Passau to Budapest. 6th May

Well hello again, it seems that time has come again, where its my turn to inform the expectant world of our adventures…………….

I am currently in our hostel in Budapest which has free internet, and as well as being 10 euros a night, this is the start of our central (apparently they prefer that terminology here in Hungary)  and eastern europe adventures on the cheap.

The weather has again been absolutely amazing, which as will unfold, means good and bad! Although we have been oblivious to the world for nearly 2 weeks, we actually havent gone that far unfortunately, as we have had a spate of illness in camp, mostly (in fact nearly all) for jack, which is pretty shitty.

Whilst in Passau, we met two Irish lads, Connor and Tim, who were cycling to the black sea aswell, but had alot shorter time to do it in, as they were hoping to be in Bucarest in 3 weeks! They were rainsing money for robstrust (robstrust.com), a trust set up by the lads in honour of Connors Brother, in aid of research and awareness of young persons sudden death syndrome, an amazing cause, and had already raised 3000 gbp, which puts us to shame, so good luck lads, hope you got there alright!

After leaving Passau in high hopes and spirits, we set off along the donau on the german side, into a lovely headwind, which was nice, and into the sixth country on our list, Austria. The scenery was fantastic again, with  the valley closing in on us all day, until we were cycling on the track between the river and the cliff alongside it. It was at this point we met a dutch cyclist cycling around western europe, along the route of the Roman empires largest extension, who was a really nice guy, but had the sterotypical dutch accent that made us both chuckle afterwards (see the fast show dutch police sketch for details).

Posing for the camera, and obscuring the View

Posing for the camera, and obscuring the View

That night we camped in lovely spot in a bit of the valley that ran east to west, so we got a long evening and sun in the morning, which just so happened to be my 23rd birthday! Wasnt as exciting as youd imagine, but i was gifted with my first fish caught with our line and hook, which i left out overnight, with a piece of stick as a float. However it was a wierd little fish, and much to small to be worth the hassle of gutting it etc, which was a shame. We celebrated that day with a bottle of austrian red wine that cost all of 1.69 euros, and some vanilla pudding things for me,ha.

We then proceeded to blitz through the countryside, along ever more impressive scenery, towards Vienna (Wien) through some perty little touristy towns, like Krems. Upon reaching the campsite for the evening, we realised that if we kept up this pace we would be in vienna the next evening, which was not good for camping opportunities, obviously. So we decided to take it slow and easy the next day, cruising along the river, stopping in a town called Tulln and finding a bookshop which happened to have the 2 books we both really wanted………….Huck Finn for me, and Robinson Crusoe for Jack, which was a great find.

Another awesome stretch of country side

Another awesome stretch of country side

As we pulled over for the night near the outside of Klosterneuberg, Jack was again feeling quite ill, with a banging headache, not a good sign. So after a sleepless night for jack, we got up and went on what we thought was the few km to Wien, turns out to be more like 20, plus the time finding an information point, and then the hostel we had decided to stay in for a while, meant that morning was hell for jack who later said he felt close to passing out in the heat and fumes of the big city.

Lovely spot, but a sleepless night for Jack

Lovely spot, but a sleepless night for Jack

We did however meet 3 cool french dudes, cycling to budapest, then up to moscow, then taking the Trans-Siberian for a while, then cycling somehow (cant remember exactly) to India! Which sounds pretty cool.

So anyway, Jack spent a few days sleeping off the flu type thing he had, which wasnt swine flu dont worry, (some stupid guy scared me a bit when he exaggerated its effects and how widespread it was). Meanwhile I spent my time walking around Central Vienna so much I reckon I know it inside out, so if anyone wants a tour of the major sights, Gimme a call, ill get you there and back no worries, along with a few well placed cheap food and drink places, and where the free internet and toilets are!

While we were there I met some Canadians, Christine and her friend (sorry), who I went for afew drinks with, and met up with their other canadian friends, Amanda (smokin) and friend (sorry again). They were all really sound girls, and it was a good night. Although Christine and friend were eating cheaply, but still had 100 euros to spend on booze, the drunkards,ha!

