Did two loops of Esztergom before finding my way out – once again, erratic signage beat me; the Eurovelo route 6 signs followed the edge of the Danube but stopped as the path curved and merged into a three street junction. It’s quite frustrating – someone is spending big dollars to get the signage out there, and there’s lots where it’s not needed, and bugger all when it is. I’d set out at 8:00 am – it was 9:30 before I found my way out of town.
The first 30 k or so followed the main highway between Esztergom and Kamerom. Imagine the worst section of the kings highway, triple the roadworks, multiply the potholes by 100 (for size, depth and frequency) and you’re 1/2 way there. Now move all the traffic you’d find on the Pacific highway entering Sydney in rush hour and you have some idea of road conditions. It was the scariest 30ks of my life; some of the hamlets I passed through had houses so close to the road that the bricks at bumper height were chipped away; there was a roadside death marker (cross, flowers, photos – some times even a headstone) every couple of hundred metres or so. Very scary – though I must say that drivers were all courteous, giving me space when they overtook, and patiently waiting behind me until it was safe to pass. I’ve spent too much time on main roads in Australia, where I’d swear that drivers try to see how close they can come to knocking you off your bike without damaging their paintwork. At around the 30k mark I took an alternate route on backroads.
To quote from the guide book – “Before turning off to Tata, be sure to buy provisions; the route is strenuous with many hills to climb, and there are no places to stop for a coffee, or to buy food, and no restaurants” Wow – No restaurants!!! WTF is the world coming to? What a Bunch of Wimps! Sure it was up and down, but I never had to resort to granny (even with a bike weight of around 35kg, plus my eighty) and I managed with a camelback and a muesli bar 🙂
I went through Dunaszentmiklos (town of St Michael, is my guess), past acres of budding grapevines, then Szomod (NFI), and entered Tata via the chemical works, cement factory, railway line and main tip – not a great way to enter the “Hungarian Venice” as it’s advertised. It’s more a ribbon of industry and housing until you hit the old town, which you could chuck a stone over. A short day; I was booked into the Kiss Panza by 3:00.
I’ve had a look at the maps – between Nyergesujfalu and Neszmely there is no way of avoiding route 10; there are some backroads between Esztergom and Nyergesufalu, butt this saves only 21 k of the route on the main road, and to be truthful, some of that did have a dedicated cyclepath.
The pub is good- though it’s all double glazed, I cannot open a window, and even with the thermostat as low as it goes, I’m typing this in my jocks and still sweating. I’m now gunna go and find a Panza to kiss . More later.