On the 130th anniversary, I recreated part of the journey of the first person to cycle around the world on a bicycle. Taking it one day at a time. View the archive.

Győr and camping wild

By Stuart Lowe on

In the morning I packed up my tent and headed east out of Mosonmagyaróvár to Halázi then through a series of small villages past long-horned cattle that Stevens had remarked upon and a small Jewish cemetary which had particular significance after my visit to Dachau in Germany.

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Jewish cemetary

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Long-horned cattle

I reached the lovely Győr near lunchtime and, as I crossed the river, spotted an old Mississippi-style paddle steamer.

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River at Győr

Over into the main square I had a rest and then had a man come up to me, present me with a map of the town and then walk off. I found the tourist information office and obtained both a sticker and a local map showing cycle routes. I then found a McDonalds to use the toilet but found there was a little lady who made you pay. As I left the toilet I saw a lady had a dress fully tucked into her knickers. I tried to quietly say something to her but as I was speaking English she ignored me and walked off into the street unawares.

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Main square of Győr

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Győr

I decided to follow the "official" bike map as it showed a route to Gönyű that avoided the motorway. Unfortunately, it took me along the 1 which then preceded to have lots of signs along it saying no bikes! This was the town's advertised cycle route and you can't cycle on it. I started to think that Hungary wasn't very joined up. Having no alternative road other than the motorway, I ignored the signs and pressed on. I had to keep ignoring them until somewhere near Ács.

After Komárom the route seemed to go off the 1, closer to the river. This took me along a dyke wall and into a wood where the path turned into a, well, footpath. I spotted a lovely little secluded beach just off the path. I was just under five miles from Neszmély - Stevens' destination for tonight - and I decided, as I didn't know if there would be camping ahead, to camp here for tonight.

I pitched my tent on the pebble beach, had a quick swim in the Danube, cooked some food, and admired the glorius sunset from my little spot. I wasn't entirely alone - I could hear occasional sounds from the far side of the river in Slovakia - but it still felt exciting. I was also without internet as my sim card decided it wouldn't let me have roaming in Hungary. In the evening I heard two teenage lads making their way down to my little beach from the path but when they saw my tent they went somewhere else. As the stars came out I watched the lights of the river cruise boats making their way up and down the river. It was as close to perfect as I could get.

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Wild camp by the Danube

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Sunset on the Danube

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River cruise boat