Quest for chill spot 2021

Latvia, a land of four bordering companions – Estonia, Russia, Belarus, and Lithuania. Three points of contact emerge, where these borders converge: first – Estonia, Latvia, Russia; second – Latvia, Russia, Belarus; third – Latvia, Belarus, Lithuania. An opportunity for an adventure arises. Our decision is to embark on a quest to visit the boisterous neighbors first – Russia and Belarus, at the “Draudzības Kurgāns.” Recollecting the journey now, it dawns on me that we achieved several #visitlatgale milestones, in no particular order presented below.

  • We arrive on a Friday evening, greeted by a local host at the train station.
  • Our entertainment is secured, and we find repose in a local’s garden (sētā).
  • At twilight, on a whim, we partake in a skinny dip in a nearby lake. Dagda locals, full of bravado, ask for money as we restock in the supermarket.
  • Enduring a 33 km stretch of incessant washboard roads, clouds of dust trailing behind passing cars.
  • Seeking refuge and nourishment, we share a meal at a humble bus stop, the only spot offering shade.
  • Rolling through a village devoid of human presence.
  • Savoring Belarusian ice cream and beer.
  • Relishing the taste of wild raspberries discovered serendipitously.
  • Missing any signs of private property as we wander.
  • Journeying by train to and from Latgale.
  • A sauna would have been a splendid addition to this list, perhaps in the future.

Strava info: