Translated by: Dóri
In the morning, on 24 of March we had to pop in to the centre of Szeged to arrange this and that. Fortunately Mesi told us to use her car, so that we can buy time , thank you Mesi once again! By the time we got back to Szőreg Linki (a friend of us from Bátor Tábor) was sitting in front of the door. He lives in Szeged and told us that he rides with us till the border. He put on costume for us, he was waiting for us in szalacsi-cap, camouflage trousers with Józsi ( a very old „type” men’s bike), which was suffering from puncture so we had to help out his pressure a bit during our ride. We had nice weather but we got the wind head-on. The Tiszasziget border was only 10 km away from us. During the ride we were chatting and laughing, we were excited because our first border crossing was waiting for us. In front of the border we stopped to take a picture and drink a sip of pálinka, tapped each other and followed by Linki’s gaze we rolled into the ring of border guards. They were pretty kind, asked the regular – from where to where - questiones for a couple of minutes. On the Serbian side they welcomed us kindly, after the „where are you going to?” „To New_Zeland” question and answer the border guard just shook his head, which was – as we think- his honest expression of „You are not on your right mind.” We got the seal and rolled into Serbia. We stopped for lunch in the boundary of the first village. Because of the cycling we turned back to our childhood routine: „breakfast-brunch- lunch-snack-dinner” anyway we can eat at any time.
Linki accompanied us to the Serbian border
After a short rest we turned towards Zenta. The wind became calmer, we rolled in nice weather. In smaller villages people were waving and blew horns to us . At Zenta we decided to take a break. We were „parking” ( we have to get used tot this as well) with the bikes when a woman came up to us. She saw us in TV and she just wanted to wish good luck to us. We were really surprised but her words felt us pretty good. In Evropa Cafe we could order in Hungarien, we drunk fine coffee and ate cakes. Then we set out to our next stop Ada. We still had 17 km ahead of us, and we started to be tired. We were having really exciting days, like a huge stone was rolling down from our hearts: we are really start off. We are on our way. At Ada we wanted to do some shopping, because we were running out of our reserves. We planned to spend the night somewhere around, but we did not exactly know where. We stopped in front of a bakery to buy some food for dinner and for breakfast. We heared that a woman was saying hello to us again. It turned out that she is Fáy Mari (she and Balázs were volunteering together at Bátor Tábor) We were happy to see each other again. We were chatting a bit, then Mari tried to find us some accomodation, unfortunately with no success. But she told us, that on the side of River Tisza there is a free camp site, that is safe , not that far away and we could spend the night there. We thanked for her help, and after a kiss and hug we left. Over the embankment we found the camp site. It was totally empty only one or two fishingmen were around. After a short survey we chose our campground. It was lee, there was no problem with that, but as for the view, well – as you can see from the pictures- it could easily fit in to Kusturica’s film scene. It is even, we thought, we were not cold, we could lock the bikes, there were benches with table: perfect choice. We set up our tents here! This was the first time in real – and dark – to set up our hiper-super tent. But after 15 minutes we could pack from the bikes. After dinner we started to write our private diaries ( we both have one) . A lot of things happend to us in the past few days to be recorded.
The first breakfast in Serbia
The weather was a bit cool when we woke up, so we tried to be ready fast, but our part-time is still not so good, we will have time to come into it I suppose. At 9 o’clock we left Ada and reached Péterréve across Mohol. We wanted to eat some brunch so we were looking around in the small village where can we go to eat something, leave the bike sin safe, maybe have some internet and we could load our phones. For a minute we thought, this would be an impossible combination, but after all we could find a super bakery. A serbian woman suggested us that place, she hardly spoke hungarian, it was not easy to understand her, but we really appreciate her help. Two hungarian women was working in the bakery. They were happy to see us, welcomed us kindly . They saw the bikes and started to ask where are we from and where do we go. We talked a little bit, then we chose our burek and sat down to have brunch. Unfortunately they did not have coffee, but we might be so simphatic to the two ladies that they cooked us turkish coffee from their own. We were really greatful for them, we couldn’t even imagine that. The internet question was solved as well, because we were told at the bakery, that the wi-fi sign of the local school is so strong that we can use it from the square and it has no password. After the brunch we said goodbye, we used the wi-fi a bit at the main square and settled our accomodation for the night at Piros. A young guy wearing a white cloak was stepped to us and gave us some glucose. Endre is working at a pharmacy, he saw the bikes and thought to welcome us. He offered us that if we couldn’t find