Location and time:
F1rst Day: On Home Soil
The first 100 km was tough. I ate a lot of gels and my stomach was not in a good shape. The course was a difficult, not always logical and rather MTB-specific. There were mud, sand, pavement, everything you need. I made a longer break in Zalaegerszeg, where I almost get a heat stroke. I countinued in the evening/at nicht, when the tempratur much better was. I found a cosy place for my tent on a vineyard. Before I fell asleep I heard a boar not far away from my place. Early in the morning I was woken up by a loudly singing bird instead of the cock of the nearby village. My new stove worked very well. It took quite a long time till I folded up everything and got ready for the upcoming day.
Second Day: Balaton-like
The cool air in the morning was a pure salvation. Road quality varied from the Austrian gravel to the worst imaginable. Gravel bike owners should be rewarded for their efforts. I had to make a bath pause in the famous lake. My fuse melted again in the late afternoon heat. I ate dinner in a wine bar. And it was an interesting experience. 4 pieces of fried meat with some potato salat costed about 4000 HUF (10$). There was no toilet paper holder in the toilet. The waiters had a strategic discussion about the avaiable tables. If they would bring out more tables, maybe they people would have more places to sit down? I am not an expert, but this would make sense. I got some basic cyclist food from my friend. It was really helpful. The course wasn’t logical neither yesterday nor today. At least I could watch and took a nice photo from the sunset.
Third Day: Rolling On the Uplands
The day started slowly. One deer looked into my tent. After I folded everything together I continued my journey. After the first ascent I couldn’t see my sleeping bag. I had to go back. I took care of my soul with a coffee and some bananes. The heat was almost unbearable and it was only 9 O’ Clock. I was wondering, how long can I pedal, because reaching Budapest seemed impossible in this weather. I needed every bit of my courage to go through a remote area/mountain. I could find the rhythm on the roads. I fueled myself up in a really cosy restaurant in Nemesvámos. After that I was on my way to the next bigger ascent, when I lost one of my bottles. I had to go back. I took out one of my spare bolts and mounted it, after that I checked the other bolts as well. We went through an unbelievable slippery gravel road to reach the first village in Bakony. Everthing was already closed, but a cofe. I drank wine, soda, and ice coffee to get some energy for the upcoming climb. It went well, but I got lost in the dark and I went through nettles. They were taller than me. I got some nettle rash. I didn’t wanted to ride farther in the night. I found an awesome place not far away from the road. It was a perfect camping place.
Fourth Day: SandNegyedik nap: Homokolás
I didn’t sleep well due to the nettle rash. The resting place had a nice location, but it was really cold. I had to take on every layers I had. I made a royal breakfast in the village and I went through some unpleasant sandy parts to reach the the valley of Cuha. It was astonishing. Unfortunately I had to take off my jersey, because my skin couldn’t get enough fresh air. Somewhere – before the next big & hot ascent – I lost my wallet. Of course I noticed it on the top of the mountain… I went back, but too much time has passed and someone found it. Based on my experience, it is not really possible to do more than 100 km in the heat. I and a collague reached Isztimér, where we could find accomodation. I had to wash my bike, because the sand was killing the drivetrain. The former guestes were Ukrainen refugees and they left there a lot of mirelit food. The pub and shop were already closed, so we were really happy for this dinner. The night cost 10$, but we almost got back this money from the food.
Fifth Day: Heatwave
I woke up in the morning with rumbling stomach. My body absorbed every calories from the dinner. There was a storm at night and the hot air went away. At a Hike-A-Bike section I broke one of my fork luggage, so I had to solve some logistical problems. The Vértes is a really nice mountain in Hungary. It is a remote area and you can’t really find water on every corner. You have to pay attention to the fluid intake and you have to cool down your body. I noticed that my tracker isn’t tracker anymore. Too bad that I lost his cable. After that I gained some more meaningless elevation. I rode/walked up and got back down. I meet with Kuzma again. His charging didn’t really charged, so I remained in stealth mode. I made an another mistake here. I locked down my bike and once I heard its clicking noise, I was in trouble. The key of the lock was in my wallet. So I had to ask a couple of people, if they might cut my bike free. It was succesful. I didn’t really wanted to continue the day, so I had a discussion with Kuzma about whatthehellarewedoinghere and I tried to get some sleep.
Sixth Day: Last Piece
I couldn’t really get much sleep at night. The refrigerator was too loud. I didn’t have such problem in the previous nights… I ate my two hot dogs from yesterday and I checked out. It was an bad start of the day. The recepcionist told me that I have to pay 5000 Ft, because he only paid for one person. All right, I had 3000 Ft for a whole day in 104 °F… Without any plan went back to the course. After many boring up and downhills I reached the main road, where my electronical devices stopped working. My body was really suffering on the sun till I reached the trainstation and bought a ticket to Budapest. I realized that my friends in Budapest aren’t at home. And I had zero money. Fortunately I can meet a friend outside of the city. One passenger listened to my call and spent me some money, so I was able to buy a second train ticket. I got dinner, accomodation, clean clothes… It was dreamful.
I have mixed feelings about the event. I looked around in Europe for similar events. One course in Switzerland contains less elevation change. That’s ridiculous. I think the goal of a bikepacking event should not be this. Why we were climbing so much with a bike full of luggage? The quality of roads were often so bad that I might buy a fully. I really liked the feeling of sleeping in a tent. On a tour like this you want a really lightweight bike and you can only carry the most important itemps (spare tubes, food, and some waterproof clothes).
You will feel every gramm on the ascents.
I can’t recommand this event for hobby cyclists. Maybe ultracyclists with a comfy bike and without any luggage can find it interesting. It is a big challange. If you want to make a tour on your own, you can make a better course with the help of turistautak.hu. The pavement quality of your course will be better, I can guarantee it.
- 1 BBB dual mount adapter
- 1 bottle holder
- 1 BBB Hauler mount adapter
- 1 bottle holder bolt
- 1 wallet with documents (I got it after the tour)
- 1 toenail (I hit something in one of the accomodation)
- 1 Garmin speed sensor
- 1 rear tire (worn out)