Hmmm sorry for the lack of blogging!
Friday we got to sleep in a little bit, which was really nice, and we had most of the morning off to wait for the person who was tilling up the bank to get here and do that so that we could finish off the raking with it. It was a little bit annoying as we had been told we would start at 11 but it was more like 2, so there was a lot of hurry up and waiting, which seems to happen quite a bit with Zane.
As opposed to the light raking we thought we were getting in for, it was hot, hard work, and more than that, really boring--we've already dug up all of this land once, so digging it up again in the 30+ weather was a bit...ugh. Especially when the new guy started making cracks about it being a 'man's job' to dig up some of the roots while we did other work, and commented that he'd turned up for the hard parts since he was doing what we hadn't been able to do. Le sigh.
Luckily I think everyone was annoyed and hot and frustrated so we didn't do too much, only a few hours, and got sprung around 6. After showers and getting changed, Cecilia and headed on a grand adventure on the bus to SPICE, which is a local mall. Zane had suggested it because she knew I wanted to look for a bikini, and they were having a special shopping night where they stayed open until 2am, and had events and sales. It was pretty crazy, like a really busy boxing day, but I got a bikini that I love for only 15$ and Cecilia and I found Buffs! We'd been so excited to find them in Iceland but hadn't bought them as we didn't like the very touristy patterns which were the only ones we could find in stores, but this sports store had some great patterns, and they were 30% off, so we each got one, which made us very happy!
We left the mall at about 11, got back to Riga Central and sprinted across the station for an 11:30 bus that didn't exist, and ended up on the last bus back to Kekava at midnight. By the time we walked home for 20 minutes, convincing ourselves it wasn't really dark and there weren't going to be bears or boars it was nearly 1am. I don't think I've come home from too many shopping expeditions at 1am but it was really fun!
On Saturday (we get weekends off here), we walked across the road to the neighbour's farm to watch their driving competition. There were some verrrry cute ponies and carts and a really cute kid acting as navigator for a farm that seemed to like their adorable welsh ponies. We watched a few of the dressage tests, which was pretty interesting, but unfortunately couldn't stay for the cones courses or cross country--the show was scheduled to go from 10am to 7pm as there were a lot of horses, but we had other plans, so needed to get going.
Andis had offered to take us to Sigulda, a neighbouring town, for the day, so around 2 we packed up Miks and the four of us headed out. We stopped for a drive through lunch which was funny because I think there's a good chance it was the first time Miks had ever experienced coke, and potentially even bubbles in his drink, given by the hilarious expressions he was giving me every time he tried it. Between that and figuring out straws, it was a bit of a labour intensive drinking experience for the poor guy, but he seemed to enjoy it OK.
We dropped Miks off with Andis' brother, who lives in town, and then headed to a 13th century castle, which was pretty cool. We got to climb its tower and then visit a museum explaining how it was used by the Archbishop of Riga back in the day. It was called Turaida castle and there is a legend about the 'Rose of Turaida,' a woman who got double-crossed at a cave nearby, so in the midst of a thunderstorm we had a quick walk down to the cave, and had a nice warm shower in the process.
After that, we headed to Tarzans, which is an adventure park sort of like Tree Go back home. We didn't do the ropes course, but took a ski lift to the top of the Baltic State's longest run (ha.ha.ha. it was like 70m and not very steep whatsoever) and then rode a little yellow plastic car thing down a track. It was really fun, especially since you get to control your own speed. After that, and I'm not entirely sure how, Andis convinced us to go on the catapult, which is basically a reverse bungy jump. You get strapped in and told to hold your teeth tight, and then a machine tensions the many, many bungy cords attached to you, based on what you weigh, which was making me hope we'd converted to kilograms correctly! Once you're tensioned in and terrified, the guy pulls a string and sends you sky rocketing into the sky, 20m straight up. On the way down you do some flips, unintentionally, and also impersonate a rag doll, and then bounce around a bit before finally coming back down to earth. I kept my eyes shut for most of it haha, but Cecilia said it was quite the experience to see the earth rushing at you as you went head first for it.
That adventure successfully dispatched with, we met back up with Miks and Andis' brother, who had come to the park, and walked over to take a cable car across the river, but by the time we got there, you could only do it if you wanted to bungy jump. Which we didn't. So after a quick coffee in their flat, where Miks seized on being undiapered and watered the floor, which was hilarious, we headed back into Kekava. We got back and had a lovely dinner cooked by the Italian--spaghetti carbonara, and relaxed for the rest of the evening.
Sunday was the first day since leaving Canada six weeks ago where we haven't had a plan, so it was lovely to sleep, and sleep, and sleep. Until noon. Haha. We eventually crawled out of bed and headed to the store to pick up a few things that Andis needed for a party he was overseeing (they rent the squash club and playground out to parties) and also got a couple of snacks for ourselves. Once his food had been delivered, we changed into bikinis and together with Pietro (the Italian workawayer) walked down to a little beach/swimming hole they've opened this year about 2km away. It was lovely to lie in the semi-sun and read a book that I'm reviewing for work for a couple of hours.
We headed back and started a movie, and then much to our (happy) surprise, were left all alone from about 5:30 yesterday as everyone including Pietro went back to the flat. We finished the movie, made pasta for dinner, looked for couches and workaway places for the next little while, and generally had a lovely end to a relaxing weekend.
This morning I'm up early to catch up on the blog and do some work, and we aren't entirely sure what the plan is, probably moving and raking more dirt, over and over again. It's looking much cooler out there, though, and it's cloudy, so it should be much easier work out of the sun.