Here is a little insight of our daily routine before I get on my bike and go through the rest of the day. Our day would start with a shower followed by breakfast, packing up all our gear and cooking utensils and proceed to load our bikes before leaving the hotel/apartment room and start to cycle towards the next town. While the actual cycling is tiring, but on a good day the ride can be very pleasant with just the perfect weather and clear blue skies. Now that it is spring I can hear the birds chirping away and that helps get my mind off the cycling but sometimes when there is just miles and miles of open road with no villages or towns in sight, my mind begins to wander away as I pedal along, and some of the things that go through my mind would be things like how I wish I was back home hanging out at Misai SS2(local Mamak) with friends, or how good it would be to have a plate of yummy Nasi Kandar or Chicken Rice, and how I will be missing out on all the summer movies that are coming out 😦 to silly thoughts like why in the world did I choose to do this?!
On a day with bad weather you just wish your next destination would come quickly and you just look forward to a warm shower and of course food, and we had 2 bad days in a row. Yesterday and today was just pure pain and suffering. We were met with very heavy winds. There were weather reports on the news a few days back that Europe would be hit with strong winds (in France the winds were blowing at 110kph) but we didn’t think it would be that bad, but we were caught in it. While the winds weren’t blowing at 100kph it was probably about 50-60kph which is bad especially for us and with very heavy luggage and the drag that the panniers caused, that we were really struggling. Cycling through those winds is like virtually climbing uphill and cycling for 50 kilometers against the wind which can give you the cramps. To those planning on doing a long trip like this you really have to prepare yourself mentally. The physical part of it will develop over time as you go along 😛 so don’t worry too much about that.
We are now in Mosonmagyovar it is a border town bordering Austria and Slovakia. Today we managed to find a hotel where there is a huge Tesco Hypermarket nearby, which is 24 hours, and that really lifted my spirits, I know it is odd but nowadays going supermarkets or malls are the things that I look forward to and keeping me sane at the same time 😛 So, yes, life on the bike is very challenging. You need to be a bit crazy and be ready for all the challenges ahead, be positive and tell yourself that the best countries are yet to come! So tomorrow is a brand new day and a new country, We will pedal our way to Bratislava for a few days before heading to Vienna and praying that the weather will be fine.
With Zolt in Gyor. He is a classic motorcycle enthusiast and he advised us not to stay in Gyor as it was an expensive town as there were no cheap accommodation, so we headed out to a small village (Abda) where we found a cheap place to stay. He was also amazed that we had come all the way from Malaysia with our Bikes 🙂
So we are now in the beautiful City of Budapest, and I am loving every minute of it. The city is huge and is divided into 2 parts by the Danube river, Buda & Pest. The city is made up of old buildings with very old European architecture with many museums and art galleries. It is a great city to visit if you are an Arts & History buff. The other thing Budapest is also known for is their parties and nightlife. So there are many young tourists who come to Budapest to enjoy the night life, drinking and socializing in bars or pubs. As I found out from my friend Marton, pubs in Budapest close between 5-6am and re-open at 9.00! Crazy! :p no wonder people come here to party! and have fun. The other thing that I like about Europe is their cafe culture. There are many sidewalk cafes located around town or tucked away in some small street and now with the bicycle culture riding high, there are quite a number of bike cafes around catered to cyclists where they can just hang out and socialize or repair their bikes which is really a cool concept. Although there are a few such cafes back in KL there isn’t much of a bike culture, and many are not used to this concept so it really is a niche market. Budapest also has many bike rental stores and surprisingly many tourists come in to rent the bikes for the day or even for a whole month! So bike rental shops here are money- making outlets 🙂 The cycling culture is quite healthy here. People commute around the city by bicycle and at every street there are bicycle parking facilities provided. In Budapest alone It is estimated that there are 60000-80000 cyclists.
In my previous post I wrote about how we were deprived of having decent meals and having missed all the food we had in Turkey. Lo and behold here in Budapest there are quite number of Turkish and Lebanese who operate fast food shops, and most of them claim to be halal 🙂 so for these few days that we are here we can enjoy some decent meals which is such a blessing.
Chic lady cyclist, the ratio of ladies on bikes is roughly about 5 – 10
I have been on the road for about 4 months now and ever since we left Turkey, it has gotten a little tougher. Gone are the days where we could enjoy delicious Briyani and Tandoori in Pakistan which is similar to the food back in Malaysia to the middle eastern fare of Iran and Turkey, like Doner kebabs, Shwarmas and other home style cooking found in Lokantas.
So after a day’s journey of riding and as soon as we are done sorting our lodging, my first task is to scout the area for the nearest supermarket or mini- market to get the basic items for our meals. So far it has been bread, cheese, eggs, canned tuna, spaghetti, instant noodles(Maggi) also snacks like chips, lots of chocolates and muesli bars/cereals. Yup, it is very basic food items but with not much choice in the supermarkets and the difficulty of finding halal meat,that is the best we can do for the moment 😦 But once we start to camp, we can start buying some rice and vegetables and start making fried rice or stir- fry veggie’s. For now it’s just the easy- to- cook food that won’t take up so much time to prepare. So a lot of my time is actually spent at the aisles of supermarkets scouting and comparing prices of food stuff among the supermarket chains and also prices back in KL 🙂
Life on the road can be quite boring so we are very lucky to be living in the digital age! If we were doing this trip 10 years ago it would not have been possible to be blogging like this and keep up with current events and also I will probably be bored out of my mind without the Internet. Most of my time in the room is spent browsing Facebook or talking with family members on Skype. There are also days when I am just feeling down and demotivated mainly due to tiredness or lack of nutrition :p so the only pick -me up I have is listening to music on my phone and also watching videos on Youtube/Vimeo to keep me motivated 🙂 Also if we are in big cities I would make an effort to check out the shopping malls or shopping districts.
This video was shared and posted by my cousin, Yvonne. Just makes me wanna ride my bike all day long 🙂 Thanks for sharing Yvonne!
This is what I would really love to do either solo or with a couple of friends 😀
We crossed into Hungary 2 days back and is now in the quiet but beautiful town of Berettyoujfalu (pronounced as Berettyou-wi-falu) which means New River Village. And already we have experienced the warmth of Hungarian hospitality. The hotel/restaurant(Molo Panzio) we are staying at, is owned by a kind gentleman by the name of George. He has had a few bicycle -tourists staying at his hotel, so he is very sympathetic when he comes across them. He was very impressed with our endeavour, maybe we are the first Asian bicycle – tourists he has come across 🙂 When we were about to move on today it started to rain, so George told us to stay another day free, as his guests! Hopefully we can move on tomorrow but according to the weatherman it will continue to rain 😦
So this is seventh country for me and it has been quite a roller- coaster ride with all the moving about, experiencing all the different weather, landscapes, cities, cultures and all the wonderful people we have met along the way that really makes this kind of travel, fun and exciting! I would also like to thank my Father for giving me the opportunity to tag along on this wonderful adventure 🙂 and also family and friends for the words of encouragement, it really keeps us going.