Everything is awesome
In the morning I took full use of the buffet breakfast and then got my things loaded on my bike for the 10 am check out. As I set off I realised the rear brakes were rubbing against the wheel. This must have been why I was so exhausted yesterday afternoon; I'd been struggling against far more friction than normal. Unloading my bike I discovered that I'd broken a spoke on the rear wheel and the wheel was not running true. I couldn't deal with another day of effort like yesterday so I switched out the new brakes for my old, worn-down ones so that the wheel could run freely.
I needed to find a bike shop and thankfully there was one - Kelly's Bikes. In I went and, pointing to my bike, I was able to indicate that I needed my spoke fixing. I said I'd cycled from Liverpool and was going to Istanbul. Thankfully "Liverpool" and "Istanbul" are recognisable words. Örs, the bike shop mechanic said "one hour" so I left my bike and my bags with him and his twin brother Kende. I was leaving my only means of transport and my belongings with people I'd never met before but a long distance cyclist learns to give their trust to local bike shops.
Whilst I was waiting I sat in the town square where they had free wifi. A girl came up to me and said "can you give me a number between 1 and 21". I thought I'd misheard her at first because it is a weird question. I hadn't misheard her. That was her question. I still don't know why.
Back at Kelly's Bikes, Örs and Kende had not only fixed my spoke but had put new brakes on for me. Amazingly they wouldn't charge me because I was on such a big ride. As thanks, I decided to purchase some cycling gloves from them as my hands had been getting a little tingly anyway and I'd left my last pair of gloves at home. I can't begin to say thank you enough for the amazing generosity of people I've met since San Francisco.
It was already afternoon when I rolled out of Szekszárd (singing "Every
thingone is awesome" to myself) and I'd decided I was heading back across the Danube to the EV6 rather than struggle with the no-bike signs of highway 6. The route east was long and straight and I wasn't entirely sure if it would get me to the M9 bridge over the Danube but it did via a local forest park and some farm tracks.
It was great to be back on the EV6 even if occasional cars drove down it (ignoring the "no car" signs). As I reached Baja I found a huge Tesco where my hunter-gatherer mode kicked in and I stocked up on high-calorie food as I didn't know what to expect in Croatia. Every little helps.
At Dunaflava I had missed the day's last ferry to Dunaszekcső where Stevens had stayed at Igali's house. Dunaszekcső would have to wait until tomorrow morning. I saw a "rooms for cyclists" sign in English which was promising. It turned out to be a nice guest house for cyclists on the EV6. I had a shower and then enjoyed "grapefruit beer" and a homemade lemonade courtesy of Susan and William whose house it was. They showed me their impressive vegetable garden and I sampled their cherry, apple, & apricot pálinka.
After the hard slog and exhaustion of yesterday, today has been lovely.