We also met Lindsay, a super sound lass, who was really cool, and as Jack was feeling better by that point, we went and watched The Boat That Rocked at an english cinema in town, sad, but we were bored of he town by now! Its a well funny film, spoilt slightly by the loud American next to us who was gave us a running commentary of her thoughts on what was happening…the silly bint. After which we went for a drink at a relatively expensive bar….extravagence I know. So heres hoping your travels go well and with just as good weather…take it easy!

On leaving Vienna we met (I say met, more were apprehended by) the ¨Greatest Traveller in the World¨, who proceeded to tell us that we Brits still want the empire back and a load of other bollocks. And on our way out of the city, we cycled past the grossest sight so far, a naked old lady sunbathing (think Little Britain), which disturbed us immensely.

From west to east (central) Europe

From west to east (central) Europe

First sight of the Old Soviet Union (sorry its a crap picture)

First sight of the Old Soviet Union (sorry its a crap picture)

The scenery keeps on improving from there, through Slovakia, the first former Soviet  country in our travels, which you can tell immediately, what with the massive concrete apartment blocks everywhere in the Cities and towns, but the people are awesome, food cheap, and countryside amazing, apart from the thick clouds of mosquitoes we had to deal with, which are a nightmare, and we hope its not like this from here on, other wise we will both be one massive mossie bite. wont rant too much about them as its a particularly ¨sore¨ point,ha. In Bratislava we met a really cool Norwiegen guy sailing up the river on a little boat with his mate, from Istanbul to Norway, which is awesome!

First Sight of Hungary

First Sight of Hungary

Hungary is definately more affluent than its Slovak Neighbor, but still decidedly not western europe, although we spent the most money we have ever spent on ferries in the day that it took us to cycle from Eztergom to Budapest, around 15 euros for just 2 ferry trips!

Awesome Hungary, about 1/2 hr before Jacks Pannier broke

Awesome Hungary, about 1/2 hr before Jacks Pannier broke

We were going to stop just before Budapest, but when Jacks front pannier rack snapped afetr a relatively minor pot hole, we decided to blitz the remailing miles that day, doing the last 25 miles in just under 2 hours.

Arrival In Budapest!

Arrival In Budapest!

So that brings us to today, where we are trying, with the help form some awesome Hungarian Friends, Andras, Orij and George, to get a replacement from either hungary or get one sent out from the UK, which seems silly, but maybe neccessary. Its not all been work though, we have enjoyed the wonders of a thermal spa, for 4 hours, sweating and relaxing in the various saunas, plunge pools, and warm, bath like pools!

Thanks again for everyones support and messages, and we hope that everything is running smoothly in the UK. Much Love from the Both of us,

Matt x    p.s see photos2 page for more new photos

4 Comments »

  1. Peter Green said,

    We really look forwrd to reading your updates..they really make us smile. We`re glad you are having such an amazing trip- a real experience.keep up the good work were with you all the way!Love to you bothxxx

  2. James Zhang said,

    So glad to hear from you again :_) and now feel jealous of you for the wonderful time in Budapest as I had my first experience of Eastern Europe not in Budapest but in Bucuresti 2 years ago and I regretted to have to experience some of the legacy of that particular former Communist Country ….
    So interesting that you met quite some different people already and I believe that’s all part of the fun ! Jack and Matt please look after yourslef well and be in good health !Let me know if you need anything sent over from UK . I have all the time in the world to do that for you ! and I am pretty sure your fund raising will also go well eventually .
    lots and lots of love xxx

  3. Peter Green said,

    Really good to read your web notes, hope your all well and suitably toned after all that papering, I`m sure me & Richard H will find the weather just as warm in Scotland this September.
    Can you get a replacement pannier from where you bought them & sent out to you, as they are not that old ?
    Take care for now,
    Ma,Pa, Hayley, Rosie,Ruth, Florrie & Biscuit.XXX

  4. Stephanie said,

    Hi Guys,
    Good to read that you are doing ok.. Just a bit of a bummer Jack has not been to great hope that he is feeling better…
    Have sent some pic’s to your mum and dad, the one we took whilst you were here in Purmerend..
    So enjoy your trip and keep up the good work..
    Take care and be safe,
    Love Stephanie & Erwin & Priscilla & Jeffrey & Wesley & Birgitta & Jesse


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