the case in these countries, and spring remains cold.  She laughed when she said it looks like there is only one season, and then became serious when she explained that everyone is fed up with the never-ending winter.
•    Three, she explained that tourism focuses primarily on the flora and fauna.  In Estonia there are wolves, bears and wild lynx.  The marshes and coastal areas are a paradise for ornithologists and fishermen.  Estonia is beginning to develop and to advertise to draw tourists to the country (the costs of a week-long organized tour is between 800€ and 1000€).
There is a new currency so for our three night stay I have to be careful to convert enough money to cover our expenses.  A room in a B&B, will cost between 250 and 500 kroon per person, i.e., between 16€ and 32€ per person per night, including breakfast.  The different information we have obtained concerning the price of lodging in Estonia, especially in Tallinn, seems to agree that it is relatively expensive.
If Serge thinks the roadsides are cleaner than in Latvia, we find that the driving is calmer here than in the neighboring countries.  Generally speaking, in the three Baltic countries flags are flown on the many official buildings and even at private homes.  Could it be due to pride in their independence, which dates from 1991?  The European flag is often seen; these 3 Baltic countries became members of the European Union in 2004.
Lastly, I wish to reassure our reader that I am not depressed, it’s just a feeling of being somewhat « second hand ».
Eliane is in fine form; Ludo is dreaming of sunshine, René is even tempered and again forgot to buy deodorant, even though he does not smell bad.
Serge ne prend pas le temps de se tailler la barbe, à mon grand désespoir, les cheveux ont poussé et tout cela ne lui donne pas bonne mine !!! Depuis hier, il alterne course et marche, mais il avance sans mots dire et sans ciller, sans se plaindre, trop heureux du bonheur d’être là où il est.
To my great despair, Serge won’t take the time to shave off his beard, his hair has grown and all this doesn’t make him look healthy!!!  Since yesterday he alternates running and walking but he forges ahead in silence, without batting an eye or complaining, too content in the joy of being where he is.

Town : Borne 45 sur la N60

GPS : N 58.36’40.6° E 023.55’36.0°