The Danube cycle route, which had been well surfaced and brilliantly signposted since it began in southern Germany, almost completely disappeared not long after Vienna. I got completely lost as the rain clouds descended in Bratislava, not long after crossing the border into Slovakia. The route, when I stumbled across it again, turned into deep, rutted, gravel roads the next day, and I was slightly glad to get into Hungary in the afternoon, where occasional signs returned and I found myself mainly riding on quiet but well surfaced roads, though I struggled to get my head around the local currency, Forints, not being sure whether the 10,000 Forints I had in my pocket could buy me a cup of coffee or a country residence.
I rode for Budapest on Monday, where the cycle route all but disappeared, so I found myself dodging traffic along busy roads, by which I earned a couple of cold beers that evening. The next day I met up with Laura, who I had met cycling in Germany. We rode together southwards along the Danube towards Croatia. Before crossing the border, we met up with Brad, an Aussie who Laura had agreed to ride with, who was also heading eastwards towards India. The three of us crossed the Croatian border after lunchtime today, and I showed my passport for the first time since purchasing my ferry ticket in Dover!
We have had fantastic hospitality from Ante, a local of the town of Osijek (who has kindly let me use his computer), and we sat down to dinner with him and his family this evening. There is even a nice cosy spot on the floor for me to rest my weary head this evening!
Our stay in Croatia will be brief, as we leave for Serbia tomorrow, continuing along the banks of the Danube towards Belgrade!