Wednesday 14 September 2011

Very Hungary

What countries is doris stradling
So I was just chillin out as one does when they dont need to be doing anything else riding my trusty bike along the stop bank of the river Duna when I came across a shepard with his faithful flock. Im not really sre that you would ever put sheep in a 'faithful' catageory but there you go. Leading the group was a Donkey, yup, a Donkey. For some reason I am not really sure of the Donkey took great offence to me even though I had gone well out of my way to avoid any confrontation. The Donkey turned my direction, walked, trotted then started running after me. What is one supposed to do what a god damn donkey starts to chase you? This was beyond all my high level response training for the military so I just rode like stink until the amused shepard called off the raging beast. I mean honestly, a Donkey.

Pumkins in Austria
Tracing my way through to Vienna I continued through the extreamly old city a couple of days thereafter to find myself in another city of just as intriguing history. That would be Bratislava, the capital city of Slovakia. Here I was stopped by a few curious folk who all commented on the state of me and the bike. The general concensus was that me and the bike looked in remarkably good condition for the 11000km we had just completed. I thought they were being nice but it was a good feeling not to be like the stinky kid for a moment at least.

I have been following the Euro Velo signs for the last few days before I got sick of them and headed out onto the roads again. The Euro Velo is a network of cycle paths strewn all over the continent to make life easier for the drivers on the roads and the bikers. The problem is that everybody on the paths is on a mission so noone stops and talks unless you really impress yourself upon them. I did this too two such gals from Germany and we spent the day biking through what was left of Austria before we got to Slovakia. It was pissing with rain for a short time at camp so we used their roomy lodgings to drink wine and play cards and I was very grateful for the quality cheese they offered. A lovely break from the cheap plastic stuff I have been buying. I had a crack at fixing the gears on their bikes but it was a little beyind me without new cables so I think I made the situation worse. Still It was nice to be able to try and help someone even if I just ended up creating more work for them in the long run.

Good Boy
Hungry has been a little bit disappointing in that I have hardly met anyone and I have not really taken in much of the culture. I was speculating as to why this could be the case the other evening as I sat under a full moon and I think it is because I am so far off the tourist trail I had found the farmers and peasants of the inland counties. There are acres and acres of golden corn crops swaying and rustling in the afternoon breeze across this remarkably flat countryside, or where the crops have been reaped there are endless dusty fields streatching far into the distance. There are no curches, or museums or interactive displays telling of the occupations that have taken place here over the centuries, just the crops and the sun hardened paople that are serving the land. And me of course, trying my best to fit in with my white skin and stickered touring bike.

Waiting for the train in Hungary
So thats where I am at the moment. I have moved from Slovenia to Austria, Slovakia and into Hungary. Now as I write this I am a stones throw from the confluence of Hungary, Slovakia and the Ukraine boarders. The days are getting shorter but as yet the temps are staying perfectable rideable and the days are plenty long enough to exhaust ones self in a bike saddle. I was treated to my first medical issue the other day when I had to remove a splinter from my foot. Almost 5 months and that is the damage, not to bad me thinks. I did eat a face full when Doris dug her front tire in some very soft sand at the edge of the grassy road I was on and stopped dead. Of course I didnt stop until I hit the ground, rolled with the agility of a cat, resumed my feet with the grace of a tiger and pondered with the resilience of a dragon what the hell just happened.
Tom Foolary in Austria

A monument for the lives lost in Vienna in World wars
It would seem that my job prospects in the Uk are looking slim to none at the moment based on some of the emails I am getting back. With that in mind I will be looking to come back to Nz for February. What I was hoping from you lovely people is if you could give me some advise as to where I might look at some sponsorship for another couple of months on my bike. Go on ask around, who knows your boss may want their name on my sweaty top. I am flirting with the idea of heading south once I get to the Uk and head to Africa for a month. We'll see.

Corn field in Hungary. Likely not a sunrise

     Take care world and go have an adventure.


  1. I loved your tale about the incident with the donkey, it really made me smile. What do they use the pumpkins for?
    Trust u to find the name Rex in your travels.
    Rex and I have loved watching the RWC games.
    Rex forgot to watch his hens and they got into my strawberries and I'm not a happy camper! They have clobber-hoppers for feet.
    Keep enjoying yourself.
    Love Ang

  2. I think there are some jobs for you in Canada....