I get to drive at last!

7 June 2018

Having been slightly frustrated that I haven’t really done much driving on this trip, finally it was my turn to take the wheel.  We checked out and said goodbye to our lovely hotel, and headed off towards Vilnius, Lithuania.  It would’ve been too long a journey to do in one day, so we found a town halfway, and decided we would stop there for the night.

As you can imagine, a day of driving doesn’t make for terribly interesting reading, so I’ll keep it short today!  Cornelia nodded off almost immediately, which meant that we could a) listen to some decent music, and b) get a good chunk of the journey out of the way before stopping for lunch.

There was a massive diversion in place, so the drive was longer and slower than anticipated, although made slightly more enjoyable by the fact that we drove through plenty of small villages, all with decorated maypoles, shrines, churches and storks’ nest on the telegraph poles.  Most of the nests also contained chicks, and it was utterly charming seeing the huge nests perching on top of the narrow posts!

I have been making an effort to stay hydrated over the last couple of days, but of course this means that I need to go to the loo more often.  I held on for as long as I could, before pulling over in the forest and nipping behind a tree.  BIG mistake.  I was bitten to shreds by mosquitoes in seconds – all in the most painful of places… Ouch!  I have had some bad reaction to mozzy bites on this trip, and these ones were no exception, swelling up in seconds.  Unbearably itchy too.

Most annoyingly, just five minutes away was a garage with loos, and a main road perfect for lunching.  Sigh…. anyway, the break at the roadside stop gave me an opportunity to plaster myself in soothing cream, although I suspect I would have looked a bit odd, considering where I was applying it!  Cornelia had woken up in the forest, so she was happy to get out and stretch her legs and break for lunch, before getting back in, ready for more driving.  We are listening to “Heidi” at the moment, and she’s really enjoying it!  It’s a long book, so we covered some distance before she became bored and needed something else to do.

Luckily, we were then only a few minutes away from our apartment in Augustow for the night – a tiny little studio, with three beds crammed into a room, and a teensy bathroom and kitchenette.  Our host, Anna, doesn’t speak any English, but showed me on a map where we might like to go for supper.  We followed her directions and ended up on a lovely riverfront restaurant, full of locals and tourists alike.  We ate well again, although Cornelia’s chocolate ice cream was really peculiar – like a smoked chocolate, if you can imagine such a thing.  Ian and I were quite pleased as it meant she avoided the pre-bedtime sugar rush.  She was full of beans though, giggling and playing so nicely, and again, she walked all the way there and back without any complaints.

Sadly, despite the lack of sugar rush, no door separates our bedroom from the kitchenette, so we have been listening to Cornelia read fairytales to her Gang since she went to bed and she didn’t finally fall asleep until 23:00!  Yawn – that’s my bedtime!!!

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