But The Levee Was Dry

By Stephen Ewashkiw | May 24, 2013

2283 km so far.

We woke up alone on the lake, to the sound of ducks, frogs, and a bird that seemed to be singing the Mission Impossible theme.

It was lucky that as we were approaching the campground last night we met a Dutch couple coming off the EuroVelo 6 where we were to get back on it this morning, otherwise we may not have believed this was actually the right path.

Like Little House On The Prairie, but with bikes.

Like Little House On The Prairie, but with bikes.

EuroVelo 6 Continues To Surprise

Instead of a paved (or even dirt) track running along the levee like we had experienced yesterday, here the EV6 is essentially the grassy flat top of the levee, on which we are allowed to ride. There’s a narrow, worn, single track along one side, but it is essentially a combination of sheep-grazing pasture and a route for cycling farm workers to get to their fields.

The grassy levee didn’t last forever and before long we were spit out onto a paved road, which appeared to go from nowhere to nowhere, but had many cars vying for space on its oily surface.

The EV6 then got a bit vague. Several times there was no sign where we needed to turn. Fortunately Galileo uses OpenCycleMaps which shows the EuroVelo routes. This kept us on track, but also meant a lot of stopping and checking when it was clear we had missed a turn (like when we found ourselves at the edge of the freeway, or at a dead-end next to the Danube).

We had heard tell of a beautiful new paved section of the EuroVelo leading out of Budapest from Wolfgang a few days ago. All we found were cobbled roads, pot-holed dirt roads, inexplicably bumpy paths, a nice ride through a garbage dump, and for a few blissful kilometres just outside Budapest, an actual paved bike path.

Either we’d been expecting too much, or Wolfgang’s beautiful route was somewhere else altogether.

The paved path led directly to a mostly abandoned section of river on the outskirts of Budapest, and along cobbled road with the aforementioned (unsanctioned) garbage dump alongside it. It turns out grass-covered levee was the best surface our wheels touched all day.

garbage in the outskirts of budapest

Big city outskirts are all the same.


I am pretty excited to be out of farmland for a while, and am really looking forward to the abundance a city provides. While I love the challenge and intimacy of preparing meals for the two of us on our camping stove, and making coffee in the cool morning air, I am looking forward to choices for dining, locally roasted coffee, and meeting new people.

Some of those new people are David and Barbi, who have graciously opened their home to us, despite having never met us (I am friends with Barbi’s second cousin). We feel a bit selfish accepting their hospitality so freely, as we plan to spend five nights with them, which is the longest we have stayed in any one place since we left home, and certainly the longest we’ve ever been house guests.

Along with being great hosts, they are both talented artists. David doing chiefly animation and story boarding, while Barbi is an illustrator and character designer. When you decide to hire them, tell them we sent you, then we’ll feel like we’ve earned our keep.

Part of the reason we will be in Budapest so many days is that I teach yoga Tuesday night at Asram Jöga on the Pest side of town at 18:15. You should come! I am really looking forward to it and also to meeting Nóra, who is hosting me at the studio.

We had a great first evening in town. David and Barbi made us dinner, a delicious ratatouille, and poured us terrific Hungarian wine. They then took us to one of their local pubs for post-dinner drinks where we were initiated into the joy of Unicum, a fantastic Hungarian herbal bitter digestif.

The perfect drink to ensure a perfect sleep.  

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