Friday, 6 July 2012

Day 28 - 39 Bela Crkva to Budapest (Hungary)

Hello!!  It's been a few days since the last post & the best part of 2 countries, Serbia and Hungary.  With the deadline of meeting Mamma Pike in Budapest on July 3rd we had a goal in mind & so apart from an extra day in Belgrade were on a bit of a mission to make up the KM's in time. 

The ride has continued to be mainly flat (which has suited us greatly) and mostly followed the Danube all of the way.  We've tried to follow the Eurovelo 6 route as much as possible, although I doubt how often the organisers have cycled with heavy panniers considering it's taken us over two 10km stretches cycling on grass.  That said, it's helped us avoid the busier highways which is a blessing. 

John unimpressed by the route ahead

Once again the locals have been amazingly hospitable & we've been overwhelmed by the kindness of strangers.  Our first camping experience was with Dragan, right on the banks of the Danube in Serbia who let us camp for free in his garden (even though he advertised as a campsite) and kept us fed & watered with Schnapps for the evening. 

Tan marks starting to show!

As John mentioned, food has been a bit of an issue and it came to a head when hanging out with Dragan and his friends.....basically I'd been ravenous for weeks, feeling very unsatisfied and sick of living off bread, cheese and salad.  Dragan and his 6 friends were having a BBQ, and on hearing I was vegetarian kindly produced a plate containing a block of cheese, couple of tomatoes and a cucumber.  I nearly cried.  For the previous hour they'd been BBQing a whole bunch of fish they'd caught on the river and were whole heartedly tucking into the feast.  Peer pressure & pure hunger were just too much and eventually I caved....after nearly 13 years of being vegetarian (which I still like to think I am) I caved and ate some fish...and it was delicious.

Another clone of our lovely Roo

Another stroke of luck came our way a few hundred kilometres down the line when we were trying to find a place to camp for the night.  We'd set our sights on the small village of Bac Monostor and amazingly it turned out there was a free reggae festival with camping on while we were there.  We met a great bunch of Serbian young people and had heaps of fun dancing into the small hours (well, 11.30pm actually when we both hit the deck with music still blasting in the background) and got back on the bikes with fuzzy heads the next morning.

Hungary has been equally as hospitable and after a hardcore couple of days we finally made it to the capital city.  What a luxury it has been to have 4 days off the bike, see family, have an apartment to stay in and somewhere to cook hearty meals of our choosing.  John's first port of call was the local supermarket to buy cereal & soya milk - something he's been craving for months. 

Hurray for bike signs!

SO!  We're basically half way through the trip.  It's great to have reached a real milestone and we're very excited about the next few weeks, meeting up with friends and family along the way.  Unfortunately our computer that tells us how far we've gone seems to have broken but we've done about 1700km so far and are feeling slightly proud of ourselves.  Now all we need is to reach our sponsorship target (we're not quite half way yet) so it would be amazing if you could spare even just a couple of pounds to help us support New Life Foundation.  Our fundraising page is here:

Next stop Slovakia!  The 2nd half of our trip should be great fun and takes in some amazing cities; Bratislava, Vienna, Prague, Dresden, Berlin and Amsterdam.  Bring it on!!!x

One of the many sunflower fields we passed along the way

A well needed afternoon nap

Waiting for the fun to begin at the Bac Monostor Reggae Festival

Crossing the border into Sebia

A couple of days in the not-quite-so-beautiful Belgrade

Kicking back with Dragan and friends near the Danube.  Not sure where the women are?!
Happy to finally meet up with mum in Budapest

1 comment:

  1. Fantastic, you two! Looks like you are having an amazing adventure :D I'm so glad you sent that email, John, because since my last laptop died I've been trying to remember the name of your blog - and failing, clearly...

    Laura, I'm glad you had some fish, although it must feel strange after so long. I remember being in southern Spain as a vegetarian and starting to think it would be acceptable to eat local fish - partly for dietary reasons, partly cultural.

    Will now bookmark your blog, and savour some of the posts I have missed! Keep it up! Glad to know you're out there exploring the world :D

    xxx Emily