After spending an extra unplanned day in Belgrade, since the weather was horrible, all rain, all day it was about time to get going again. This time towards Novi Sad.
Luckily the weather had cleared the following day, although the sky was still pretty grey and slightly depressing :p, but I kept dry. Although it really didn’t do much good for my mood, yes I had another bad one…….. and was thinking of taking trains again, starting from Budapest.
When I arrived itun Novi Sad it took a little while to find the address of my host, since my gps signal had died back in Belgrade, so I had to figure out my location via street signs, which apparently not all street have……. But eventually I did find it and was welcomed by host Robert and another couchsurfer he was already hosting (Miguel from Peru).
After some introductions, small talk and a couple of beers, we were joined by yet another couchsurfer, Joe from Holland, so that was extra nice since it has been a long time that I was able to speak my own language with someone face to face :) Turned out he is also cyclotouring although into the other direction, towards Bucharest.
After everybody had taken a shower and gotten refreshed etc we went out to a nice pub for some dinner and delicious local beer, always a good combination, and afterwards our host took us to a salsa party in the center. Unfortunately none of us, except host Robert, know how to salsa dance and besides that we were pretty tired as well (joe and me from cycling and Miguel from…….. dunno really :P )
So after a while we decided to take a walk around the center while Robert was showing off his dance moves to the girls. During our walk around we smelled a very nice and familiar scent coming from a small group and after not really hearing a remark from Joe he suddenly disappeared to talk to the group and later came back with a nice bit of lovely smelling herbs ^^
Not long after, Robert found us in the center since the salsa party had finished and we went back to his house, although Robert decided to go to another pub for some more drinks the rest of us went back to his house to enjoy our herbs and have a very relaxed evening.
The next morning (Wednesday 24-08-2016) we all woke up pretty late, around noon, and all had slept like babies ;). Joe decided to stay an extra day to rest up since his ankle was bothering him quite a bit. Miguel was the only one that had gotten up pretty early since he needed to earn some money, playing his guitar on the street in order to finance his hitchhiking trip.
Later in the afternoon after all 3 of us were finally able and ready to go outside we got a nice walking tour from Robert of the center and the castle on the other side of the river, it really is quite a nice city, not too small, but also not busy and a very relaxing atmosphere.
After our tour Robert wanted to go home since he was getting tired again, but me and Joe didn’t feel like it since the weather and city were very nice. We met up again with Miguel and went hunting for some food, an ice cream, more food, and even more food slowly filling the day and our stomachs :P
Thursday it was once again time to get going again and after a coffee with Joe we went our separate ways, Joe in the direction of Bucharest and I in the Direction of Budapest, following the route along the Danube river.
The route was super quiet and hardly saw any people for most of it and after using somewhat busy roads for a long time before it was actually a little boring, although quite beautiful through the natural areas and farm fields, but it turned out for the better that the road was pretty much abandoned since at some point my tent decided to escape my grasp and jump off the back of my bike without me noticing until after at least 5km. So I had to go back and look for it, quite frustrating, but luckily I did find it on the road.
After a couple hours more riding and another flat I noticed the sun was getting pretty low already, which I had not expected this early, the days are suddenly getting noticeably shorter, so I quickly found myself a place along the river to make my camp for the night, cooked some dinner while being attacked by an army of mosquitos and quickly got into my tent to escape the horrible monsters and actually enjoy my dinner.
In the morning (Friday 26-08-2016) my stomach was feeling pretty unpleasant, due to which it took quite a while for me to be able to get started on the days ride, it’s a good thing the campsite was quite remote so it wasn’t that necessary to get out of there quickly. After about an hour or so I starting to feel better and was able to make my way to Hungary, but almost as soon as I made it over the border the air in my front tire was escaping again, ufffffffff luckily it was a very slow leak so I just inflated it again and it was good enough to get me to my destination for the day, a camping in the town of Baja where I patched it up again and took my sweet time exploring the nice little town.
Due to being tired of all these flats, escaping tent and annoying stomach I had quite enough of cycling for a while and decided to look if I could take a train to Budapest instead of another 2 days of cycling (160km) to get there.
