Tuesday 11th July
I started my day with a bracing swim in the Baltic sea; compared to the Norwegian fjords, it felt positively warm. And compared to the lagoon side of the Spit, a lot less calm!
After making a round of fried egg sandwiches on the camping stove, we were ready to spend the day hiking across the Curonian Spit.
The Spit is narrow enough that you can comfortably walk from the Baltic sea across to the lagoon side in a couple of hours. We weaved our way through the forest, Morgan and Lex using sticks to aid their walking.
Deep in the forest, we witnessed an epic battle between a shiny blue beetle and a swarm of big carpenter ants (that hurt when they bite you!). The beetle was like a tank, fighting off a sea of foot soldiers.
Much like David Attenborough, we didn’t intervene, although I was firmly on the side of the lone beetle.
At one point our route took as along the beach, where Lex happily frolicked in the surf. As we walked along, we could see a group of people bending down to examine the shore line closely. We stopped to ask a young girl what they were looking for.
“Amber” she replied cheerily, showing us the glinting orange rocks in her pocket. No wonder amber jewellery is so ubiquitous here; it literally washes right out of the sea!
An older woman stopped to talk to us just as we considered hunting for our own little fragments. “Excuse me,” she said. “Dogs are not allowed on the beach in Lithuania.”
This was sad news indeed! Lex loves the beach. It’s like he reverts back to a puppy as soon as he sees one!
But, we had to cut his frolicking short this time, and as we walked inland we lamented all the poor Lithuanian dogs who’ve never been allowed to experience this joy. 😦
We had one last mission before we took the ferry back to the main land; Morgan wanted to fly his drone back over yesterday’s sand dune to see if it looked any more impressive from a different viewpoint.
“You’re not going to fly it over the Russian border are you?” I asked slightly warily. Morgan had ‘accidentally’ flown his drone into Azerbaijan when we were hiking in Georgia earlier this year, and I worried he’d got a taste for such activities.
“Of course not!” He protested, as he set up droney ready to fly.
15 minutes later, droney landed again and Morgan started packing it up very quickly.
“Okay, let’s go!” he said, shoving the drone back into its case. Only when we were safely in the car and driving away did he confess he’d entered Russian airspace.
“But it really is a lot better over there!” Morgan exclaimed.
Once we’d safely crossed back to the mainland and made a little progress towards Vilnius, we found a rest stop to sleep in for the night. Morgan went to explore the surrounding area.
“Don’t be alarmed” he said as he returned to the car, “but there’s a large dead creature in the trees.”
“Is it a werewolf?!” I asked, saying the first thing that came into my mind.
“No, I think werewolves revert to human form when they die” came Morgan’s logical answer. “This looks more like… a cow.”
“A cow!” I exclaimed loudly. “There’s a dead cow behind the car!?”
“Well, it might be a cow… There’s only bones left of it. But the skull seems to be missing. I’m going to try and identify it.” Morgan announced.
On that lovely note, we settled in for the night. Several hours later, Morgan woke me up to inform me there was a live creature outside the car. I immediately freaked out, imagining a large cow-hunting predator. Turns out, it was only a deer trotting past. I hope it understood how dangerous the area was.
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