Is one of the categories we anticipated when preparing for blogging. After 2.5 months of cycling, we haven’t had cause to use it. Spain and Portugal have been unusually hot, and in Italy it rains exceptionally hard, but we have had very moderate conditions. It has not been unusually hot, dry or wet. The rivers and lakes are not remarkably high or low. Perhaps in a few places it has been a bit chilly for the time of year, but that could also be our interpretation 😉. We were actually hoping for fairly structural temperatures of around 20 degrees, but around 16 or 17 has been more the practice since Greece. Still fine cycling weather, but a bit on the low side for relaxed camping.

After we left the river Tisza, it became a bit hilly again (nice!). We even chose to do a real climb through the nature park above Eger instead of cycling around it. This was beautiful and nice, but we also noticed that the legs were a bit out of routine. Arriving at the top, we went for lunch and after a while we felt quite cold. The bike computer said 10 degrees. Oh yes, Maarten had mentioned before that you have to count with one degree per 100 metres of ascent and down below it would be 15 degrees. Extra jersey on and rain suits and soon got on. A few km further on saw an observatory with an extensive visitor centre. With a cup of tea we really warmed up there after which the descent was a lot more comfortable after all. I think we already mentioned that the expected campsite in Miskolc was either not there or under heavy renovation. So it happened that we cycled on to the Decathlon to buy new shoes for Oscar (the old ones had a broken sole) and ended up late in the day at those nice campground keepers we wrote about in the previous post.

Broken sole

The following day we made a slow start. Finish a book, extended goodbyes and admiring animals and, even before we left the village, adjusting the clips under Oscar’s shoes twice at a bus stop. Exactly at the kilometre mark 1km outside the village, we noticed a flat rear tyre 😟. It turned out there was an earring in it, one of those for when you have holes in your ear, so with the sharp point through the outer tyre..

By the time that was repaired it was already 12pm….

After cycling for half an hour or so, we suddenly couldn’t shift gears!? The switch rotated without back pressure and the Rohloff didn’t respond…. Fortunately, only the locking nut holding the mechanism on the Rohloff turned out to have come loose, so it was quickly resolved. We decided not to ignore the signals any further and, after a roadside lunch, we cycled to the next village with hotels (the first was closed, but the 2nd was open; it was in an old castle, by the way, which was nice).

Hotel in castle.

That night it started raining..

The next day started dry, but around lunchtime it drizzled. Fortunately, we passed a nice restaurant. After lunch, the rain suits really had to be put on and they stayed that way until we reached the Kosice campsite. Fortunately, it was dry when we set up the tent. Sitting under our tarp, we were able to do the cooking dry. The next day was rest day. In Kosice, we wanted to go to a bike shop to find brake pads for the disc brakes. We finally succeeded at a fantastic little shop (Mad biker).

Thanks to the referral by Sport2000, we found the Madbiker in the basement at the back of a courtyard

There we were also able to find better shoes for Oscar, because the ones from the Decathlon, with their rock-hard, slippery soles, did not walk at all (to the point of being dangerous when you have to lift the gear and bike separately over a narrow, wet and therefore slippery wooden bridge to get to the campsite). 2 days old and thrown away: it goes against everything we stand for, but it really was the best choice. At the sport2000 we bought a new helmet for Tessel because we discovered that morning that the old one had broken. No idea how that could have happened, but again we opted for safety first.

Special church tower of Kosice.
New shoes for Oscar, distinguishable from Tessel’s by colour of laces (and size).
Sun visor on new helmet made while enjoying Slovakian beer in restaurant near campsite (it was raining after all)

Around lunch it started raining again and didn’t stop. We sat shivering in a bus shelter for lunch 10km from Presov and decided to find a flat there to sing out the rain and the predicted cold of Ascension Day (8 degrees!).

Route through Hungary
Entire route so far.

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