Rīga, Latvia
56° 57' N 24° 6' E
May 03, 2003 02:13
Distance 264km

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Very late arrival home

Disaster struck ! We got a flat tyre on the Lithuanian motorway at 1 am (yes, that is how late we left our departure). Well, we knew something was up in Vilnius as the car was behaving oddly, but we set off nonetheless. What a mistake.
Despite having a spare, we didn't have a wrench to undo the nuts (or whatever the technical terms are, I can barely cope with self-service at the petrol station). Dzintars tried to call the European Emergency number (112 across Europe, for future reference), but the Russian who answered wouldn't send out a truck until Dzintars rang back and spoke to him in Russian. All in all, it only cost us 50 euros ! Unbelievable. While we waited, we watched the sun 'rise'. It's an amazing thing to the purple haze over a Lithuanian field submit to the rays of the spring sunshine at 4 am...
We eventually got back to Riga at about 6, after crossing paths with a Lithuanian army convoy (that was freaky), and a slight hold up at the border as they checked out my passport (everyone else was travelling on 'non-exotic' Latvian or American passports.)

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