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European Peace Walk: Day 3: Rajka, Hungary to Albertkazmerputza, Hungary

European Peace Walk - Day 3

European Peace Walk – Day 3

After thunderstorms all night I wake delighted to see that it’s still overcast and perhaps the heat wave is over.

I am chomping at the bit to get going.  Having been Camino-trained I am the first to have breakfast and imagine I will leave by 8 AM at the latest.  After 9 AM, unable to wait longer, I tell the group I am going ahead and they will surely catch me because I am spend so much time videotaping and taking pictures.

Fortunately, most of our bags are transported to the next town for a small fee (when divided by five).  I feel light on my feet. As I leave town, the fresh smell of fennel carries through the air.  Hares bigger than housecats and the same golden color as the wheat fields run away in the distance.

Corn grows beside the trail, fully mature now with golden kernels peeking from brown husks.  These stalks are two feet higher than me.

The group exchanges stories and I find myself without much in common with my newfound friends: two lawyers (one in each couple), an epidemiologist, and a public communications professional.  I feel very much the fifth wheel, being referred to as “Other Laura” rather than some kicky nickname befitting my awesomeness.  Like how about “Tiger”? 

Generally, traveling solo is wonderful because it allows one to meet people and even an introvert like myself is forced into often amazing conversations.  But being the only solo person in the company of two couples is a hard nut to crack because they have their comfort built in.  There isn’t a compelling need to reach out.  But certainly they all seem to be interesting and nice people.

European Peace Walk - Day 3

European Peace Walk – Day 3

Thirteen kilometers later and we arrive in the banal town of Nickelsdorf, Austria and find all the stores have just closed (noon to 3:30 PM) for lunch/nap.   Soon, we find ourselves outside a restaurant and Janet translates the entire menu aloud from German to English.  Many options sound wonderful but more importantly, sitting sounds divine.  After deciding as a group that the place sounds like a winner, we discover the door is locked.  A man across the street yells “Day off!”.  So, this will be a 26 kilometer (16 mile) walk fueled by half a tomato sliced and sandwiched by a stale roll.

Good then.

We take a micro-break beside a playground sitting on a damp sidewalk.  Janet shares her cherry tomatoes and they are as sweet as candy.  After five minutes of rest I am actually cold.  But not complaining!

Further on we walk over a motorway and approach wind turbines that previously seemed as far off as Oz.  The path, long and straight and flat and the motorway and the wind turbines combine to make me feel as if I am in some post apocalyptic movie.  Before long we are walking amongst the enormous turbines, their blades as long as a Boeing 747, that make a haunting whooshing sound with each rotation.

Relaxing at Georgy's

Relaxing at Georgy’s

It seems like forever but we finally arrive at our accommodation where the owner, Georgy, described in the guide book as a “character-and-a-half”, greets us alongside his wife.  He is plump and jolly with white hair and rosy cheeks to complete the look.  It is hard to appreciate that extra half-a-character however because he speaks no English, and us no Hungarian.

We sit on the back patio of the restaurant where ears of dried corn hang alongside antlers of long dead animals.  Cold beers are ordered.  Then another round.  And soon delicious Hungarian food of peppers, onions, and tomatoes is served.

The rain begins to fall and doesn’t let up until morning.

European Peace Walk – Day 3 Tips

Note: If you’ve walked the Camino de Santiago, this day would be comparable in it’s boredom to the meseta. Long, with nearly unrelenting sun exposure and little distraction.  If you are a corn-o-phile, a wind-turbine-o-phile, or a birder, maybe you will love it.  I didn’t.

Important: Take food and water and be prepared that shops will be closed between noon and 3:30PM.  Also, most of the path is totally exposed to the sun.

Tip: There are no toilets, no fountains, no cafes (between noon-3:30).  Bring toilet paper or baby wipes. In fact, bring that everyday.

Tip: The red arrows were easy to find.

Tip: The group left at 9:20 AM and arrived at 3:30 PM with hardly a break in walking.

Terrain: Flat as a pancake.  80% dirt (including walking on dirt beside pavement).

Accommodation: There are various sleeping options at Georgy’s.  There is a large communal sleeping room with mattresses on the floor. Cost is 10 euros for a bed (no sheets, fewer pillows than mattresses. Blankets available).  There is a loft also 10 euros per bed.  There is a caravan available for 12 euros and a private room with a full bed and sheets available for 12 euros.  Dinner: Vegetarian or regular meal available.  Vegetarian meal was quite light. Wi-fi: Spotty, but available. Breakfast: coffee or tea with muesli or bread.

Tip: It is possible to have your bags delivered to the next town, the next day, for 18 euros.  That is the cost whether there are 10 bags or one, so splitting this cost between walkers makes it a bargain.

 

Distance walked: 26 kilometers (16.1 miles)

Thank you to Connie Fulkerson for sponsoring today’s walk and this post.

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Photos of Day 3 of the European Peace Walk (click to view):

 

2 Comments

  1. Each post is so wonderful and I really relate to a lot of stuff you feel, and your sensibilities. I hope you’ll be able to compile this into a book someday – it’s a book I would definitely read! 🙂

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