accomodation he waits for us in his home in Újvidék. We would never have thought that such thing may happen to us, a stranger greets us, just because we are with bikes, chats with us and offers accomodation. We thanked him his offer, changed contact and said goodbye. We left Péterréve with warm feelings. This time we had not known, but we had strong head-wind all day long, the next 32 km was hard to succeed. The air cooled down as well, we felt it even colder because of the wind, literally we were matted when we parked at the fence of the catholic church of Szenttamás. A car stopped next to the manse and it’s driver invited us to the garden. As we entered the garden, we found a bench where we wanted to eat our lunch. After a couple of minutes the parson appeared, who invited us into an outbuilding next to the manse to enjoy our meal there. We were chatting during the meal – he was really nice, he was deaf a little bit, so we had to speak loud. He was talking to us about his relatives in Budapest, then he looked at his watch, he had to hurry, he was having a funeral in 5 minutes. We thanked him the place and said goodbye. From Szenttamás we ride straight to Újvidék, with strong cross-wind. We arrived to the city around half past seven, Piros was not far away from here, where Feri and his family was waiting for us. We found the house easily and Feri welcomed us. We got a small residence in a quiet, clean outbuilding. We put down the bikes and continued talking in Feri’s livingroom. Before dinner we drunk from the pálinka we got from Bea. Meanwhile Csilla Feri’s wife arrived with their son Áron. They are both working at the theather in Újvidék. After a long day we went to bed around midnight. The next morning when we woke up Csilla and the parents were in the garden, they were cutting chicken, peeling, sorting. Feri was preparing a home-made „fatálas” for us, bacon, sausages and fresh bread was waiting for us on the table. (We will really miss this kind of breakfast) After drinking the turkish coffee and investigating the dzsezva (copper pot for boiling water) I packed small chickens and peted rabbits Balázs was preparing the brakes with Feri. We put our things together, said goodbye to the family and after 10 we went to a rapid sight seeing tour with Feri on bikes.
Taking a nap
We rested a bit by the side of river Duna at Újvidék, which was really nice. We wanted to have lunch, when we heard „hey, hello” from somewhere. A large, bearded guy was approaching us with a really loaded, trailered bike. He is Joaquin a chilean guy, who departed a year ago from France and since then he has been biking over Europe. He has been volunteering in a winery for 5 moths and now he decided to move on. We got to know Menegin Gospodin Dinosaurus as well, a street dog who bacame his traveling companion. We talked a bit, changed contact, Joaquin was turning toward Belgrád, then he will see. We are sure that we will meet him again! After waving him goodbye, we had our lunch at the riverside, with the castle of Pétervárad opposite to us. We left Újvidék on the Duna-bridge, and after saying goodbye to Feri we continued our way at next to Fruska Gora mountain . A high slope was waiting for us, we stopped several times to take a short brake or drink a bit and to take some pictures. At the end of the high slope we sat down for refilling our energies when – to our biggest surprise – Joaquin appeared. We had a kind of mini-picnic together, then we said goodbye, he spent one more night at the winery . Our way was leading to Belgrád.
Zastava 750's , for the first we tought old Fiat 500's
We had to search our host at the Department of Philology at the University of Belgrád. Our phone batteries were low so we were without maps. We had to use the help of the locals to reach the settled meetingpoint and get the homekeys from Bert. Balázs was improvizing and tried to use his bulgarian kind of serbian knowledge. But it worked, the locals understood what we wanted and and showed us the way . In downtown, this was much easier, more people came and helped us in English. After 8pm we met Bert, our host. He is a guy from Belgium, who is teaching french at the university and his hobby is to host people almost every week. He have been to a lot of countries, he lived a couple of years in Asia, so we got some useful information and advice from him. He gave his keys and a map to us, told us how can we get there and he went back to his class. We met again around 10 in his home, and spent a nice evening together. Bert was full of good stories. The 27 of March was a day for resting again. We both really enjoyed it. We were relaxing, eating, tried to settle our things. Bert was saying goodbye to us around 6 in the evening, he went snowboarding to the hills, so we were alone in his home. After taking a photo he went away.
Today we will have an exciting evening again: there is a serbian family living 15km away from Belgrád – Balázs found them accidentaly on the internet – who will host us this evening. A biker family, they have just arrived home from Asia. We cannot wait to see them.
Written by: Balázs
We woke up in Kecskemet on 22nd March. The alarm went off around 7:30, which might sound a bit strange for many of you: we are on vacation and still we have to get up early! We need some time to get ourselves ready, have some breakfast and leave on time, so that we can do the kilometres we planned!
