Up at 8.00, the day starts with the usual faffing. I find a camping shop and purchase a mattress hopefully worthy of a Himalayan winter. We ride through the poorer outskirts of the city, I'm glad we don't need to find camping here, every scrap of land is used, even right up to the river bank. Not in the high rise built up sense, but houses, shacks, boat yards and clapped out cars. The Smile Game goes very well though - good old Hungarians.
The clouds are gathering and over the course of an hour the day becomes progressively duller. By 15.00 it's incredibly dark, we pull over to get kitted up - well actually I fit out my guitar with dry sacks and rain coat. Thunder and lightning erupt above our heads, I didn't admit it at the time but it was slightly scary. The rain so heavy that visibility is vastly reduced, it was bouncing up off the road so hard I could feel it hitting the under side of my sandals. The needles of water causing almost pain to our bare arms. It is our luck that the roads are dead, toeing a straight line is impossible in the erratic bullying wind. We sing, shout and laugh until the sun greets us again. We ride into Rackeve, find a cafe to dry off and warm up. Beer and pizza vanish from the table in seconds. With full bellies and restocked food supply courtersy of Lidl we continue on down the river. The path quality declines, I treat it like a mountain bike ride dodging weaving and jumping through the potholes - not so easy for Mihailo on his road bike. We catch up with two other cyclists, Mariusz and Sarah are from Berlin. We chat we them and ride together for some way. The path turn to grass and the four of us bump along at 10kph, Sarah and I have bikes with a more off-road bias, but Mihailo and Mariusz are not so pleased with the "scenic route". The grass we ride through is filled with mosquitoes, as they smell the next meal they take to the air. In vain we attempt to outrun them, this doesn't go so well and we are all covered. My repellent is close to hand and so I share it out - it works surprisingly well. The option to take some tarmac arises and we do so. We ride on in the dark, I give Mariusz my light as he's upfront. We hang a right off the main road and find a recently harvested field. Sarah only has a thin foam matress and so I offer her mine (no pun intended) as an extra layer. Tarp(dining room) laid out we get to eating. Sarah is happy to have peanut butter, and I to have fresh cucumber - a suitable exchange. I make some soup that we've been carrying since Germany - it's taste is beyond bad. Mariusz and I share the guitar playing, we sing and chat with millions of stars for company...somewhere in rural Hungary.