Day 25 happened, but is far from deserving of a blog post. Technically, it was our bonus day from the beginning. Reserved for if something went very wrong. As we managed to avoid any serious trouble, we treated ourselves with a bonus rest day in Gyor. Feeling super knackered and overheated – we did approximately nothing. Part of our thinking was to prepare ourselves for a very early start to day 26, with avoiding the heat in mind.
Day 26 took us from Gyor to 15 miles outside Budapest, ready for the welcoming party to greet us on day 27.
We actually did get up at 4am. After we got over the shock of being awake, we were soon rolling, and realised what an awesome idea cycling in the morning was. For one, it actually felt a little chilly – only 20C! But also, it meant we had the joy of witnessing the sun rising right in front of us – something a photo could only partially capture.
Just as the day was warming up – at the late late hour of 8AM – Martin heard some grinding from his bike. It was soon apparent his rear pannier rack had sheared a bolt. This is something Martin had some experience of, with the same thing happening to his front pannier in cologne. That time, we had the luxury of a bike shop to drill out the remaining part of the bolt, no such luxuries here. This time, we had to make do with a bodge fix at the side of the road. Resulting in a wonky pannier rack, and a bolt blocking off Martin’s highest gear. After some re-packing to reduce the strain on this new weak point, the team set off again in to what was now another very hot morning.
It was now 35C, and still rising, but at least we had completed over half our miles in the cool. If only we could keep our cool, today was my (Fergus) turn to feel extra broken in the sun. Our main priority was to get to our campsite stop, hoping to get a shady pitch despite the warnings of a very busy campsite – “so busy you must book”.
Arriving in the lunchtime heat, we were very glad to find plenty of space for us to pick a shady spot, and the offer of beers from the campsite owner! Feeling hungry, we found a restaurant near the campsite, and feasted on pizza and Radler. Our quick trip to the restaurant broke Martin’s habit of sleeping as soon as we arrived, but he impressed us with his ability to sleep anywhere by leaning back in his chair and gently snoring away.
Really we were a bit jealous of Martin, and when we got back to camp, we all searched for a cool spot to sleep. Sleep was easier to find than a cool spot after our early start.
After our naps, we made sure we weren’t carrying too much with us, by eating almost all the food we had left. The important thing, we’re now just 15 miles from the finish line.
About to set off. Pretty scary pic.
The skies light up shortly after we depart
We race urgently as Hungarian sun begins to peak over the horizon.
Exit night. Enter light.