No longer on EV6, the campground last night was devoid of cyclists. With further investigation of the map this morning, I found a closer intersection to EV6 on the Hungarian side. Taking more care today, I never lost EV6 again for more than 100 meters(far enough for me to cross-validate on the GPS). The GPS comes in handy there. When following a cycle path, it’s easy to lose track of where you are when you drop off the trail; the GPS completely solves that.
With the transition to camping more nights, I’ve struggled with how to recharge the phone, as the campsites doesn’t always have power unless I pay more, and I’m trying to pick where I camp. Leaving my phone charging in the bathhouse works, but risks losing my phone. My current system involves showing up in camp, and recharging the phone from the battery, then leaving the depleted battery in the bathhouse to recharge. No problem so far.
None of the castle sites today played out, and I finally gave up counting the cyclists, although there was a definite bell curve to the rhythm of them showing up, as the route between Bratislava and Budapest has four roughly-even-in-distance sections, so cyclists generally stop and start in the same places. A touring company clearly supports people by providing bikes and gear for non-self-supported cycling as well. I did meet with a family from Edinburgh outside of Ghyr and cycle with John, Amy, and Fiona for a while before they stopped for lunch “for an hour or two”. As they didn’t invite me, I moved on.
About 20 km outside of Bratislava in the middle of nowhere, I cycled past what was clearly the local swimming hole, crowded with cycles and people. The hottest day so far, I took the opportunity to wash off the bugs and grime, and cool off before continuing on.
To get to Bratislava, I crossed the Danu. Given my storied past with crossing this river, I wondered how that would go. The bridge I crossed serves as a major thoroughfare, but a cycle path runs the entire length of the bridge, underneath the bridge. I hadn’t been sure I would make the ride to here, I hadn’t made any plans for a place to stay, although I knew there was a campground as a fallback. I stopped at a Macdonalds, and used the free wifi to find a hostel and reserve a room.
The hostel in Bratislava hops with excitement and energy. I met Christelle from western France at dinner and we spent the evening wandering the city. She’s lead a great travelling past, teaching in Chad, and having traveled extensively in Canada and Europe. Both unimpressed this evening by the castle (under massive reconstruction) I’m moving forward to Vienna tomorrow – a short haul but with a max temp of 99 degrees! Forecasts show temps dropping precipitously in about three days. Except for the rain that precedes that, I can’t wait.
I’m picking up time on my earlier estimates, but Google Maps shows Geneva 1200 km from here, but there’s an assumption there of straight lines and super highways. Given my usual path and 22 days to get there (and somewhere hopefully a trip back to Brasov) … One way or the other I’ll know the answers to a great many questions in the next three weeks.
In celebration of having reached Bratislava, I’m watching EuroTrip. Don’t tell Scotty.