Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Day 41 - Europe 2011

Day 41 - Monday, July 4, 2011 - Kalocsa, HU to Mohacs, HU - Trip 90.05 kms Time 5:03:55

It was a quiet night and I managed to get a decent night's sleep. I was up at 7:00, packed and ready to leave by 8:00. There was no restaurant in the hotel so no b'fast. I needed to get more Forints so I went to the bank ATM next door to the hotel. The ATM refused to accept my debit card. The security guard called a young lady to come over and assist me but even after rubbing the magnetic stripe on her shirt and rubbing the chip with her magic thumb even she couldn't get it to work. I went across the street to the ERSTE Bank and had no problem making a withdrawal. Next, I had to find a restaurant or cafe where I could get something to eat. The cafe next door to the hotel only served coffee and ice cream. I cycled a bit further and found Hotel 52 (where I should have stayed). It had a bakery next to it. I went in and got an orange juice, apple strudel pastry and a small pizza which was still quite warm. I sat outside on the steps and ate the strudel and drank the orange juice. I saved the pizza for later.
I left for Batya at 8:45. I followed Hwy 51 to Fajsz, Dusnok and Baja. Once again I got sucked in by the guide book which said there was a lovely 12 km, nicely paved, very smooth section along the Danube from Szeremle to Dunafalva after a 2 km stretch of gravel. It turned out to be more like 7-8 kms of gravel. The paved section was boring as hell with one exception. I passed a guy walking with his German Shepherd dog. The dog had his own set of saddle bags on it's back. I'm pretty sure it's the same guy and dog I passed on July 1st. I had my Canada jersey on. I remember him calling out CANADA! July 1st I was on my way to Budapest. How is it I passed him again? He must have hitched a ride!
At the end of the paved section it was gravel again for 12 kms to Mohacs. No way I was going to ride 12 kms of gravel. I got my map of Hungary out and was able to figure out an alternative route via Szabadsagpuszta and Sarhat to get to Mohacs. It was a nice quiet paved back road but my GPS again wanted to take all sorts of "bunny trails", etc. I then realized it was having trouble finding a way to Mohacs because it was on the other side of the Danube and there was no bridge, just a ferry! I stopped at a roadside cafe for a cold drink. I got quite a few stares from the locals who had never seen such an outfit as I was wearing and a helmet with a mirror stuck on it to top it all off.
I arrived at the ferry just as the cars were going on so I just rode right on to the ferry also. A guy came over and asked for my ticket. I got some money out to pay but he refused to take it. He motioned back to a kiosk where I was supposed to get a ticket before getting on the ferry! I think I mumbled a bad word and was about to get off and go get a ticket when he said OK, never mind. The other guy was closing the barriers and the ferry was setting off. I got a free ride!
There was a nice hotel at the ferry landing. I went in to ask for a room. It was 11,000 Ft or 41 E including b'fast and Internet in the room. I checked in at 3:30. I set up the Notebook and was able to get a connection OK. I chatted with MJ (my sister) in Oakville on Windows Messenger. Doris (my sister in Burlington) also left me a message but I was having a nap after having done my laundry. Earlier I had opened a window to get some fresh air and a damn fly got in! It kept buzzing me and all my attempts to flatten it were futile.
I went out for a walk looking for a book shop to buy a map(s) for Croatia, Serbia and Romania. The shops were all closed after 6:00. I had dinner at a Chinese Fast Food Restaurant. I had to wait for fresh food to come out as it was buffet style. I had stir fried noodles with vegetables and chicken chili. It was very good and very reasonably priced.
On the way back to the hotel I stopped at an ice cream shop for a treat. There sure are a lot of ice cream cafes in Hungary. They do like their ice cream. I went up to the 4th floor hotel restaurant. It had quite a view of the Danube and the Mohacs city rooftops. I took some pics. Back in my room I typed up Day 39 of my blog while taking the occasional swat at that damn pesky fly. I think I got it after the 3rd or 4th swat. He kept coming back and landing on the same spot! and pushing his luck.
Cheers, Roly

This blog was posted at the Hotel Danuv in Ilsok, Croatia, on Wednesday, July 6, 2011

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