March the 6th, 2015. I am fiddling with my sole bag on the rack as it slides off a bit despite the fact that I am using three bungee cords. Worry not, I’ll have to put on 25 extra kilograms in two days time.
We’re setting off to our massive adventure, officially putting on the odometer on Zsofi’s bike at the zero kilometre stone at Lánchíd, Chain Bridge. We’re meeting my brother and my sister in law, the two peeps, Enikő and Balázs from Magunk útján – Our track and Tamás, who’s joining us for the next two days till Szekszárd.
After saying goodbyes, huge hugs and small tears we’re off to our first destination not more than a mere three kilometres away – Ica Mama, a famous sausage place where we meet our second companion, Attila. After consuming a hearty breakfast that consists of kolbász (paprika sausage), májas hurka (liverwurst), bread, pickles, breaded chicken liver and mustard, we’re off again and determined to do our next leg: a 15 kilometer ride to Hollósy coffee shop in Budaörs.
Post-coffee-and-cake, as it was already past lunchtime and we were technically still in Budapest, we decided to step on it and we arrived at our lunch checkpoint, the Báder Inn in Bicske around 2pm. Having a hearty lunch made the day a bit more adventurous for Tamás and Attila, as they consumed a meal called csülök – boiled ham hock: the afternoon had a few surprise climbs along our journey towards my hometown, Székesfehérvár.
We arrived before 7pm at our destination, Prague Inn, and after a few pints and a delicious dinner at Salvator, we decided to call it a day and rode home. We did 90 kilometers, and it was my first time ever that I did the distance between the capital and my hometown not by train, car or coach.
The next morning we had breakfast at my parent’s place – there’s no need to mention that it was huge and delicious. Dávid joined us and he still had a cheeky smile on his face as his bottom didn’t know what battle it’s in against the saddle throughout the day.
The next day lunchtime was around halfway of the 90km ride, in Simontornya. As I felt that the Serbian border is getting closer with every kilometre, having a hearty massive lunch again was a necessity. Liver dumpling soup, ham and cheese filled fried pork chops, fried cheese, chips and a bite of Zsofi’s pancakes – there’s not much else to say.
As a direct result, the afternoon was slower, but was definitely spent in a good mood: talking about imaginary pizza toppings, a few tasting sessions of Lilla’s rehydration cocktail (thank you). We were also glad that we decided to ride the first two days without panniers – according to the measurements in Székesfehérvár, the per-bike weight was about 25 kilograms.
It was in the evening when we arrived in Szekszárd where my parents awaited us with a home-made favourite of mine called rakott krumpli – layers of potatoes, eggs and sausage, topped with breadcrumbs, soured cream and cheese. 15 minutes later, there was only a tiny portion left solely due to the politeness of the guests. We had a quiet evening, after two glasses from local wineries we organised a who-can-go-to-sleep quicker competition.
Early morning our traveling companions rode to the station to catch the first train to Budapest and it was time for us to load the bikes, i.e. to send back home everything that we (hopefully) don’t need. It was time to say goodbye again. It wasn’t an easy one, even if we’re meeting again in six weeks time: there’s a small family gathering organised for mid-April in Istanbul.
Despite the extra load we had an easy 45 km ride to Baja where we arrived early afternoon. After 220 kilometres from Budapest, crossing four counties we were about to cross the Serbian border the next day, it was time for – guess what – food: traditional fish soup.
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