It always takes a couple of days after entering a new country to understand its roads.
The day started off beautifully.
Today was supposed to be a pretty straight-forward and easy 55km cycle. That’s a nothing day. There is a major road, the E67, that links Marijampole, where we spent last night, with Kaunas, today’s destination. We entered Lithuania on that road yesterday and it felt very unsafe. Yesterday, the E67 was a busy single carriageway with a very narrow shoulder and lots of trucks rushing about as if it were the end of the world. We got off it yesterday as soon as we managed and found a nice country road that took us into town. We planned stick to country roads again today.
I checked my digital map and found that, with a bit of smart navigating, we could stay on country roads without going too far out of our way. It was going to be a short day so we had time on our side to deal with any potential difficulties.
The day started out beautifully. It was bright and warm. We made a couple wrong turns to start but were soon back on track. We cycled on nice, quiet, well-paved country roads, Colin waving at the cows and pointing out all the storks to me. Northern Poland and southern Lithuania are full of them – storks, that is.
The good days come just when you need them. It’s been miserably wet the past few days. There is more rain predicted in the next few days. But today we got some glorious warm, sunny weather. We had all our wet clothes spread out over our panniers to give them a chance to dry.
We cycled 92km from Augustow, Poland to Marijampole, Lithuania. It’s so strange how it’s almost always immediately obvious when you’ve crossed a border. The terrain doesn’t change immediately, but the houses, shops, road signs, and sometimes even the people do.
The parts of Poland we cycled through seemed much better off than I had expected.
All our wet clothes were in need of some sun.
Poland is a beautiful country and the standard of living there seems to be pretty decent generally. The minute we cycled into Lithuania, however, we saw lots of poorly maintained farm houses and homes. There were older more run-down cars on the roads as well. The roads, though, seem well maintained so far.
We cycled through a lot of agricultural land today. I will not lie. There are some countries I’m cycling through on this trip I know virtually nothing about. That’s part of the excitement of cycling through a country like Lithuania. I have no idea what to expect. For someone like me, the best way to learn is by doing. I am really looking forward to learning Lithuania by bike.