Coffee with Manfred and Max

Austria – Hungary – Croatia

It was kind of funny to watch Manfred the other night just pulling his bivy out of the velo mobile‘s compartment without stuffing it or anything close to it. He had a great routine as he told me the evening before that this is his testing week for bike and equipment. So he also was waiting for us for ages as he could simply throw his stuff into his vehicle, a dream of any bike packer. Still or again we had some slight rain. Surprisingly fast we reached danube island which is the recreational area for many sportive Viennese. I planned to drop a message to Max as we were reaching the bridge to enter the island. On the lefthand another early bird on the bike showed up and I waved him a good morning. Having a second view on who was cycling next to us I realized this was Max already. Haha. What a surprise, what a timing. Rarely seen that, this was a brilliant start into the day! Extensive chats while crossing the island from one end to the other. Some proper rains caught us and we decided to have some breakfast soon after getting off the island. As Vienna is not famous for waking up early, it was a little challenge to find a bakery that was already open AND willing to serve some food. Finally at Rochusmarket we were lucky, also because we could hide from some stronger rains! We chatted for almost an hour and decided to move on. Max joined us until the outskirts of the city, Manfred accompanied us to the Hungarian border, from North to South. This was the first time that I met so many friends on the road, it was a totally new experience, it was amazing!  Even if this might not be the exact character of the race. We raced all across Hungary on the same day, I guess this day was our longest leg from all. We found some supermarkets, graveyards and small bars for refilling our stocks. In the evening -with a perfect timing- we rode into a cosy nice restaurant and had some local food, coke and espresso. When it was dark, we moved on towards the border. During a climb we were stopped by the police, as one high vis vest was missing. So we dressed in bright reflectives and carried on. We crossed the border into Croatia and after about an hour we started to look for shelters. During this night there were many hunter out in the fields. It seems as if they were shooting totally uncoordinated and into any direction around them. It did not let me feel comfortable at all. Cycling through the night and some drunk guys were playing around with their guns. We tried to leave this scene behind but it took a while until we/ I felt safe. The dogs during that night were all only small ones. Each one went back onto their property as I stopped after they had the idea of chasing us. I barked once or twice and they left. Nico could not get the feeling of being chased by a dog at night.

NICO: Dogs did not scare me that night, but the noise of the shooting guns did! Arriving in Croatia with that sound around us did not feel comfortable at all!  

Around 0200 we stopped at a big enough bus shelter for having a rest. This was a really hot day, as we had some tail winds we tried to move forward as far as possible. I guess the next days we won‘t make a great progress as today required quite some energy from Nico. We will see on the next morning how the situation is.


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