Today we got up at 6am, hat breakfast till 7:30 and were ready to go at 8:15am. Unfortunately, it still took us some more time to get going.
On the previous day, Chris had noticed that we messed up the pretty clear instructions for an oil change. As a consequence, the oil level of the Black Beauty was too high. The plan was to remove the excess oil by using a syringe. Also, on the previous evening, we had read that it is recommended for motorcyclists to wear a high visibility vest in Hungary. In order to get these, we headed to the nearest hardware store which was a branch of the OBI chain from Germany. There we got our high-vis vests along with a thermometer which Chris wanted to use to get information on the ambient temperature. Unfortunately, we did not get the syringe. For this we headed to the local pharmacy where we had our first gravel section as the parking lot was 100% unpaved. Everything went well 😉
Once we had purchased the items, we got on our way towards the Hungarian border. On the way, we saw snow laying besides the road – possible that it was from yesterday. Even though the weather was better today, it still wasn’t great. According to the new thermometer of Chris, the ambient temperature was around 13°C which definitely was NOT the case. It was defenitely colder. So he decided to take the readings only as an indication rather than a fact. Once we passed Vienna, the weather (more precisely the wind) got worse and the increasingly strong wind became really annoying. During a stop near Vienna, Chris extracted the excess oil from Fabi’s bike.
As we crossed the border to Hungary, we noticed the big signs: “BUY VIGNETTE HERE”. Oops, did we forget about something? As it turned out, yes we did. In Hungary, as well as Serbia, the highways are toll roads. For the case of Hungary, you have to buy an electronic vignette which is registered in a database. As we had not done this before, we had to purchase it at the border which wasn’t a problem by itself. However, the motorway station where we stopped differed greatly from the ones where we had previously stopped. Instead of several big buildings, a parking lot etc., there was only one building, a parking lot full of potholes and a multitude of small huts all selling vignettes. To make matters worse, there was no ATM available where we could get Forint. So we had to scrape up our last euros in order to buy our vignettes (11€ total).
Some time later, we booked our accommodation for the evening which is arond 100km from the Serbian border which we are planning to cross tomorrow. On our way there, we had to pass next to Budapest, the capital of Hungary. We got there at around 4pm which only meant one thing: Rush hour. We got into a nice traffic jam which cost us around 20 minutes. During the traffic jam, Chris was using Google Maps to check on the expected duration of the traffic jam as the traffic continued to flow again. As he had removed his left glove in order to do so, he was riding with his right glove only. Once the jam had completely dispered, we stopped on the shoulder so he could put it pack on his hand. Waiting for a parking place was not really an option, as we had only seen a handful of motorway stations during our entire time in Hungary so far.
After some riding in the rain (we both were 100% dry thanks to our gear) we arrived in Kecskemet where we had booked the room for the night. An appealing side effect of being in Hungary are the low prices. Fuel right next to the highway is around 1.25€/L and the room was 38€ for both of us including breakfast.
After arriving, we went to (once again) OBI. Here we purchased a size 11 wrench to fix the GPS mount which had loosened itself and then to TESCO in order to get something to eat for dinner. The price for the wrench was around 2,10€ compared to ~4,50€ you have to pay in Germany!