Friday, August 2, 2013

A cycling trip to Engure.

Engure, a lake in Latvia,  is a part of an ancient sea separated from the Baltic Sea long ago by a strip of land. It is also famous for its abundant fauna including birds, cows, wild horses.

View Engure, Latvia in a larger map The trip to Engure (a town near the lake) took us about 8 hours including breaks for tea and refreshments, and swimming. The road is partially a highway, relatively busy, quiet at times. Partially it is a quiet road covered with asphalt all way long and is macadam on the sides. There is NO special lane for riding bikes. Just when you enter the towns on your way you'll have these bike lanes.

 After you pass Ragaciems, you'll see lots of nice beaches. The sea is deeper there and the beaches are not so crowded as in Jurmala.

There are also two or three campings. This one I especially liked for its cosiness. The territory is clean. There are mostly families on holidays. The cafe-canteen is very nice. The shower is available. If you are not planning on staying there, having a cup of tea there is also a good idea. Their site is not the best one, but I assure you the camping has very good infrastructure and is nice.

In Engure you 'll find places to stay at, I really liked the guest house Villa Elizabete. If you travel with children, they'll enjoy the playground. There are also grill facilities, a small swimming pool, a sauna and a good cheap restaurant.

The playground in the yard of Villa Elizabete.

 In the restaurant of Villa Elizabete.
 The grill facilities.


Our room in the Villa. Very spacious and cosy.
Engure lake is 20 minute ride from the Villa. However, the lake is difficult to approach since its shores are marshy. We could find a pass in the forest that led us to the lake, but it's not so easy. We didn't make it to some of tourist centers of  Engure trying to find the best place for bird-watching ourselves which, as now I see it, was a mistake. There are a number of bird-watching centres by the lake, but they are farther on, to the south.

Anyways, we 've seen a harrier, heron, swans, and, seemingly, 2 common cranes. All those encounters were without any effort, unintentionally. I suppose, if we had prepared better for the trip, we would have seen more. I'd like to see the wild horses of Engure, but again, their pastures are farther to the south.

 In the restaurant of the Villa. Next to the plate of soup is a traditional Latvian hors d'oeuvre: herring, onions, and... cottage cheese.

More about Engure here.

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