Driven km: 135
We started the day with a common breakfast at the hotel with the Hungarian friends and then had to wait outside in the parking lot for 1.5 hours for our clothes to dry. We washed them yesterday but in the hotel room they did not dry completely and we had to leave the hotel room so we hung them on the motorcycles and waited for them to dry.
In the end we met Zsani an Adrián once more before lunchtime after they finished with their morning training session and then headed off to Vilnius. Vilnius is a really old city with some nice buildings and churches. We only managed to see a really small part of the city center with some churches included. We were both really tired after the short sleep last night and were only dragging our feet slowly and heavily. We were also both in our riding gear and had to carry the jacket with us as well. Even though we have a convenient method to turn the jacket into a backpack with a strap still it is heavy with the water bladder in it and all the protective padding add also a lot of weight to it. It is okay once on the bike and riding but when walking around it can wear you down relatively quickly. So we only made a small round and took some pictures. There are relatively a lot of parks and churches in a small area in the city center so this was perfect for us as we did not need to go far. We also grabbed some lunch at a restaurant. BoB ate some home made meatballs, which turned out to be just like that meatball dish you can get in IKEA. And Zsuzsi ate a soup with Cesar salad.
We left Vilnius at around 6 PM, which was quite late already so we were sure that it is almost impossible to make it to Poland this day. We headed South-West along the border. We wanted to take some smaller roads but it turned out that these small roads were not that small and in fact mostly straight and flat. We passed through many forests again and saw some lakes and churches and nice houses.
Shortly after 8 PM we started to look for some suitable camping spot. We saw many parking lots right next to the road in the forest for hikers to start from. We thought one of these could be a possible and suitable camping spot. But as we drove a bit further we just got out of a small town (Merkinè) when we crossed a river (Neman) on a bridge. Right after the bridge there was a crossing with a road leading into the forest. We took our chance and drove in to scout a bit where the road leads. To our surprise we ended up at a nice clearing in the forest with a parking lot, toilets, table and banks made out of wood. Next to us the river and the forest. The road was just far enough for us not to hear all the noises. There was even a place for fire and there was a sign that it is allowed to start a fire here. It was a bit like the camping places you would see in US movies where the families go into the woods and set up a camp in some national park. In fact it turned out that this was also a national park (Dzūkijos nacionalinis parkas). We quickly set up our camp while another family on bicycles arrived. They also set up their tent and started a fire a bit further away from us.
We spent then the rest of the evening talking to friends on Skype and watching the sunset and the sky as it went from blue to black at around 11 PM.
Our route on Google Maps: Map