The below photo is me, yes I look crazy, in the boiling Latvian heat heading to a cottage, trying to protect myself from the little mosquito buggers.
After a 40 minute walk we arrived at the hidden cottage sweaty, itchy and a bit worn out from the day’s travel.
We stayed at this gorgeous little cottage for two nights. It was sat beside the large home of the Latvian family who lived there (and built this little cottage).
It had these huge, heavy ladders that led up to the little attic space where a Japanese style bed sat beneath a skylight. I mean come on, just look at the mash up of brickwork, thick slabs of roughly carved wood against the neat pale slats of the wooden roof. The door you can see between the stairs leads to the toilet and shower room clinging to that room is a big Sauna! We asked if it was in use but unfortunately not, I guess it would take hours to heat up and maybe quite a lot of effort.
Ernie resting in bed after a long day of travel. By this time it must have been getting on for 6pm, we’d been on a 4 hour coach from Tallinn, Estonia and then hopped on a train from Riga Central to Asari followed by nearly an hours walk (We couldn’t find the house at first)
This cute, tiny window was opposite the bed, the view over the jungle like garden was so inviting (only in theory though as they definitely had a plague of mosquitoes out there)
The only thing within walking distance was a small corner shop, you kind of needed a car to get around this area!
Unless you have the amazing two wheeled vehicle! Screw cars! Our Airbnb host provided us with two bikes which was perfect – as Latvia is pretty flat so cycling is a doddle! This meant cycling to the shop and grabbing a twister was simply an obligation.
The following morning we were up early, made sandwiches then hit the road! Time to visit the bog! The area was absolutely amazing, dense with trees, no tourists, perfect weather and flat.I can’t emphasise how important the word flat is.
This was the view the entire way to the station.
We cycled from the cottage to the Asari train station, from here we got the train to Kemeri.
From Riga you have to take the train to Tukums 1 or Tukums 2. A single ticket costs € 1.80. You have to get a ticket for your bike too but it only costs around 27cents.
The trains are all old soviet ones.
Ernie watching for the train.
From the train station we cycled 3km or so to get to the start of the trail. We crossed a motorway and cycled through a long gravel path in a wood. That was not nice to cycle on at all. For some reason they had a lot of graveyards out here. Some with really huge headstones with laser printed photographs, even cycling by I could see the photos of those that laid there.
We knew we had arrived at the trail when we saw this tiny little hut! The guy inside provided us with a map. We didn’t hang around as we were surrounded by mosquitoes. I’m not joking when I say there were a cloud of them. Luckily when we got on the trail there were absolutely none, I think dragonflies are their predators?
I must say, walking along The Great Kemeri Bog Trail was one of the most memorable parts of our adventure around the Baltics.
The Bog (Lielais Ķemeru tīrelis in Latvian) covers an area of over 12,000 of the National Park’s 94,000 acres and dates back about 8,000 years.
I can’t help but dress a little dramatically – I was so concerned there would be mosquitoes I tucked my trousers into my socks and wore a hoodie even though it was pretty hot.
We had an amazing time walking the trail, spotting wildlife and eating our sandwiches at the top of the watchtower. Afterwards we cycled back to the Kemeri train station and onto Asari. We were still pretty peckish at that point and cycled around the “town” via the beach and settled at this Armenian restaurant for dinner before cycling back to the little cottage.
If you’re heading out to Riga I highly recommend a day trip out to the Kemeri Bog.
Thanks for reading!
Below are links to some other posts about my Baltic adventure – check them out!
I post every Wednesday (though when the mood strikes I might post twice a week!)
What’s coming up on the blog?
– Kaunas, Lithuania and the 30km bike ride
– Tallinn, Estonia
– Blog post round up (almost at 30 posts with no signs of stopping!)
– Last day of the Baltic adventure