Day 38 - Friday, July 1, 2011 - Moca, SK to Budapest, HU - Trip 114.94 kms Time 6:28:37
My bed was very uncomfortable and because of cramps in my lower legs I slept quite poorly. I was up at 6:30 and went down for b'fast at 7:00. No one else about except for the cook. After saying good morning in Slovak I signed that I wanted my eggs scrambled. He just grinned and nodded his head. There was a salad, bread, orange juice and butter already on the table. Madame brought me a tall glass mug of hot water so I could make some tea. She then brought a plate of ham and eggs (3) all sunny side up and runny! I sent them back and said I wanted them well cooked. There was some discussion in the kitchen and eventually the cook brought my ham and eggs back. They were still sunny side up but not quite so runny. The bread was very nice and fresh. I made myself a ham and egg sanny for latger. I went back to my room and finished packing.
I left for Budapest at 8:00. It was quite chilly, overcast and a light rain was falling. I put on my rain gear and covered my panniers. I was able to stay on the road most of the way. Traffic was very light. I cycled from Moca to Kravany to Muzla to Sturovo and crossed over the Danube at Esztergom. Before crossing over to Esztergom I stopped at a gas station hoping to buy a map of Romania and Turkey. There were none available. I ended up buying a Nestea and a submarine sandwich. I forgot I had a ham and egg sanny!
At Esztergom I took a photo of the basilica which is the largest church in Hungary and "dominates the views from the countryside". Once I crossed over the Danube bridge I was back in Hungary again. The road ran along beside the river and I passed through Pilismarof, Domos, Visegrad, Tahitotfallu, Szentendre (where I stopped for lunch and 2 Canadians passed me. I noticed the guy was wearing a CANADA jersey as was I. I caught up to them when they stopped to fix something. I wished them a Happy Canada Day and said I would see them in Budapest.) They caught up to me and passed me as we were approaching the outskirts of Budapest. They wished me a Happy Canada Day and kept on going. They were going much faster than I was. The road into Budapest was quite busy. I spotted a sign for the bike route. It said it was 18 kms to Budapest. It was a lovely paved, smooth path. I cycled along the Danube for 2 kms and came to a fork in the path but it was going to some town I didn't recognize. About 100 M further I came to a T-junction. I chose to go right. I stopped after another 100 M to ask a pedestrian if I was going in the right direction for Budapest. He spoke a little English and pointed back in the direction I had just come from. About 20 feet away there was a sign pointing to Budapest and it was now 20 kms! Of course I didn't see it until I had turned around. I reluctantly cycled back the same way I had just come. When I got back to the main road I checked the sign again and realized I had misread it. The correct path was 20 M further and it was a gravel path. I decided I'd had enough of the cycle path and would take my chances on the main road. But first I had to get on it. It was 6 lanes wide, 3 in each direction. There was a lull in the traffic and I was able to scoot across. I was only able to go about 2 kms as the traffic became quite heavy and several motorists had honked at me. I saw there was a path along the road so I crossed a culvert to get on it and continued on my way.
The path wasn't in the best of shape but it was safer and the honking horns had stopped. I came to a sign that indicated a left turn and 8 more kms to Budapest. I made the turn unto a quiet residential street. I stopped to set my GPS for a hostel that was listed in my guide. The GPS said it was 8 or so kms. I set off going through side streets for quite a ways until I had to cross the bridge over the Danube. It was huge. I saw a 4 star hotel so went over to check it out. It was 100 E/night. A bit out of my league. I found a way over the bridge and was at the street for the hostel but couldn't find it. There was a Wellness Hotel but it also looked quite expensive. I asked a taxi driver for directions to the hostel. He dialed the number listed in the guide and it was no longer in service. I asked if he knew of any cheap hotels nearby. I showed him the listing for Anna Hotel, a category III hotel, but he didn't know where it was. He called the hotel and booked a room for me at 41 E/night including b'fast. I put the address in my GPS which said it was about 5 kms away. I had to go back over the bridge.
I eventually found the Hotel Anna. It was more like 10 kms by the time I got there. When I checked in the desk clerk remembered that the taxi driver had called to reserve a room for me. It was a nice room on the 1st floor plus Wi-Fi in the bar. I went down to the bar with my Notebook, got an excellent connection at 54 Mbs but could not access any websites? I tried the hotel PC and was able to check my e-mail, etc using FireFox. IE would not work on my Notebook? No beer! Just pop.
I went back up to my room and did some laundry, had a shower and went out for dinner. I walked for several blocks to an area recommended by the receptionist. I found a nice quiet International restaurant and had Dijon chicken breast with wild rice and a glass of Portuguese red wine. It was very delicious. The exchange rate on my Euros was not so good though @ 245/1 Euro.
I walked back to the hotel. On the way I stopped at a corner store and bought some bananas, pop and a chocolate bar. Once back at the hotel I was able to go on their PC and once the desk clerk turned on the lights I was able to type up Day 37 of my blog. Did some reading of Book 4 (final guide in the 4 Danube guide book series). It sounded pretty scary. Off to bed 11:30.
This blog was posted from a Wi-Fi cafe at the Kalocsa Hotel on Sunday, July 3rd