DAY ONE… 28.5 miles (45.5 km)
Tim is in the shower having totally rearranged his pannier bags. There’s no milk so we are having ginger oatcakes and tea with coffee mate.
We arrived 2.30am last night as the plane was late taking off and we then took ages to get our bikes in a fit state for the road, unpacking and reassembling. We left the airport about 1am and tried to find our way to the accommodation we had booked without cycling on the motorway. We kept ending up at gated roads and fences. We just couldn’t see a way through so after much coming and going around in circles, we ended up going down a blocked off road beside a motorway and from there to a paved gutter full of shrubs down a steep bank (this was all in the dark). Eventually we found a way to get away from the motorway and to cycle the 5 miles to our guest house, through streets with dogs straining to get us, but thankfully behind gates. Arrived and I took a zopiclone sleeping pill. Tim says I snored like a trooper!
11.30am… Tim has found a camping shop. We wanted to buy some camping gas or paraffin before we head off. I am writing my diary whilst Tim investigates.
We had to resort to a train journey into Budapest as Tim’s re-packing set us back quite a lot. Trains in Hungary are designed to really break you. There are steps down to the under pass and then up the other side, with all the panniers. The bikes were to go right at the front of the train and the irate conductor started yelling at us and egging us to ride along the platform, saying the train is waiting for us, then there is the climb up to get into the train, like climbing into a mountain.
Evening at the thermal spa campsite. It’s all quiet apart from a rowdy group of older male cyclists who are obviously thrilled with their achievements and probably going to let everyone else on the campsite know about it.
It was very hot today and I have a heat rash already on my leg. Even though we cut the ride short, it was still a big effort to get to Ráckeve, through Budapest. The route followed endless miles of summer homes of Budapest residents. At times breaking off to follow the river bank on treacherous narrow, tree root ridden paths, with plenty of slip potential.
Tim has gone off to get some supplies and then we might sample the thermal waters. We have paid for it!! But, we are almost out of money. A big hole was eaten into it by the Booking.com accommodation in Budapest last night and by tonight’s “spa waterpark” campsite. The Euros we bought in our village Post Office have almost gone. We’ll either have to live very frugally for the next few days or get more money out.