I'm writing this in a fish restaurant in Baja, I am the only customer but it is Sunday in rural Hungary. Everyone is Kung Foo Fighting is subtly playing in the background at around 80 decibels.
After a three day break in Budapest,with Jenny and Philip joining me for two, It took quite a lot of determination to get back on the bike on a cool, cloudy morning and cycle 70 miles. The hotel receptionist warned me against The Balkans and Romania. She suggested i knock at the door of one of the many ethnic Hungarian families who still live in Serbia and Romania and mention I had come from Budapest. They would offer me shelter. It was not made quite clear as to how to identify these houses. In any case if i remember correctly they are all in the north of Romania and I am heading south. Nice thought though.
Getting back into the groove was made no easier by the fact that the route out of Budapest is far less attractive than the route in, through heavy traffic and is badly signed.
Once I got about twenty miles south the feel of the country quickly became very rural. So did the route, the bike path where it exists can vary from Tarmac to almost impassable mud. More worryingly the trend I had noticed since entering Hungary for my route map in the bikeline guide and the actual route to vary hugely is continuing and strengthening. Roads that should be on the route fail to exist or, in one case appear to have been upgraded to a motorway. Not good news as I have no other maps.
I had an excellent overnight stop in Dunafoldvar last night. Searching the town for somewhere to stay I saw a Zimmer sign near the old centre. I had three bedrooms ( eight beds), a kitchen and bathroom all for £15 incl breakfast. My bike was guarded by two very friendly guard dogs. The house was clearly very old and since the lady who owned it spoke no English communication was tricky. However I did manage to understand that it went back several hundred years and earlier than the Turks. She also showed me the headstones of the small graveyard contained in the garden which looked very old indeed. Interesting breakfast which included fresh cherries and paprika.
So now in Baja. I have been joined by one other diner and the music has moved onto a sort of Eurovision Song Contest greatest hits ( south east Europe entries only) tape. Time for coffee.
Days 41 - 43 rest days in Budapest
Day 44. 69m/110k
Day 45. 55m/88k
Cum. 1970m/3153 k