Day 21 - Reflections

Thursday 17th July 2014

The Oud Watermolen - looks quite new actually


 What is it about zips?
 If there is any thin liner material remotely near the path of a zip it's mission in life is to figure out a way, any way, of getting stuck in the damned teeth.
It doesn't happen every time. Oh no, the cunning little bastard waits for the moments that have the most impact on your normally peaceful life. On this tour this applies in particular to the sleeping bag zip which waits serenely until that time at 3 in the morning when you finally give in to the urgent need for a pee and need to get out of your tent in double quick time. It applies to the zipper on your riding trousers in not dissimilar circumstances. But worst of all is the zip on the waterproof oversuit. It waits patiently during those times when the rain is coming but there is plenty of warning, or a handy bus shelter. Then you can get it on without drama. No, it strikes when you are half way up a mountain and hard driving rain appears out of nowhere and there is no shelter for ten kilometres. When you are desperate and sweating and your helmet is hanging from your handlebars, open to the skies. That's when it strikes, and with a tenacity that defies physics, becomes irredeemably stuck.

Inside the mill

Concerning Hungary
We passed the 4,000 kilometre mark yesterday somewhere around the border into Hungary.
This country has taken me by surprise. I realise I know nothing about it. I thought it was one great big flat plain separating the Alps and the Carpathians and that the language was utterly incomprehensible to earthlings. Oh and that cowboys originated here. Our intention was to blast across it's dusty terrain as quickly as possible and climb up into Dracula country. It's lovely though. The main roads put English through routes to shame, at least the ones we've been riding so far. It's green and the rolling downs seem to go on forever. There are orchards everywhere and gas stations pop up just when you need them. And, as Mick said, it's cheap as chips. It's also notable that we are travelling east. We're still in the Western European time zone, one hour ahead of the  UK, but it's dark now at 9pm and the dawn chorus sparks up not long after 4am. As we are camping now we live with the light. As I write it's just shy of six in the morning and the sun is up. The folk round here must be an industrious bunch. We are by a country road but the traffic started up before five, competing with a nearby cockerel to get us up and about. I say we, but Mick as usual is still in his pit. 6am and the nearby church bell sparks up. Constant single note, get up, get up, get to work.

Coffee with new Belgian friends

So we are up before 6am and it's already getting warm. The old Dutch guy confirms that yesterday the temperature was 37C. Too hot!
he shows us around the old water mill workings after which the camping ground is named. The main grinding wheel was both water and steam operated. It is dated 1776.
I try on his clogs, too big.
There's also a Belgian family here with a camper van. The guy is a big Harley rider. They offer coffee and we sit around chatting as the day heats up.

Time to pack and get on the move.
Trying on the klompen

Is there anybody out there?
Calling earth, calling earth. While I write this pretty much for my own enjoyment, we're a long way from home and feeling lonely!There's a Comments function in this blog app so come on, let us know if you are getting this. Be as offensive as you like, just let us know that we exist!


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