Slow Cyclists On The Move

By Jane Mountain | May 29, 2013

2338 km so far.

We were seriously slow this morning after a slighty drunken return to the apartment last night at 3:30am. I’m kind of glad we’re leaving today as I can’t handle this big city pace any longer!

Our groggy haze, combined with the disorganisation that comes from not going anywhere for four days, made packing up and organising take all morning, and into the early afternoon.

Thanks one more time to David and Barbi for their unlimited patience with the intruders in their living room while they were trying to work!

four people on a couch

Just casually hanging out on the sofa.

As a last errand, we popped out to get some groceries and when we got back, David had made fresh roasted tomato soup to fill our bellies before we hit the road. It was marvellously simple and delicious.

Part of me was reluctant to leave such a cozy home and such good company, but another part was yearning for the road again, ready to get my wheels rolling across new ground.

The Scenic Route Out Of Town

Let me start by saying, it’s an enormous luxury to have a cycle path to lead you all the way out of a huge city. For the entire 10 km of outskirts, we only had to ride on streets for a few hundred meters. The path is incredible, and incredibly well used. We must have passed 50 cyclists coming and going as we left town. That’s pretty good traffic for a Wednesday afternoon.

Parliament as seen from the EuroVelo 6.

Parliament as seen from the EuroVelo 6.

Unfortunately, except for the parts closest to downtown, the path, which is also the EuroVelo 6, is a minor wreck. It’s a mixed bag of surfaces and sights: rough pavement, dirt road, cobblestones, busy pedestrian areas, and a few industrial neighbourhoods.

Sculptures along the route, foreshadowing tomorrow's weather?

Sculptures along the route, foreshadowing tomorrow’s weather?

Ah well, who wants well paved and scenic anyhow?

If you’re taking the route, Romai Beach is a great little place to stop for coffee or a break. Unfortunately, we stopped in a sketchy area under a bridge just before Romai Beach instead, only to fail at fixing a mysterious click somewhere in Stephen’s right pedal.

Our sketchy stop had this great graffiti.

Our sketchy stop had this great graffiti.

Breaking The Budget

Knowing that we’d be slow to start today, we’d only planned a 28 km ride to Szentendre, a small touristy town just outside Budapest. We didn’t get there until 5pm, and setting up the tent, we were immediately beset by mosquitos. Perhaps that’s the reason we felt we deserved a fancy dinner in town, despite having just spoiled ourselves rotten in Budapest.

Using TripAdvisor, we found Barcelona Tapas Bar. It was everything a restaurant should be, with modern design, attentive service, delicious tapas, excellent Hungarian wine, and a to-die-for brownie for dessert. It also had a bike parking area in its courtyard. Full marks! Barcelona will definitely be added to our list of favourite places.

Delicious meal notwithstanding, we really need to start reigning in our spending or our dreams of a year or two on the road will be cut short by our own financial crisis.

By 8:30pm, I was ready to crash, so we got into our sleeping bags early and watched an episode of Mad Men. I think we’re approaching summer camping season, as this is the noisiest campground we’ve been to yet. There is a dog constantly barking, the camper crowd coming and going, and teenagers howling over at the hostel.

Or at least there was until the thunder, lightning, and rain set in, driving everyone indoors. And then all was quiet except for nature herself, so we fell asleep, snug in our little home, to the sound of crashing thunder and rain pouring down.  

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