Budapest to Zsámbék: 32.5 kms

Yesterday we met up with Ferenc in Budapest. I love that we were able to chat with the person responsible for marking and mapping our route, the Via Pannonia. He patiently answered all my questions and even gave us credentials. For anyone interested you can find more information about the route on Facebook:

It is not the “official” Camino in Hungary that heads towards Vienna.

There were lots of mishaps on our first day that all “miraculously”resolved into a great day. For all my anxiety about all the many things that could go wrong, when stuff actually does it feels more manageable.  

When Ferenc compared the first day out of Budapest with the day over the Pyrenees, we were sceptical. But it is a steep climb out of the city over the Buda hills.

I started off with Gord, but pushing my bike up 20% grades is hell. I opted for another route and was quickly stopped by a policeman. The pope is in town and I had to wait the twenty minutes until his motorcade passed. It was nice he was here to see us off. 

When I resumed riding my handlebars were loose and moving and I couldn’t tighten them. My friend Wendy knows how scary this feels because we lent her my bike once and forgot to tighten the bars.

I coasted back down to Budapest to find a bike shop. Nothing broken, just bad assembly on my part. Within five minutes I was climbing back up into the hills. 

Gord found the first day quite challenging.  While 32 kms is not an unreasonable length for him, it is a long first day, particularly given the hills out of Budapest.  He is a bit sore now, but his feet are fine and he is looking forward to tomorrow’s more reasonable 25 km walk.

This very friendly fellow insisted on buying us ice cream

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