Luckily there was a train which also allows for bikes, although there would be a change of trains somewhere along the way, which I was told I would have only 5 minutes for and could be quite a hassle. So instead I decided to cycle the 60km to the station where I would have to change trains and just get the train to Budapest from there. I’m happy to say finally nothing went wrong during this 60km, no flats or anything ^^
Since I arrived a couple hours early I went around the little town a bit, got a very nice ice-cream to kill some time. The train ride was very nice for a change, just watching the landscape zoom by at a nice high speed ^^ and it was pretty interesting to see some of the Hungarian train stations…. At least if you can call a dirt road to a bus shelter a train station :P.
When I finally arrived in Budapest I pretty easily found my host Anna’s house, where I had to wait a little before she got out of work, but that was pretty quick after I got there ^^ after some introductions and chatting and refreshing, we met up with a friend of hers and went to a nearby bar for some beers which was really cool since it was kind of a squatted building where they built the bar.
Sunday (28-08-2016) Anna gave me a nice tour of the city, showing me her favorite places and buildings and had many interesting things to tell about the city which took us pretty much the whole day, in the evening we had a very nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant where I unsuccessfully tried eating with chopsticks :P good thing they also supplied a spoon etc.
On Monday Anna had to work, so I entertained myself for the day, first I got a train ticket to Prague and after I had that I went for a nice walk around the city center and a beautiful island park in the middle of the Danube and caught a couple having sex in the middle of the day, their reaction to me walking by at a distance was very hilarious though ^^ after some more walking around I found a nice spot for a bit of yoga and meditating which I did me a lot of good :)
After some time I had to make my way back to Anna’s house since she was done working and we were to meet up with some of her friends for a drink in the city, so all in all a very nice day and a nice closing evening to a great stay in a beautiful city.
Tuesday (30-8-2016) I got up nice and early in order to have more than enough time to figure out where exactly my train would be leaving, since the station is pretty big and I had yet no idea from which track it would depart. Luckily it was all pretty clear so I quickly figured out where to go, it was a long sit on the train, but it was very nice to see the landscape fly by and to cover a good distance without any sweating etc :P
After arriving in Prague I had a short wait for my host Martina to arrive, she’s a very nice and energetic girl with a good sense of humor and we were joking and making fun of each other almost immediately :P
A couple hours later we went to meet up with some of Martina’s friends for dinner and enjoy some drinks at a shisha bar, a beer quickly turned into 2 and that pretty quickly led to shots all around all while enjoying a nice minty shisha and joking around with each other.
The next morning I woke up with a tiny little hangover, but luckily it was very manageable. Since I woke up pretty early I decided to check what option I have for taking trains to skip some other parts while waiting for Martina to wake up and get a tour of the city.
After I cooked us a nice breakfast/lunch we were ready to head out and see Prague. It’s really is a very beautiful city filled with beautiful buildings, streets and a great atmosphere and had a very nice time during my private tour which again lasted until the evening, making us late for a BBQ at one of her friend’s house, but we made up for that by bringing some wine and deliciousness for the bbq.
It was again a very fun evening, playing some games, which turned quickly into drinking games, after that we went to some bar, which was pretty quiet but pretty fun none the less, at least for the short time I was in there, since I was starting to feel a bit bad from all the drinking and needed some fresh air ^^ after some time, we decided to call it quits for the night and went back to Martina’s place, I made us some late night pasta munchies and around 5am or something finally put my head down to sleep.
Waking up with a giant hangover this time, I made an effort to stay a sleep as long as I could at around noon I was finally in a shape good enough to pack my stuff, say my goodbyes and try to cycle off my hangover, which works pretty well I must say ^^
I was planning to do about 75km but after about 3 or so hours, I saw some hills popping up with some dark clouds above them and the first thing that popped up in my head was….. HELL NO….. luckily I was very close to a camping site so decided to call it quits for the day, went to the camping, set up my tent and headed into the town Litomerice Turned out it is actually a very nice town with many similar style buildings like in Prague and Budapest so I had a very nice walk around got a nice kebab to get rid of the last bits of hangover and walked around a bit more before heading back to my tent and relax for the rest of the evening.
On a very good note……. Finally after several 100 km and about a month the stinger of the freaking sea urchin I stepped on finally came out woohoooo and a second good thing is that the camping/ town is located on another popular cycling route along the Elbe river of which I had no idea…… sweet. So I’m thinking to stay on this route for a bit following it north towards Dresden where I will decide to take another train or not.
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