Our last Island
in Muhu, Estonia on 19th August, 2012

On Thursday Triin and I headed to Tallinn bus station for another Island trip. We caught a 9am bus out to Muhu Island.

When we got to the bus station at 8:50am we went straight to the bus. The bus driver refused to sell us tickets telling us to buy them from the booth instead. I sent Triin off with the bus fare and waited at the door of the bus with the driver.

The bus driver then began speaking in Estonian complaining about life, how hard work was and how he's constantly being made to sell tickets on top of his other responsibilities. He went on for about seven or eight sentences before he asked me a question and I didn't understand the second half of the sentence. I told him in Estonian that I was from Canada and had a limited vocabulary. He then realised he was mostly just talking to himself with me pretending to understand him for the past five minutes.

Triin came back saying the ticket booth refused to sell tickets for a bus leaving so soon. He then gave in and sold us tickets. Poor old man, first he needs to be sober for 9am and sell bus tickets prior to departure. Tough life.

Included in the bus fare was the cost of the 30 minute ferry ride. When the ferry docked on the Island we got off at the first stop and walked for 20 minutes up the road to our guest house we were staying at. We were shown our cabin, got unpacked and then we rented two mountain bikes off the property owner.

We first rode 6KM down the road to an old German manor which has been renovated in recent years. We sat down for lunch at one of the nicest looking outdoor restaurants I've been to in Estonia. The food was really well done. We walked around and had a look at the various buildings on the estate and watched the robot lawn mowers move about.

After that we did a bit of off-road biking through the forest. It was tough going for a while and we ended up on someone's property. They were harvesting honey when we reached their gate and there were bees everywhere. I said something to Triin in English and one of the men in the bee harvesting suits asked if we wanted to cross over their property to get back to the road. He opened the gate for us and we biked past the bees quickly and through their impressive property.

Not long after that we came across a woman who owned four horses. She was kind enough to bring some bread to feed them and was keen to let us photograph them. It was nice to meet someone, speak a few words in Estonian and not have their "Foreigner Detector" go off.

After that we explored all the little villages we came across till we reached an Ostrich farm. We spent an hour looking at the Ostriches and the other exotic animals they were keeping.

Around this time I got a call from England with my first Python contract that I'd gotten since I left London in January. I was delighted to know I'll soon be getting paid for the first time in months and that I'll get to sink my teeth back into a real-world project.

We visited a windmill down the road from the Ostrich farm for a few minutes before starting the long stretch back our guest house. All in all we did 37KM of cycling on roads and terrains of all types that day.

In the evening I BBQ'd up some lamb on a camp fire, we ate some vegetables we'd bought that day, drank some cider and spent the evening in the cabin playing games on the iPad together.

The next day we got the land owner to play taxi driver and take us with the bikes across to the other side of the Island. From there we could see Saaremaa, visit some museums and bike around some fishing villages. The view of the sea was one of the more beautiful views I've see in Estonia. It felt great to be able to explore all these places with such good weather.

Later on in the afternoon we came across a horse farm. There must have been 80 - 100 horses on this huge piece of land. We asked one of the workers if we could go wondering around and she granted permission. We spend a while petting and taking photos of the horses. I kept getting chased around by them, they were attracted to my backpack for some reason.

In the evening we had another BBQ and a quiet evening in. I was surprised how quickly we recovered from 60KM of cycling we'd done over the two days. I'm also amazed how many great 1-2 day mini holidays we've had here in Estonia. This is definitely a great place to spend a summer.

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