A Travellerspoint blog

What were we thinking?

DAY 28, KM 1979, Dunafoldvor, Hungary

overcast 17 °C

What were we thinking? This is a question that we have asked ourselves many times while standing in the rain, alongside a road with heavy traffic. The campings are usually closed, the weather has been bad, our clothes are all wet, it's hard to find the food that we're used to, etc... We often talk about how great it would be to be on one of those package vacations with old people and nice hotels. However, when we are not pedalling uphill in the rain, with no food, we are often really happy, without a care in the world, and completely sure that this trip was a fabulous idea. It is a rollercoaster.

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So far in Hungary, we have found that some people speak a little german, so that has been a tad bit helpful in trying to find food, a camping spot, etc... but mostly you just ask someone something and they will go on and on in Hungarian, even if you tell them that you really don't speak their language, they just continue on for a long while, until you are just nodding and smiling and hoping that they'll go away soon.

More and more we stay in little rooms that locals have for rent. It's always a challenge to negotiate a good price when you don't understand each other...

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Like Slovakia, there are not a whole lot of highways, so a lot of the small roads are heavy with traffic. Instead of risking our lives, we try to find little roads to go on, which are often muddy or grassy, or full of potholes. However, we don't want to die, so this is okay, just really really slow.

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Posted by amyandwim 01:34 Archived in Hungary Comments (1)

Things are getting a little different

DAY 25, KM 1785, Sturovo, Slovakia

rain 9 °C

Slovakia aparently does not have a lot of highways or bike paths. This means that we have been riding along the one little road that runs from town to town, alongside every truck, car, and bus that ever left home. The alternative is going through the mud or the grass, which is really slow.

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It has been raining over the past few days and we are cold and all of our clothes are getting drenched. During the day, we try to stop and warm up with a tea, in one of the few dingy bars that we come across in the tiny little towns. On going into the bar, wim is always a bit concerned about the sketchy people, and I am just happy to be out of the rain. The next thing that happens is some hairy slovakien man will usually buy us both a shot of rubbing alcohol (here they call it schnaps), surely a gesture of hospitality. I am usually able to pour mine out in some unsuspecting place, but for wim there is often no escape. Before I know it, Wim is commenting on the fantastic bar and all of the great friends that he is making. With lots of gestures and grunts, we try to show our appreciation, and then slip out the door as quick as possible, before the next round of schnapps comes along.

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Amy drying her laundry along the way after 5 days in the rain.

Although things are getting more difficult as far as roads, weather, camping, finding food, not understanding the language, we are still excited about our trip and looking forward to the unknown that's yet to come.

Posted by amyandwim 07:58 Archived in Slovakia Comments (1)

Biker's paradise

DAY 21, KM 1444, Vienna, Austria

overcast 15 °C

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Biking along the Donau is full of beauty. The path is flat, always paved, well marked, and there are beautiful steep mountains rising up all around us. It is less populated here, and thus the path has a less comercial, quieter character. However, it still has vineyards, backeries, and cute medieval villages along the way to keep us spoiled.

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We've been taking it a bit easier, the butt pain is getting better, and we've been stopping to enjoy the heurigens (farms that sell their fresh produce: warm bread, fresh cheese, meat and fruit wines..yum!)

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Along the way farmers have little stands selling fresh jams, schnapps, and fruit.

If anyone feels a great insperations, after reading our blog, to go on a bike vacation, you should surely go from Passau to Vienna, it's just gorgeous. Austria couldn't be more biking friendly. We haven't had to crossan intersection or ride with traffic at all!

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Wim's bike visiting Vienna.

Posted by amyandwim 07:47 Archived in Austria Comments (0)

Our First Accomplishment

DAY 15, KM 1039, Rothenburg, Germany

sunny 29 °C

Our trip so far:

The joyous parts: wind between our toes, ice cream cafes, rolling hills, clean campings, fantastic, paved, super-well marked routes, friendly germans, cute medieval cities, cooking experiments on our camping stove, finding a sauna center next to our camping, 5 hours in the hot tub, raisin buns, and most importantly.....

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WE HIT 1000 KM!!!!!!!!!!!

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The not so joyous parts: butt pain, butt pain, and more butt pain. We have so much butt pain, that when we go to a restaurant, we don't even look at the price or the food, only the thickness of the seat cushions. Even then we try sit in a certain position that does not require putting any wieght on our postirior, which is something like half laying, and have sitting. So when you imagine two smelly, sweaty people with reallly bad tent-helmut hair, slouching aqwardly in thier seats, it is truly amazing that the germans have been so friendly to us.

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After two weeks we are kind of falling into a rythm, but still need more time. Some days we do about 60km, and some days about 100km. Although this may seem quite lame to some of you top sporters out there, we are quite proud of our progress so far. Especially considering all of the butt pain.

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Here is a look at our daily schedule:

  • 8:00- on the road
  • 8:30- gigantic breakfast
  • 9:30- gigantic snack buffet
  • 12:00- gigantic lunch, biergarten for Wim (he's trying to cut down)
  • 14:00- ice cream break (amy's trying to cut down, wim is not)
  • 16:00 or so- start thinking about a camping (wild or paying)
  • 19:00- gigantic dinner

The rest of the night consists of washing clothes, dishes, ourselves, and then the long awaited sleep.

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Can you find our tent?

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Posted by amyandwim 05:03 Archived in Germany Comments (4)

Taking off!!!!!

Day 0, km 0.

26 °C

We've done it! We left our warm, dry, comfortable house and we're on the road east! It was a really exciting feeling to pack everything and go. The best part is that we never have to return from where we came from!

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Everyone along the way stares at us...probably because we are so cool. Now we're camping in Marjolein and Karl's backyard, and after a gorgeous, easy day of biking, we have really high spirits and we feel like we could go on forever. As far as we know, we're going from Lummen, along the Albertskanaal to Maastricht, on to Aachen, and then we'll follow Stan's route along the Rhein, Mainz and Donau until Budapest (if everything isn't still flooded). The route to Budapest is almost 2000 kilometers, and gives us plenty of time to work on the growing belly/buns and get into great shape. After Budapest it'll get a bit more difficult to find bike routes and camping, but it will aslo be more exciting. Alhough Iran might be a little too exciting for now, as we just heard that two Belgians disappeared yesterday in the south-east of the country. We might have to reconsider that part of our route. In any case we first have to conquer Germany, and if we don't bike fast enough, we will be dealing with months of sauerkraut and blutwurst.

Quick Stats for those interested:

Amy 21.5 kg baggage, Wim 28.5 kg baggage, bikes 16.0 kg

Posted by amyandwim 02:46 Archived in Belgium Comments (2)

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