So far our story here has been told until the moment when we were freezing to the point where fingers were not really cooperating to write the previous blog entry (but we wanted to write it otherwise our most hardcore fans - parents and grandparents get upset that they have to talk to us on phone about how the walking is going instead of reading the blog). Afterall, we were a bit wwet from the rain, the evening did not get warmer and we were sitting down instead of walking. All the prerequisites to be cold. So we decided to get up, get going and go looking for a shop, because if a place as small as Õru had a shop working until 22.00, place as big as Rõngu, certainly had to have it as well. It did. Luckily we arrived around 21.55 - early enough to make use of their coffee machines, get some hot cocoa and feel warm and human again. we actually felt so good we kept walking for some more kilometres, just because we could.
The next morning was a bit fun, as Ilze reported that she woke up with a single thought in her mind. No, it was not "such a good weather", "Tartu is so close", "Lauma is the best co-walker" or anything like that. Her thought was "I don't want to eat canned fish." And it sounded quite desperate. Thanks to Mari-Liisa and her team, we could have way more luxurious breakfast than canned fish - we had pizza! We do apologize them here for devoting so little lines in the previous entry, it is not that we did not appreciate their pizza move, oh, they saw we did (and our only hope is they did not take pictures of us secretly later to be posted with captions like "wild tribe sees food"). It was cold, when e wrote that entry.
We kept walking, until we reached Motell Waide just about at the moment when in the sky a thunderstormy cloud reached us. We asked for a shelter in the motell and they kindly gave it to us, set complete with electricity and internet, telling also that in two hours their cafe would be open if we were in for a hot drink. At the beginning we were sceptical about staying that long. Eventually, activity of thunder around us, the amount of water pouring over the roof of our motell and general thought of finally getting a "real meal" thav we had been wanting since Trikāta, we decided to stay.
The food was absolutely fantastic in its simplicity - Ilze eating fish soup is a sign of it itself, as in general, Ilze does not eat fish (except for some canned ones). We both had pasta - something that tasted almost godlike. Lauma had a cake. If we were not that forgetful regarding taking photos, this entry would be looking like an Instagram profile of a food addict. And the staff who served us was so kind and so smiling all the time, that it just turned this place in another new-found paradise for us. As we wrote in their guest-book, we came here by accident but now we know where to send our friends on purpose.
The rest of the day went away pretty much normally. We walked. We celebrated each blue roadsign with number of kilometres left to Tartu on it. In our trip-jargon we had named them "moments of truth" and each of them came more motivating than the previous.
At some point a car stopped by us and a man got out asking whether we are the girls walking to Tartu. When we approved, he told us he is a journalist from Postimees, he had been in touch with the "guys with wheelbarrow" who walked to Tartu some time ago, that he had seen us day before when going to Valmiera. Eventually we agreed to meet "tomorrow at Kristjan's place" and went our ways. Our way was certainly more joyous after this meeting, because each reminder, even as small as beeping of bypassing cars, lifted our spirits quite a lot. Even it was evening already, it did not feel like we had done more than twenty kilometres that day.
Our target was to leave for the "last day" no more than fifteen. Soon after this meeting our calculations said that well, the target is reached, however, to approve this feeling we decided to go for another "moment of truth", just to be sure, and then to find a place to build our tent for the last time.
At the next blue roadsign our hearts almost fainted. For a good, positive reason. The number was actually eleven. It meant, that after having our good sleep in (finally!) wwll chosen spot, we had to do less than half of our daily norm. So we expected to get to Tartu around noon instead of evening.
The morning of today felt like flying in all senses. Time flew. kilometres flew. We felt like flying, so easy our feet brought us closer to our target. On our way we were called and then caught by Estonian television. The big one. They also thought that our journey is important or at least interesting enough to tell others about it. They caught us at a very significant moment - right after doing the last of our "world's worst selfies".
The only thing left was to reach Kristjan. Because Riga-Tartu itself was done already. We kept walking and now those were already streets we had walked before for different reasons while in Tartu. Although they felt and seemed different. For the whole hour we kept repeating to each other how unreal it feels that we are here and we really walked our way here.
And then there it was - the last couple hundred of metres. Before going up the Toomemägi, we paid a glimpse to Tâhtvere 1, where once was house that in its time was also residence of Veidenbaums when he was in Tartu. And then - then up we went.
We were received by Ilze Zagorska, Latvian language and culture teacher and enthusiast at University of Tartu. All the journalists who had contacted us, were there. And there was also Contra, who greeted us by reciting Veidenbaums in both - Estonian and Latvian. How often you get a poet to run away from queuing up fans in the town square event just to come up the hill and recite just for you, for two people? It was so heart warming and so fitting conclusion of our trip and pretty much like the beginning. In Riga we were standing at Kristjan's gravestone with Eduards' poems in mind, and here wew stood again - at the feet of Kristjan's monument with Eduards' poems being recited.
Of course, there were interviews and there were simply friendly conversations with journalists. There was the rain that had saved us dry and civilized-looking all the time this day up to this point. There was a coffee in Raekojaplats just to say proper goodbye's to each other before going our separate ways to our sorority convent apartments and have some rest after these closer-to-300-than-200 kilometres. There will be a (most likely) very reflecting and contemplative journey back to Riga by train tomorrow. We agreed that we will use it to write some summary of this journey and our list of thank-yous, so one more post is coming here.
But other than that, that's all, folks. We are still alive. And we are in Tartu. And even it might not have any significance on a CV or anything, we feel like we have done something for our grandchildren to google up accidentally and then call us for explanations. And when that happens, we will have stories and stories to tell.
And yes. In that ice-breaking game, where everyone has to say his or her name and then one interesting thing about his or herself - for that game we finally have something to say too.