Sunday, September 14, 2014

Muddy in Budapest.

Here I am in one of the great European cities - Budapest - and I can't get past the packed camping ground and its environs. You can't help rain, of course, so it's no one's fault that we're parked under a tree in a mud pit. But it's a bit disconcerting when you can't flush your morning's evacuations. 'It kept bobbing back up and staring at me.' Al shook his head in horrid disbelief, as did I, having had the same deal in the women's.

The women's was like some crowded steamy eastern bloc sorority house with a couple of wide eyed children staring at sad elastic confined cellulite. I wasn't about to add mine to the swill so I opted for the facilities in the van instead.

We drove for five and a half hours on B roads from Vienna - glory! - to get here. As soon as we were over the border we were on a massive criss-crossing motorway in a megalopolis - Bratislava. The traffic moved faster, lane swapping was rife and speed limits were treated with disdain. 

We came on the B roads believing we'd see more. Lots of corn fields spread around us, similar to those in Austria. However, it seemed shabbier. (Hard act for any place to follow.) Not much of interest in  the many villages we drove through. I'm sure they're all living their rich lives but there was little evidence of it. Lots of locals out on bikes gathering nuts along the highway added a bit of zest.

The long drive is due to 50, 70 and 90k speed restrictions, to which we adhered. Well, someone had to.

Our camping ground is 2k from the centre. I'm hoping to eat some humble pie after we get on the bikes and explore later today, but yesterday's brief foray around the campsite didn't bode well: dingy, mouldering blocks of flats, weeds growing through cracks in kerbs and footpaths, broken glass, litter. The local shopping mall was a tad depressing. Lots of old store mannequins staring off in bad wigs.

Yes, I know. I'm a spoilt, smug, arrogant westerner. But I'm just saying.

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