Carnikava – Vecāķi
Carnikava – Vecaki is a 16 km long stage and it starts in Carnikava, next to the “Laivu Māja” (Boat House) the accommodation offered by Carnikava Lutheric Church. Recommended also as albergue for pilgrims of Camino. Will start stage by stone-tiled track, followed by the tarmac and the ground roads, but the most of this stage (around 12 km) will walk along the beach.
To start we leave the accommodation “Laivu Māja” on our left. If needed to buy some food then approximately after 500 m walking down Stacijas Street what is on our left will find the center of Carnikava with a shop, a couple cafes, a pharmacy and a ATM available 24/7 (the next option will be only at the end of the stage in the Vecaki). If no need for shop or pharmacy, we begin to walk down a pedestrian walkway that is covered with stone tiles along the Gauja river in the direction to the sea. After about 200 m to the right from us we can see a picnic spot at the coast of Gauja river. After 400 m, the walkway leads to the bridge, goes over it, and then at around 200 m, we reach the Carnikava Local History centre. Here we turn left and walk down the tarred Jomas street, about 300 m to the intersection with Laivu Street, where we turn to the right. After 100 m, the main road (Laivu Street) turns left and we continue to walk on it. The traffic of cars along this road is not very intense, but since there is no the pedestrian pavement, must be careful. There is a pine forest on either side of the road.
After approximately 1.1 km, we arrive at an intersection where the tarred road turns to the right and the ground road is visible to the left. We turn to the left and enter the Piejūra Natural Park. Attention – In rainy weather, some parts of the road may be flooded. At about 500 m, the road splits – we keep to left, if turned to right will enter into the swamp. We continue down the road, after some 200 m on left side we can see the remains of the coastal defence battery. There are several crossings along the way with forest trails, but we continue straight until the road ends in a larger area (parking). There is a dune in front of us, heading across it along a sandy path until we’ve reached the sea. We turn left on the beach and start heading towards Riga. To the right of us, the Gulf of Riga, to the left, forest.
After about 1 km to the left, we see a resting place marked “Carnikava” – a shelter with a bench where can rest for a moment.
The next approximately 4.7 km walk along the seaside until we see the sign “Garciems” on our left. Here also are benches where to rest. Perhaps there may be a waterway in our way, the Eimura Canal, which is very shallow or even dry. If we get over dry feet, we keep our way up the sea. However, if the water channel is deep, the wooden dock on the left leads us to the benches, and after approximately 300 m as we pass through the forest along the canal we reach the wooden bridge. We cross the canal through the bridge and a little farther ahead is a wooden dock what leads us to the beach again as we go to the right.
Continuing along the sea for more 3 km we see the sign “Kalngale” on the left.
We continue our way up the beach and then, after next 2.8 km, we come to the end of the stage in Vecaki. There are accommodations available here, several cafes and WC; 1 km from the beach is a railway station Vecaki.