Budapest

Another cool morning, another two countries, and now I am in Budapest. Here I shall depart from the Danube – I will cross it later, but at this point the river I have followed for 1000kms takes a different course to me.

Budapest is probably a good city, but I seem to be struggling to get into the mood for it. Probably because when I arrived it was getting to dusk, I was tired and covered in mud, and kept losing the trail into Budapest. I thought I was on the trail, then came up to a sign indicating no tractors, no horse-drawn carts, and no bicycles allowed. I am in the same category as agricultural vehicles.

A few white-knuckle rides on the side of very busy roads with no shoulder, and I finally got into the city itself. Major pain trying to get around in rush hour traffic to try and find somewhere to stay, but managed to find a hostel. Was thinking about only staying one night, then pushing on, but I was pretty tired (slept like a log for 9-10 hours), and I don’t have any great options for having a rest day for probably another 3 days riding, so figured I should stop for an extra night.

After being lucky with the weather for the last few weeks, things were due to turn. Fine weather cruising out of Vienna to Bratislava – I even stopped to have a nap in the sun at one point – then after stopping in with Biff things changed a bit. Not too bad, more just annoying drizzle, and plenty of spray from trucks/buses. The wind picked up yesterday though, which is more of a concern. Looks like it could be a bit of a pain for the next few days, but I think I’ll be OK with my current direction. Heading to Kecskemet, and on south across the border to Timisoara, Romania. More currencies, more languages I don’t know…was nice and comfortable with the euro and German, guess it’s time for a change.

Has been interesting to watch the changes from Austria, into Slovakia and now Hungary. You can really feel the change moving into Eastern Europe. Suddenly there are a lot of Ladas and Skodas on the road, and lots of people are on buses between cities. I will say that they do good bus stops though – perfect for a food stop on a damp day, with a seat, shelter, and a bin for my rubbish. I could have slept in some of the bus stops I’ve stopped in. Driving skills are tending downhill though, which is not so good as I’m now leaving the bike paths behind. Keys are to drive as fast as possible, and if you want to pass, don’t worry about road conditions, or what’s coming. Even got my first abuse from a truck driver. A classy touch.

Looks like some tougher road conditions coming up, with more hills too. Ah well, had enough of that easy stuff in Germany anyway…