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  • Writer's pictureRichard Mark Dobson

Road to Riga Part 2. (Samuel in Wonderland)

As day four dawned in Kuldiga, a feline presence emerged.

This was no ordinary cat; she possessed the regal aura of a demi-goddess, her eyes carrying a wisdom that seemed to transcend the ages. Her coat, a rich chocolate brown, worn like a shaggy rug, lent an air of antiquity to her form. There was a Sphinx-like mystique that surrounded her, as her amber eyes met ours. Her very presence whispered of good omens. She was a harbinger of good fortune, sent to guide us on our journey.

The day’s journey began before the Venta river. Besides Europe's widest waterfall. A fitting backdrop for a photo op of Ajmal and his wife. Both of them showing solidarity. We could imagine the Knights of the Templar leading their horses to the river’s edge to drink. We didn’t happen to see the flying fish of Kuldīga. Those that jump the rapids as they come upstream to breed. Part of their own amazing life’s journey.

Venta Falls Kuldīga

To reiterate, herewith in the heart of the Baltics, a paraplegic man named Ajmal Samuel has embarked on an extraordinary pilgrimage, one that defies both physical limitations and conventional expectations.

No ordinary journey, but one that is a testament to Ajmal's indomitable will and a celebration of life's boundless possibilities. Having stared death in the face during a harrowing experience on the operating table, he emerged from that ordeal with a newfound determination to live life fully and authentically.

The near-death encounter had acted as a catalyst, propelling him to chase after the dreams he had long held within his heart.

Instagram influencer Laurita who goes by the name of Lynx 5 The Walker is an artist and ASF fan. Seen here in Kuldīga

With a team united by purpose and a vision, the journey commenced.

Yet, the journey was not undertaken in isolation. Along the way, eyes both human and animal watched the team's passage. Dogs, cats, and cows alike observed this procession of determination, while curious onlookers regarded the enigmatic figure on the hi-tech, black hand-cycle—a modern-day Dark Knight traversing ancient landscapes and medieval looking towns.

Latvian family visiting the wine town of Sabile and seen here wishing Ajmal Samuel Bon Voyage

Our path proved to be a symphony of serendipity. Back roads opened doors to where the very air held echoes of forgotten legends. The landscape evoked scenes from a Bruegel painting—farmhouses, fields, and hay bales seen against the canvas of a painterly sky.

However, enchantment often walks hand in hand with challenge. Ajmal's path meandered into unfamiliar territory, and as the late sun cast its shadow, he found himself amidst forests and ancient cemeteries. In one such place, a woman draped in black conjured eerie recollections of the Hound of the Baskervilles, lending a touch of mystery to his quest.

In the midst of this uncertainty, an accidental wrong turn proved serendipitous. The path, though unintended, led through silent forests.

The journey, like a fairy-tale, weaved its own brand of magic. In the calmness of the forests, he found solace, as if the trees whispered ancient secrets and the air carried the melody of forgotten tales. The mystical aura of the landscapes spoke too of a sense of return—to roots, to oneself, to the essence of life's journey.

As the sun dipped below the horizon, his wheels turned once more, the path leading him onward. Everything he witnessed carried the ancient echoes—all of it was a testament to the resilience of the human spirit.

In a world where Ajmal's own life had nearly been claimed, he had chosen to defy the odds, to journey forth with unwavering determination.

Days to live transformed into days that lived, as Ajmal's pilgrimage unfolded.

A journey that mirrored the archetypal hero's quest—faced with challenges, entranced by the mist and magic, and carried forth by the winds of resilience. And amidst the landscapes that could have sprung from the pages of a fairy tale, we learned that life itself was a story, waiting to be written, shared and embraced.

All the while cats continued to wander, symbols of survival carrying

the essence of nine lives

within their enigmatic


In the pages of this extraordinary journey, Riga emerged as a significant waypoint—a city that held its own stories, waiting to be entwined with theirs. It's skyline echoing tales of the past.

Riga skyline seen from the Vanšu Bridge. Spires of Riga include, from left to right. Bishops Castle, St. Mary’s Cathedral, St Peter's Church, Latvian Academy of Sciences building.

Riga, a pivotal crossroads on their journey, wove its own narrative into theirs.

Distance Covered

Day 1 - Klaipeda to Sventāja 42.89Km

Day 2 - Sventājato Liepāja 62.11Km

Day 3 - Liepāja to Kuldīga 97.34Km

Day 4 - Kuldiga to Plieņciema kāpa 108.59Km

Day 5 - Plieņciema kāpa to Riga 60.14Km


Join the expedition, follow updates, and tag along on this inspiring adventure."

ASF has carefully chosen Resolve to be the beneficiary for 2023: Resolve is a charity founded in 2017 that helps create change makers in our community to drive a more inclusive city. Their signature program is a Fellowship that has so far supported over 70 emerging community leaders from diverse walks of life. There have been five cohorts of the fellowship on racial equality, ending gender-based violence, disABILITIES and empowerment, wellbeing and health and (E)quality Education for all.

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