We really enjoyed our time in Latvia, it’s a beautiful country and they know how to put on a bloody good festival. On our first night we free camped next to a lake and woke up to a this lovely view from our bedroom window.
From here we drove to Gaujas National Park and found a campsite on the river, we spent the day pimping up the momo home with our blog address and playing ‘cheesy puff challenges’ (you have to make your own entertainment when you are the only ones in a campsite….)
The river we were next to is perfect for kayaking so despite nursing a couple of fractured ribs Craig decided a 20km kayak was too short and upped it to 30km, luckily the campsite owner drives you to a spot upstream and you have the flow of the river to help you along. However on this day the river was flowing at a pretty sluggish pace and after we’d travelled 20km we had both had enough and regretted the change of plan. Just as we were starting to flag and our enthusiasm was waning we came alongside a raft full of Russians who invited us to moor up with them and have a drink. Of course this turned out to be a shot of very strong vodka but we were also ‘treated’ to the traditional accompaniment of bread topped with pig fat and a slice of gherkin. (I’m sure this is appealing to some but unfortunately the texture and taste got my gag reflex going, I covered it up with lots of ‘Mmmm, yumm’ noises and hopefully got away with it)
After a second shot (and second slice of pig fat bread) we left the russian raft and happily headed off on the last 10km back to the campsite.
Next stop was the Postivus Festival just outside Riga. If anyone is fed up with the ever-increasing prices for UK festivals I would strongly recommend checking out one of the European ones – we paid roughly €100 for a 3 day ticket to Ruisrock in Finland and for Positivus it was only €57 for a 3 day ticket, unbelievable! Plus the festival sites are amazing, Ruisrock is on an island near Turku and one of the stages is on the beach and Positivus is in a forest with sand dunes and a beach just through the trees and a campsite just a 2 minute walk away from the festival entrance.
Day one lineup was You Me At Six (fairly average), Laura Mvula (amazing) and Elbow (impressive). We were pacing ourselves so didn’t stay for the DJ sets that went on until the early hours but our neighbours in the campsite had other ideas and decided to bring the party to us. We were woken up at 6am by an impressive set of speakers right next to our bedroom and a rocking sensation of the momo home that we assumed was people leaning on the front (turned out it was actually people jumping on the bike rack…..)
Day two we planned to see Ellie Goulding but were too busy drinking beer and chatting and only caught the last couple of minutes (oops), we did watch Tricky but found it sadly disappointing (possibly a problem with their sound system), last on were Kraftwerk which we were going to watch on the basis that we recognised the name, then we heard them come on and realised we didn’t actually like their music much. So instead we went and got ourselves some blinging glitter tattoos! (unfortunately I don’t have photographic evidence of Craig’s pretty gecko but here is my two-tone cowboy…..)
Day 3 had a bit of a shaky start when the heavens opened and we found ourselves in the middle of a thunderstorm. We did feel sorry for the campers who had to huddle under whatever shelter they could find although our sympathy only extended as far as taking pictures of their misery from the comfort of our motor home (we couldn’t fit them all in was our excuse…..)
Luckily the rain stopped and the sun came out just in time for The 1975. At the end of their set the drummer threw his drumsticks into the crowd and Craig managed to make a grab for it – not quite in time to stop it crashing into my face but we now have a very cool souvenir from Positivus 🙂
The Sunday lineup was our favourite day, after The 1975 we saw Bastille and then the headliners The Kooks who were awesome. We can safely say this was the best festival we’ve been to and to top it all off the beers were cheap (€10 for four and you get a free hat, we have a nice collection of hats now), the queues were mostly non-existent at the beer tents and best of all (for me anyway) the longest queue for the toilet was 5 people deep – that is absolutely unheard of!
After the fun of the festival we spent a couple of days exploring Riga which is really pretty. We had a go at archery (harder than it looks), wandered around the Old Town and had drinks at the bar on the 11th floor of the Albert Hotel overlooking the city. Latvia has been amazing, next stop Lithuania.