And today we cycled 93 km from Györ to Esztergom.
Today I was reminded that I do things the wrong way round in cycling,
And maybe in life.
On Monday I moaned about the headwind but never mentioned that we had no trucks to contend with. I moaned about the weather forecast but never praised the hot wifi. So today before I mention any negative, I’ll first mention the positives. And although today is our second last day, I’ll try and learn this lesson for life!
Today we had no wind, no hills, no bad surfaces, no rain. Now that I’ve mentioned pluses, can I moan just a tiny bit?
Today I looked at my phone in the afternoon and considered how far it would be to walk to Esztergom – 5 hours 24 minutes. I thought seriously about it. I also wondered if there was a bus service between the middle of nowhere and Esztergom.
Yes today Véloroute 6 very much fell down on the job. For about 30 km we shared a narrow road with absolutely no margin with many, big trucks and buses and cars. I felt I was taking my life in my hands cycling beside these monsters, (monsters when you’re looking up from two wheels.) Big trucks whooooose past and I’ve to stay steady on the bike, not to allow the length and whooooose cause me to topple. Yes it’s Friday and the road is ultra-busy.
For about 25 km before and after lunch we cycled like this and then suddenly a cycle route magically appeared in front of us. Yiiiiippppeeeeeee!
But the Gods must have felt I didn’t thank them enough because after another few kilometres it suddenly disappeared again. At this stage I was only begging for a dirt track to appear as a Véloroute, just to be separated from the traffic. By the time we arrived into Esztergom, a proper cycle route hadn’t yet reappeared. By the time we arrived into Esztergom, I was utterly exhausted from all the concentrating. By the time we arrived into Esztergom, I realised if this was a typical day’s cycling on Véloroute 6, I would have given up long ago.
And then my second (very minor by comparison) woe, after a great run of hot wifi, tonight’s was freezing cold.
Life lesson – never take any positives for granted.
Some photos from the day
In all the countries we passed through, I wondered what must people who live in quiet areas think of all the cyclists passing their front doors – Here the Véloroute passing these Hungarian houses.
In Neszmély we enquired re lunch in what looked like a restaurant but it only served coffee/drinks. We briefly chatted with a Hungarian customer who spoke good English, he recommended a restaurant further down the street. As we got back on our bikes he came out and said make sure you have the Tárkonyos vadraguleves soup. He typed it into my phone. We found the restaurant and both ordered the soup – it was a spicy tarragon soup full of vegetables and some meat. We weren’t really sure what we were really eating and it doesn’t look great, but trust me, it tasted gorgeous.
A World War I memorial in Nyergesújfalu with the inscription Pro Patria.
The words of Wilfred Owen’s poem come to mind; Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori – it is sweet and right to die for your country. In other words, it is a wonderful and great honour to fight and die for your country. As we saw in France, in Germany and now in Hungary, the young men were all dying – just for different countries. Senseless!
Small detail, I’ve noticed in a few toilets in rural Hungary – that there’s no cisterns, just a tap that one turns 90 deg. So you just basically turn on and off the tap.
I’m also noticed on our cycling so far in Hungary that we’re meeting farmland but very little, if any industry, though we did pass two big cement works.
Denis has always been very interested in the Tour de France so following it has become his new relaxation, when we get in from our cycle, (that’s before he goes for his run). Dan Martin, (nephew of Stephen Roche a previous Irish Tour winner), is doing very well, he’s in sixth position after today’s stage. He’s writing a tour diary in the Irish Times, here is his latest account.
Below are this year’s Tour de France stages.
On the Tour, they cycle 3,500 km with severe mountain stages and at incredible speeds over three weeks. By the time we finish tomorrow, we’ll have cycled 3,000 km in six weeks with some hills, but at leisure, taking lots of photographs as we cycle.
The Tour de France is some grind! Well they have youth on their side 🙂