Wed 14th Aug.
Hungary for goulash.
I left my spot and got back on the road. A few minutes in and I was below the 100km mark. Now the counting could begin. Each kilometre making you feel like you’re that much closer. Cycling 100km a day takes its toll. It’s not just about upping your mental and physical game and taking the challenge. Whenever I cycled this much consistently, I would start to get saddle sores on the areas where my bum has the most contact with the saddle. I didn’t get a lot from the trip, but this distance, daily always caused problems, and once you get saddle sores only time off the bike helps to heal them.
I did my best to keep my head down and get the distance done. I was feeling good, until I saw at a 78km sign a little +5 next to it. Sure enough the next sign was 78 +4, 78 +3. You can’t just add a few kilometres in wherever you like willy nilly. I got mad at how the road signage system could be so stupid here.
I stopped at a giant Spar, where I had the rare opportunity to use a toilet and stock up on pleasantries to get me through the day.
I kept going through the plan colourless fields and countryside. The finish line slowly getting closer and closer, the pain from the sores becoming less noticeable from the sores. I found a Tesco out here which I couldn’t understand. I’d never seen a Tesco anywhere outside the UK before and here I was staring at one in Hungary. I didn’t like the supermarket chain due to their unethical practices and horrible colour scheme among other things, but I couldn’t help going in and getting something for the sake of it. Everything looked like a normal Tesco in England. It was very strange.
Soon enough, I was on the outskirts. I stopped seeing signs that told you how many kilometres where left and so the holy grail after three and a half days riding. BUDAPEST. The was still some distance to go to get into the outskirts of the city, but the legwork was done.
It was good setting this type of small goal to see if I could achieve it. Throughout the trip I was always making distance, but only occasionally did I have a deadline I needed to make. I wanted to go to Budapest to see if I could change my patterns and cover a larger amount of distance in three and a half days and I did. Now I knew this, I knew that if I needed to, I could put myself through these motions again, to cover some serious distance and get where I needed to be.
I was listening to music at this point of the bike, which I wouldn’t normally do, but I had become so immensely bored, I needed something to stimulate me.
At the outskirts of the city, I followed a river in. The was a path next to the river separate from the road, so I dropped down next to the river. Along the river I saw a red London bus that had been converted into a bar with chairs outside. It was quite nice to see a bit of home outside this new city. My guess was someone had bought it in an auction and driven it over from England themselves. But it made a nice statement on the river.
Once I was in the city I stumbled across some rock festival taking place under a bridge, all open-air. It started to rain, so I didn’t hang around, but I thought it was good to see people out on a Wednesday evening enjoy this festival.
I had a bit of time to kill, so I stopped at a McDonald’s to get my bearings and make a plan of action to get to my hosts house. When I left it was starting to get dark. I had some difficulty finding where I needed to go, and stopped for wi-fi again. Where my host lived was a few miles north of the city in a suburb. I was just outside the centre and found the road I needed. I cycled as quickly as I could and darkness came over Budapest quite quickly. The road I was on turned into a fly-over, but then dropped back down into a neighbourhood. With a good rummage around the streets, I found my host and got set up for the night.
We had goulash she had made and some type of strong spirit that here father made. I think it was brandy, before slipped into a deep, well deserved sleep.