Through my eyes

living my life without regrets

Wednesday, November 25, 2015



Happy Times

We have ridden around Hungary before and since our target is Turkey, why linger?  We sure wanted to avoid the congested Budapest area so we picked local roads. Well, almost, because when faced with long, out of the way routes, we bit the bullet and bought the minimum toll ticket which allowed us to use the highways for a week . We were glad to use the highways to go around Budapest.
Looking at the map and calculating a route so that we don’t have to travel miles and miles, we headed from Sopron East towards the town of Kecskemet, a town that would make it easy to enter Romania the next day

The booking we made from said a double room, attached bathroom and breakfast included. All that for 23 Euro; parking within the premises or across the street. Great, off we go to find this place. Boy, am I glad we had our GPS. It turned out to be a room in a private house, nice and clean but not a hostel, as advertised. Not that it was bad, it just was very small. Yes, they had parking; they moved their car out of their carport and let us park there for the night. The bikes were relatively safe. Finding a place for dinner was another thing though. We ended up eating some strange Asian food in a nearby Supermarket that had a few tables stuffed in the corner. Now, I know that sounds snobbish and maybe it is, but the food was sub-standard. Greasy and all mixed together looked not appetizing. Served on a paper plate with a plastic fork is not ‘dining’. We just used this private home as a sleeping place and left in the morning as early as we could (7.00 AM). Breakfast was a slice of toast with Velveeta cheese wedges, bad coffee but it was food. I tried to pay the woman but my pantomime must not have been understood, she just shook her head and moved away. I stood there, holding the Euros and did not know what to do. All she said was ‘Bookings’, which meant nothing to me. Language can help, but I don’t know a lot of people who learn Hungarian. She spoke no English, not even thank you. So, what do we do? Well I figured she wants her money sooner or later so let her come to me.  We packed our bikes, had some tough time getting out of the yard, a bit down the hill, and then we rode off. (I totally forgot to pay the woman), did not even think about it later on.

Sad Times
Our next ‘target’ is the border crossing for Romania, some 3 to 4 hours away. Mentally I make a list in my head of where my passport is, where the bike papers are, etc. Questions pop up: do I need a Vignette for their highway system? How much money do I exchange at the border? etc.  My mind is preoccupied, busy. It is hot; the sun beats down on us in all of our full gear, with the helmet on, too. We finally come to the border and now the fun begins. I find a kiosk and they tell me I don’t need a Toll Vignette for the bikes. Bikes in Romania do not have to pay tolls for any Highway. Great!  Now comes the actual Border crossing! Ready, Carol?  Carol? 

We find out in our confusion at last night’s place, Carol left her green document folder someplace. There is no other answer but to ride back. Yes, stuff like that happens to the best of us. We cannot call them, we don’t speak Hungarian. They don’t speak English, or German, or any other language. So, off we go, back to where we came from. About 4 hours later we pull in to their street and ring their bell. Ah, yes, we kind of waited for you, was their pantomime. Here is the green folder. A nice smile and a wave and a big relief on Carol’s face. But now what? We took a break in an Air Conditioned gas station for 45 minutes to cool down and to breathe a sigh of relief.  Carol and I talked. No, I don’t want to stay there again, did not really love the place but now it is the afternoon and where do we go?  I did not even love the town!  So we decided to go for another few hours back towards the Romanian border and find a hotel on a highway someplace. Anything will be better than what we had. Yes, we rode a lot of km that day!

The 'Wild West' In Hungary
Simple Rooms But Looked Nice 
Yes, Sh!@t Happens!
About 2 hours later I see a sign that spells out “Convoy Hotel.” Carol and I agree we will just take it, no matter what it looks like. All we want at this point is a room. The temperatures on this day were around 90 F and we have had it. So, we walk into the reception and are told that the place has a Wedding Reception this very night. Yes, they have a room but it might be noisy because of the party. Again, what do you do? Also, there is no AC in the rooms, just a fan. The location is good, right off the highway, the bikes would be secure (somewhat) but with a party going on? Will some drunken guy pee on the bikes?  Will someone puke all over them? No AC really bothered me, the day was very hot and it still is hot. On the good side it is an easy walk to a restaurant, the price is acceptable and riding longer is just not in the cards. Carol has had it, too. So, we take the room and I slept great, did not hear a thing. The bikes were safe, the night cooled off enough to not feel the heat and all is well with the world. Sometimes I worry too much. But when on a trip, things can go wrong, sometimes they can be avoided, sometimes it is just my stupidity, other times stuff just happens. Romania is next!

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