A a new day, a new country; it starts to feel a bit like that. Our last night in Austria on what can only be described as a joke campsite in Petronel left me feeling happy to heading east. I’m not a snob and I’m happy to get what I pay for, but 15 euros for filthy sinks, toilet basin that’s bust and no security to speak of is taking the piss. Problem is, this is the only campsite between Vienna and Bratislava on the Danube, so you’re a bit of a captive audience.
The road out of Austria took us straight to Bratislava and straight into more rain. We headed out to the only campsite in town and got there over two hours later. The campsite is a bit of a relic from the past, a bit like a Raleigh Chopper, but not one of those resprayed, rechromed ones you pay hundreds for. This is like one of those that’s been languishing in a garage for years, covered in rust, cobwebs on a ripped seat and damaged decals. And of course it’s shaped more like a campsite than a bicycle…
The Bratislava campsite is the sort you’d expect it to rain on and it did – all night and into the following day. We took a day off and sat in a shopping mall with it’s rampant capitalism, shiny floors, heating and free wi-fi. The day after, however, we woke up to bright sunshine and a happy mood, so took advantage and packed up the tent and left.
The Danube Cycle Route takes two courses in Bratislava – in Slovakia you’ve got a flood defence bank with a strip of tarmac along the top. It’s very, very boring, but it does the job. On the Hungarian side you’ve got the Eurovelo 6 (the River’s Route). We opted for the very, very boring Slovakian offering. There’s nowhere to hide if it rains on this route and of course it rained. There are no campsites until Komaron (about 80 miles) and when we got there, it was locked up for the night. An Austrian woman sloshed through the waterlogged site to let us in.
As I’m sitting here writing this, I realise I’m defining each day by the amount of rain we had. And, to be honest, this is how it’s been for over 4 weeks. Stories of the worst floods to hit (insert country here) keep coming to us just as we’re leaving or arriving in (insert country here). It gets wearing and in Bratislava we decided enough was enough and it was time to head south. No more messing around in the east – when it comes to fine weather, the south has to be where it’s at. So, instead of going on to Romania and then working west from there, we’ve decided to got straight through Hungary (via Budapest) and drop into Croatia or Slovenia and then hug (quite literally) the coast for a good while – at least until our soggy spirits are dried out and my tan is tip-top.
Cheers for dropping by.