I decide to skip the shopping expedition and press on towards a secluded campsite.
Angry barks follow me as I ride away from the people and towards the beach.
I pass a memorial commemorating the long and brutal war between Germany and Russia. A dehumanised soldier stares back at me, his sunken eyes sending chills through my already tepid torso.
I head to the northern end of the waterfront. It’s challenging to ride, this technical Hobbiton style lawn, with clumpy springy grass on top of rocks.
At the lake edge, there is a beautiful sunset and a great camping spot. But a parked motorcycle and a lack of shelter fail two of my criteria for stealth camping.
A terrifying red sign warns against taking the coastal route. Capital letters yell a translation of DANGEROUS TO PROCEED FURTHER WHEN ICY. I am very thankful for my 3G connection, which facilitates Google Translate via OCR. It would be a much slower process to type these foreign characters in, one-at-a-time.
My GPS shows a river dividing the town in half. I make my way to the bridge which accesses the southern end of the beach, and the port. When I get there, I find that the wind has grown colder and taken on a life of its own. I decide to follow my ex’s recent advice to get warm ASAP.
A small cluster of trees is the only possible protection from this wretched wind. I throw out the twigs and pine cones and cram my tent in between the tree trunks and branches, tying my guy lines on to whatever I can.
While I am doing this it starts to rain. As I finish setting up in the darkness, some young people ride past on a motorcycle and look at me strangely. I’d hoped that I was far enough away from town that I wouldn’t have any unsolicited guests, but maybe not.
I hear confused voices and then laughter, presumably at my poor choice of campsite. I crawl into my tent where it is at least sheltered. Snacking on a not very nice cold dinner of Chinese packet ham and dried fish, I allow the scary gale to lull me to sleep.