Saturday, June 21, 2014

Day 42: to Györ, Hungary (96; 2713)

Some days you've got it and some days you ain't. Today was one of the latter.

I slept badly in a stuffy room and was for some reason feeling vaguely anxious. I left early and had an easy ride - so easy that I would have liked to go further than Györ, but the location of upcoming camping options made that impractical.

I met a Kiwi couple who had come a similar route to me and we rode and chatted together for a bit. They had at some point come up the Prague to Vienna greenway and were strongly advising against it (unmarked and rough trails) which is good to know as, doing the maths on days left, I had been considering it.

There are multiple Eurovelo 6 paths leading out of Bratislava (at least on paper); two minutes after our paths diverged I was attacked by a bloody large Alsatian. His owner was calling him off (ineffectually) but luckily he went for my pannier, which now bears the large puncture wound that would otherwise have been in my leg! 

Not sure what the solution to dogs is. You can buy sprays etc but then have to be quick-witted and sure-handed enough to get to it at the relevant moment. Which I'm almost certainly not. I then almost had a second dog incident later: a huge black bull terrier type that was also loose on the street, but luckily was so busy having a growling match with next door's dog that it didn't see me till I had just gone past. Welcome to Eastern Europe! Or perhaps just a reflection of how few cyclists there are on this section of the trail relative to the pre-Vienna cycle superhighway.

Dogs aside the cycling was easy and I rode into Györ, which is a pretty and big town, very early, and then got instantly lost. Eventually found the swankiest possible tourist info office, staffed by a sour old lady, who grudgingly gave me a map and some incorrect info about campsites. Deciding sustenance was the only way things were going to get better, I then had a nice soup and ice-coffee break in the very beautiful main square at a cafe staffed by grumpy waiters.  I had been pre-disposed to like Hungary by the Hungarians I have known... But so far, not so good! 

Part of this is being back to square one with language. I had got quite fluent in pidgin German, and not even being able to say thank you and where is the loo is quite isolating.

It's been considerably cooler today, less than 25, and when the cloud is over that feels pretty cold after the last couple of weeks. I actually put my coat on against rain spots at one point but they didn't amount to much - lucky as I need to complete a waterproof pannier repair before any major rain.

The route out of Györ was always going to be tricky. The final straw of the day came in the form of a well-meaning elderly gentleman who insisted on taking me a 'better route' than the way I was going. We had little common language and I followed him protestingly for what felt like 270 degrees of ring road before eventually leaving him under the pretence of stopping at a garage (he cycled on shouting 'nein, nein, kom, kom'... And may still be doing so for all I care). Anyway I found my way fine once the pressure was off but it ended up being a bloody long way to get from the centre of town to my campsite.

Resolution of the day: I am absolutely going to stop giving in to other people's directions unless my map happens to agree with them!

No comments:

Post a Comment