Saturday, 28 April 2012

26 April Stage 17 Nickelsdorf - Komarom

Dep 10.10     Arr 5.30     Dist 100.2 km     Total 1882.7 km

A few weeks before I left England (sounds weird?) I sent emails to the Cycling Federations of Hungary, Rumania and Bulgaria informing them of my visit and suggesting that any cyclists in their respective countries may wish to ride with me for some of the way. I received replies from Hungary and Bulgaria, saying they would forward my email to their members. I then received another email for a chap named Ray, a fellow Liverpool supporter in Budapest, who was the partner of the Secretary of their Federation. He told me not to book accommodation and for me to ring when I was near. Being two days away was near enough so I rang Ray soon after I got organised and he said he now had my number and he would sort something out for me and let me know by text or phone.

The lady announced it would be 30 degrees today which I thought was good news. I waited for her to bring in the breakfast and then realised it was already there. It consisted of two cobs with a dollop of jam and a miniscule sachet of pate. I had expected better. I was then finishing off my packing when the little lady came into the room. She looked at the bed and tutted because the other side of the bed had been disturbed. I informed her that I had only sat there on one occasion to put my socks on. I then informed her that there was no curtain and that the sun had woken me at 6 o’clock. She soon scuttled off and I finished packing and went outside. I was loading the bags onto the bike while she and her even smaller husband were packing the car. They were in a hurry so I went through the gate then remembered I had no water. I turned back and asked her if she could fill my bottles but she said she had already closed the door. I said never mind and got going with a different opinion about the nice lady. It is only a business to these people after all.

It was a beautiful sunny day as I passed through the now deserted border control into Hungary. How different that would have been in the old days? I decided to dispense with my cycling jacket and gloves and rode along in a polo shirt with a vest under, which left my arms and hands exposed. The cycle paths were brilliant, at first, but then disappeared so I went onto the road. Then, in the middle of nowhere, the sign appeared, a bike in a red circle. There was nowhere else to go so I stayed on the road and nobody seemed to bother. I got money from an ATM in a small town and was amazed to find it was still the old currency, forints. I had expected euros. The lady in the bank kindly filled my bottles for me and I stuck to the planned route, with a slight wind against most of the day, reaching the campsite at Komarom in good time. There was a swimming pool on the campsite which was almost exclusively German, so I went and had a splash around with my cycling shorts on. I had a packet of German noodles for tea and rang Ray in Budapest. There was no answer so I texted him and had an early night.

Today's Route

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