Our host, Etelka made us fried-eggs (the egg yolk was not fried completely, just the way we like it!) and baked potatoes with bread and tea. We had a lovely breakfast and she also told us everything about the hows of raising chicken.
It was almost 11 a.m. when we could start off. There were a few drivers who sounded the horn and waved to us, maybe they saw us in the news last night…? :)
We stopped at Kiskunfelegyhaza to have a bite. The weather changed a bit, the air kind of cooled down. It was not that bad, but is was not pleasant at all.
The gas stations are the best places in town to stop by when you need to go. Sometimes the staff are nice too, they look at our bikes and start asking questions, where are we going, what are we doing. Some of them just laugh and tell us how crazy we are.
In between Kiskunfelegyhaza and Kistelek we saw a guy on the right side of the road. The night before we received a message from Karcsi Ballagi (The name of his blog/ community is Bringaval barhova on Facebook) letting us know that he was about to cycle home from Szeged and he would like to meet us in person. We recognised him, although we had never met before. He really is a nice guy, we talked a bit, took a picture together and said goodbye. He was the first cyclist we met on our journey. :)
It was a nice ride to Szeged. It was really weird, I spent 6 years in this town while studying at the University, and now I am back.
We stayed at one of my friends’ place in Szőreg, outside Szeged. Andris, Bazsi and Pusi (THE boys) were busy with campfire, Mesi and Dori, the girls were just back from the greengrocer. The little Dorka was there too, Bazsi’s and Dori’s daughter. We had a lovely beef stew (bogrács gulyás for those really into Hungarian cuisine) with some wine.
The next morning the whole company had breakfast together. We decided to re-think what we really need for the trip; that is how an extra jumper, a pair of trousers got out from our bags. I finally fixed the lights at the back of my bike, because I didn’t have time for that.
We spent the day in town, we met Peti (we were studying in the same university). He is a social worker, he works with underprivileged young people. We talked on the phone weeks before, and I offered our laptop that we don’t use as a support for anybody in need. He knew a young guy, called Gyula who studies at the university and works with Peti, and who needs some help, as he is underprivileged too. There was no question, Gyula has to get our laptop! We hope that he will find it useful!
Once we said goodbye, we went straight to “Kapca” to taste their famous hamburgers. Homemade rolls, coleslaw, chips… Lovely combination and a huge portion! You have to visit Kapca when you’re in Szeged!
We met Bea, and ex-classmate of mine, and one of my ex-teachers, called Sanyi. It was an unexpected meeting, but really funny. Short after that we had another meeting –that was a fixed appointment- with a journalist of the local newspaper, Delmagyar. After the quick interview we had to rush back to the house where stayed at, because the photographer of the newspaper had to take pictures of us with the loaded bikes. What a day!
We popped down to the nearest shop at night, then we all sat together and talked. It was great to be with friends that night.
21st March 2015 Budapest-Kecskemet (Hungary)
Written by: Balázs
The time we had planned the last week at home before the big journey we had thought, that we would have time for relaxing on the week before our departure. You can image, we had still a lot to do: packing and re-organising our bicycle-bags, getting the missing gear, going shopping. We even had to drive to Vienna to get our Uzbek visas. It was a “touch and go” kind of visit. We spent 3 hours in the city, then rushed back to Hungary.
Thursday was a family day, for Friday we had a strategy. We picked up all the necessary things in the city that we still had to get, then we locked ourselves up in the flat and started packing.
Apart from being busy all week it really had been a nice “last week” with many surprise.
On Friday we finished packing and tiding up the flat around 1 a.m. (actually it was already Saturday), went straight to bed, and woke up at 5:30 a.m. A quick coffee, we checked everything for the last time, then we left our apartment. It was really weird to ride our bikes with so much extra weight on them! We definitely have to get used to it…
We met our family, friends, and volunteers from the Bátor Tábor (the Hungarian camp for children with disease, for whom we are raising funds for,) at Clark Adam square, at the 0. kilometre stone at 8 a.m. We had a quick interview with RTL Klub and Hír24, we were really excited! There were many hugs, kisses, smiles and teardrops, good wishes and love on that morning. We finally got on our saddles, and started pedalling.
The weather was nice, a perfect start for our journey. And yes, it has begun!
On the very first day we reached Kecskemet, where the family of Eni’s colleague had waited for us. It was really a nice evening, we had a nice meal and a great time.
Before we went to sleep, we still talked a lot about the morning, the messages that we were still getting.
A new chapter of our life has just started with the 21st March. We had been planning the whole journey for almost a year, and here we are!
It is a day to remember!