|Map of the Nova area|
|Swimming spot at Nova|
But duty was calling: today I wanted to take the ferry to the island of Hiiuma and I still had some miles to pedal. This gave me little time to visit Happsalu but this didn't matter much: a music festival was taking place there and the big castle was only open to festival visitors. So onward to the ferry that took me to Hiiuma in 90 minutes. Soon after getting off the ferry I started to like the place: hardly any traffic, beautiful forest and plenty of beaches. This is how I had pictured the Aland islands.
I wanted to try another RMK campsite at the top of a spit of land. But when I realised that every place with beach access was already taken by families with cars I knew that the RMK campsite would be full. Plus the access road was deep gravel and torture for my bike. I gave up on beach camping and looked into the forest instead where I found the picture perfect campsite: thick soft moss under huge old growth pine trees - and no mosquitos! Life was good again!
Next day brought me into Kärdla, Hiiuma's "capitol". But beside a big supermarket and a nice beach there isn't really much to see. But there is an artesian spring right in town with great tasting water - usually the tap water on the islands tastes very sulphurous. The lady in the local visitor centre food a great job: I wanted to leave the island with the last ferry but she talked me into going to Kopu peninsula. The weather was great and I am in no hurry - so why not?
First I passed Kopu lighthouse, a monster of its kind. Instead of now going back to the main paved road I idiotically decided to cycle the direct route to a RMK Hirmuste campsite. This was a very bad gravel road and I managed to fall off my bike for the second time on this trip. Beside a scratch on my ankle nothing happened to me, only my mood dropped considerably. The many horseflies didn't help either and I almost regretted my decision to try another RMK campsite that would probably be full anyway. Half a dozen times I was about to just camp somewhere in the forest but luckily I continued.
|Hirmuste RMK campsite|
Despite this idyllic evening next morning started badly. I had completely miscalculated the sunrise location and was frying in my tent under direct sunlight by 6 am. Well, I had wanted to get up early anyway to get the midday ferry to Saarema. I was cycling shortly after 7 am (a new record on this trip) but I still had to do 5 km of horrible dirt road accompanied by hundreds of even more horrible horseflies. I'd rather deal with mosquitos than aggressive horseflies. I am just not fast enough on dirt roads to escape them.
|Sunset at Hirmuste|
|RMK campsite at quarry lake|
My swamp camp site had one big advantage: complete morning shade and so I slept in to recover from my 120 km day. And of course I took another short swim before I left the quarry lake.
|Beach on Saarema|
|Beach on Saarema|