We got to Budapest only four days after leaving Bratislava, and it was great to get into Hungary. Almost immediately we crossed the border we noticed the difference. Once more people smiled and waved as we passed by, and there was an altogether more welcoming feel. In Budapest we relaxed and were far too busy sipping wine in the shade and watching the (other) "beautiful people" go by to hunt around for an internet cafe to write another blog entry!
Soon we were off on the bikes again and following the Donau dikes. The waves and smiles continued and in Dunafalva, we were invited into a house to watch the football (England 1 France 0) and entertained regally with vodkas, beers, wine and a HUGE slice of cake for Di. The next day we crossed the border into Croatia. We were both sad to leave Hungary.
By now the weather has really hotted up - high 30's and one day over 40 - clear blue skies and only a light S wind. We get up now at 5.00am, usually get off by 6.30am and cycle all morning with a short drinks break around 9.30. That way we can avoid the worst of the heat, but we are only managing 40 - 60k a day. Even so we crossed Croatia and we are now at Novi Sad in Serbia.
If Carlsberg did Hostels, they'd do the Sova Hostel in Novi Sad. We have our own apartment in a separate building in a courtyard, right in the centre of the old town. It is on two storeys - lounge, en-suite bathroom (shower AND bath), and kitchen on the first floor and a lovely wood paneled bedroom upstairs. It's fully air conditioned ... and it's cost us fourteen quid each. At the moment we are being entertained by the hostel owner, who is a really nice guy. He's letting me write this blog on his computer, given us a glass of wine and is chatting with Di about other good hostels he has recommended further along the way.
The next main city is Belgrade, about two day's ride away. We'll probably just stay the one night and then it's off on the road to The Iron Gates - where the Danube breaks through the Carpathians.
It's all looking good !!