2021 Baltic Shore

August 2021 solo bicycle camping trip to the Baltic Shore

Wild forests

I camped near the Dead Lake on Elbląg Highlands (Wysoczyzna Elbląska). Pretty much the purpose of my trip – I never, ever camped, and I wanted a place far away from people, in quiet nature.

I had some mixed luck with the weather there. On one hand, it was colder than expected (night temperature at 14 C – not too bad, but it’s summertime) and it rained heavily in the evenings, nights and mornings. Because of this, I had to spend that time in the tent, with limited access to any mobile service to keep myself entertained.

On the other hand, it was not raining during the day. For this purpose, I visited a village called Ogrodniki, where there were very friendly cashiers, and Milejewo, where I ate at a brand new pizzeria which was opened only on its second day, with opportunity to recharge the phone, buy more water, and some food for the night.

I get asked often if I was not scared, and I ask, scared of what. They tell: of bandits, of animals or of darkness. The bandits one is puzzling to me, because you go there exactly because there are no people there. Bandits go where there are people to pester them and to show off, they wouldn’t be far off in the middle of nowhere. Animals were absent apart from an army of slugs that crawled up my tent in the night. And darkness I was never afraid of, after all, I wasn’t lost.

What I was scared of was a forecast of thunderstorm. These two days were very, very windy, so I camped at a hill as seen below, so the branches falling off trees wouldn’t fall on my tent, and mostly near the peak of the hill, so water flows downhill and doesn’t pool up under me. All well and strategically placed, but if there is a thunderstorm, lightnings could strike my high-placed tent. Thank God, it was just a lot of wind and rain.

Also, one more observation. A lot of people – myself included – sometimes think that you need to go to the nature to enjoy silence. But nature can be as loud as human activity if not louder. If you camp in the forest, wind in the trees will make a sound louder than you think, and I also heard from a camper that if you camp near the sea shore, then the sound of waves after a few hours stop being soothing and start acting on you like being near a highway full of passing cars, just more rhythmically.

There was a shelter there as well, where you could safely open fire and cook something, and protect yourself from wind and rain. I used it just once, but I felt safer knowing it isn’t that far off. All in all, it was an interesting experience, I just hoped that my bike – left to the elements just like that, as I didn’t manage to buy a proper cover for it in time – will survive. As I know today, when the whole trip finished, it did.

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