The town square of Paide (pronounced bp-aii-de) has a church on one side, a town hall on the other and a small park in the middle. People are out for spring; there is a fire truck, local boys eyeing local girls and little kids in funny costumes.
But the only restaurant is closed, so I keep walking. Moss grows on the roofs of wood houses:
There is the smell of pine trees and wood-smoke. This is roughly the centre of Estonia. Life is old but cosy:
Today I want to reach Turi (dt-oo-ri), 13km. I pass the cemetery of Reopalu, sitting quietly amid tall trees. Its stone walls are covered in moss. There is a small stone chapel with a bell. The first grave here is dated 1774:
An old woman in a big coat walks amid her memories. My heart walks with her a moment. A worker trims bushes. Pink, red, purple, blue flowers grow on many plots:
I walk under a blue sky, in a carpet of blue flowers. I try not to walk on them, but it is spring and they gather about my feet:
I pass signs telling me that there will be Mooses Crossing Next 5 km. I hope these half-tonne hormone-barrels don’t find me attractive. An idiot in a bright blue jacket passes me on a bicycle. I relax. He looks much more like the kind of guy a spring-struck moose might eye.
The walk here is long and flat. Husband Storks stuck in their domestic eyries look down on me, no doubt thinking: “Now there’s a good idea.”
Finally a small river, marking just 5km left today.
I arrive in Turi late afternoon and head to the place I am staying, sitting beside the river. The landlady eyes me, and asks for the money upfront.
She tells me she will make me an English Breakfast. I request:
“But no bacon or sausage.”
She gives me one those looks:
“So what’s left?”
Later we chat and she becomes friendly. She tells me the reason she asked for the money upfront is:
“You look like a man with no money”.
Have I really so cast off my earthly shackles?
(events 1 May 2013)