Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Danube Hustle

Day: 328
Dolna Streda to Kormarno
Time: 4:33
Distance: 80.4 km
Avg Speed: 17.7 kph
Terrain: flat
Location: N 48.272055, E 17.747325

After riding through mountains and hills for the first part of our trip we emerged to the flatlands of Slovakia. Kilometer after kilometer of corn and sunflowers guided us on down the road.
We left our little haven in Dolna Streda this morning with a little cereal and coffee in our veins and settled in for a little riding. After the first hour we hit a sizeable town that had a grocer and grabbed a little more brekkie and some snacks. Leslie found a tasty little juice that gave us a great sugar high for a kilometer or two. Another couple of hours down the road we stopped in a park near a church where we tried to reintroduce some bread and cheese into our diets. It all worked out ok, but it just didn’t hit the spot like the first couple of days. It was here at the church that Leslie turned into Rambo and took photos of passing cyclists from the shelter of some trees in the park.
More corn, more kilometers brought us into the Danube River town of Kormarno. Across the river to the south is Hungary, but our route will take us further east on the Slovakian shores. We checked out the local camping ground and ended up finding a penzion in the city center. Most of the penzions are attached to restaurants so it is always fun trying to rent a room from the waitress as she is hustling between tables. Add the language barrier in there and the fun is compounded immensely. We were very fortunate at this place in that it had a menu, with pictures and prices to choose from. Very painless, pretty quick and pretty affordable. Leslie and I later went back to the restaurant for dinner. A two course dinner with beers and cappuccinos for dessert set us back $20. Earlier we had ran into two Spanish cyclists riding the Danube who replied that the western part of their ride was so much nicer, and that Slovakia is so poor and hard to get around in. Leslie and I haven’t been out west, but if Slovakia is as backward as the Spaniards made it out to be we should just float on through Western Europe.

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