Amber Shops and Elevants

Day 9. 4 August 2003

Monday. Wake at 0700 hours. Seleft reasonably well last night despite the 2am-ish finish of the Truth or Dare and the cold feet in the early hours of Monday dawn. I am one of the first packed despite having (by far) the largest rucsac. Quite ironic really.

Breakfast is as usual served up in the baar and is our now fond selection of malted-black and rye bread, cold meats and salad. Vicky is absent for much of the meal as she is still packing, and Jane, more asleep than normal. Everyone is (unnaturally) quiet. Our Russian landlady has mercifully left off the looped taped of Elton John and Ricky Martin — for which relief we give much thanks. I don’t think any of us could have coped with it after the night before…

Tim had a dream where he’d drunk a lot of pepper vodka — that, we tell him, was not a dream!! He later suggested a comparison photograph of mine and Steve’s rucsacs — from the sublime to the rediculous — but to this day we are not sure which is which. With our waterfalls refilled at the baar, we lounge around, for the last time, at the tables outside whilst we wait for the bus to arrive. In the end the bus arrives early and we sling our bags into the trailer, appoint Tim, as before, on shadow watch and pile on. Unlike before, the original Crazy Gang take each of the single seats down the side of the bus thus disseminating the craziness and the coolness throughout the bus, rather than confining it to the back seats. And so it comes, at last for the last, tearful farewell to Annika. We showered presents on her last night, and she had taken half a dozen or so orders for the cool *flying squirel* Elfond T-shirts and Tom had off-loaded his BTCV T-shirts to her to spread the good word. In the goodbyes, Annika, admits that we have been the best group she has workid with (but does she say that to all te groups?) and she reminds Tom (Tim-Tom) pointedly that she really does want to visit the UK again, do the tour of her new friends and maybe take in a conservation holiday along the way. And with that, we depart Sutu, and hit the main road to the ferry and to Tallinn.

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