Really enjoying Serbia and it’s been particularly interesting to read a bit more about the recent history of this region.
A few noticeable changes: lots of wild dogs that hate bikes! (I’m becoming quite good at reading dog body language, but there have been a couple of close shaves with some very territorial furry friends), the Danube River is very cold, the alphabet as we know it has disappeared and Serbian people have been incredibly friendly.
Susie was only taking some ‘holiday’ time to cycle with me for 10 days and unfortunately is due to leave from Sofia in a couple of days. I gave her some artistic video filming freedoms for this video….enjoy!
It’s been a really great week. Having left Austria behind, we headed into Hungary and then into Slovakia for a short period. Primarily following the Danube river still, the weather continued to be miserable but thankfully the temperature increased and eventually the sun arrived in full force just in time for our cycle into Budapest where we celebrated my birthday. We did feel rather out of place turning up to such a fancy hotel with pannier bags and mud stained trousers but after a few minutes we didn’t care! On the big day we woke up early and cycled across town to one of the local thermal baths which Budapest is well known for. After a long soak and a short time to contemplate life, we headed back into the city centre and went for a super fancy breakfast. My good friend Kirsty had booked, paid and organised the breakfast with Susie as a birthday treat which was amazing – thanks again to Kirsty and also thanks to Susie for cycling with balloons and banners and cards to surprise me as well!
Not giving ourselves too much of a break we still had 50 odd miles to cycle that afternoon. We’ve had a couple of great BnBs over the last couple of days which have been more like homestays. It’s been really great to meet some Hungarian people and they have been so welcoming. Another very rainy 80 miles cycled today but the forecast for tomorrow is looking great – suncream at the ready!!
The end of the video was this afternoon, we crossed over the Danube to stay in a small town called Mohacs, our last night in Hungary.
824 miles done and I’m currently in a tent wild camping just across the border into Austria – country number 6, whoop! Think I’m going to make it to Vienna on time, although at points I feel like I’m picturing Vienna as my final stop – A couple more miles and countries to do after Vienna I think!
Sorry for the lack of updates. I’ve had some very long days and just haven’t had the time (or energy) at night to put anything down to send across. So much to say but not enough time to edit it all! I’ve done 474 miles so far but getting to Vienna on time to meet my friend Susie is the main motivation at the moment, and it’s looking tight – don’t tell her that….! I’ve done a couple of nights of wild camping, a night in a cheapish hotel and I’m currently in my tent in a German campsite. Spirits are high (despite my demeanour in one of the last clips does come across a little gloomy – please ignore!). A few mishaps; left my bike padlock keys at home and walking into barbed wire in the dark (I’ll include a picture of my legs – just because). Must get some sleep now – the video is very hastily edited but the utter glee I had when using my drone again was epic!
Thanks for all the support so far.
This video and the post below are slightly in the wrong order – oh well
Best thing: Seeing my first line being created on my Garmin tracker map (you can also follow it if you go to the menu and tap on ‘Where is Kezia?’
Weirdest thing: There was a huge amount of police presence at Heathrow airport as I cycled past, including foot patrols around the outer perimeter. On the cycle path I tried to be friendly and smiled to a pair of policemen – I did not get the same response back. Pretty sure I was mistaken for an Extinction Rebellion protestor – my bike would fit the sort of description – I did feel like I was being monitored!
One thing I’ve learnt: Road cyclists are less likely to wave at you when you’re not on a road bike – I feel I’ve been shunned!
What next ?: Tomorrow I have a short day cycling to Dover. The ferry is not booked till the next day. Starting slow. Marathon not a sprint……etc
Thanks a lot for the support I have received over the last couple of days with many words of encouragement and queries of sanity! It’s great to hear how interested people are in the trip.
I had a really lovely day on Monday as all the family got together for a mixture of an Easter celebration and a farewell, the whole family was there and my good friends Kirsty and Jon popped in which was great.
I got the bike fully packed and weighed it – bags and bike are 50kgs. Not sure what I was expecting, but I think that is fairly common for this sort of trip. I’m sure my legs may disagree over some big hills but I can always send items back if I’m not using them.
I left the house after a few hugs and kisses at just after 8am. A huge shout out to my friend Claire who got up at 4am to then drive to Reading to see me off! Completely mental but fully appreciated.
Day one has been good. I’m still learning about the bike but really happy with how fast it can go and how stable it is, even with all the bags. Headed directly East and after Heathrow I verged slightly South. Negotiated my way through some busy areas, including Windsor, Kingston Upon Thames and Croydon before popping out onto the much hillier North Downs. Remarkable how quickly you can be in the crazy urban areas and suddenly be surrounded by fields and hills. About 50miles into the day I remembered I had about a kilo of crushed up Easter eggs in my front pannier – so tasty when you’re hungry. Crossed back out of the M25 loop and cycled into Maidstone to meet my Auntie and uncle who have kindly fed me and allowed me to shower and sleep in their home.
I’m not a huge writer but prefer to make videos – you may have noticed. Unfortunately videos take a while to put together, so I’ll keep blog updates short and get videos out as and when I can.
Thanks again all.