48 hours again: to divide the waters from the waters
This time we visited a bunch of lakes scattered around Hungary. I was preparing quite thoroughly, I guessed all the lakes from the photos the organizer uploaded (and got them right, except for one single lake ), made a preliminary road plan, and booked rooms in advance.
The run itself started from the Great Hungarian Plain, so the shortest route there would have been too fast and boring - so we planned a nice route through Slovakia and the Hungarian ranges Cserhát and Mátra before we descended to the plain, not far from our destination. The Cserhát landscape was really breathtaking and I luckily found a route with mostly good road quality (except, mostly, in the villages...)
Our host was very hospitable, told us about the lake and he even showed us an inhabited titmouse nest while we drank our welcome drinks.
The official tour began at next noon, from the gas station of the village.
Unfortunately there won't be any pictures about the first leg I really loved: I just couldn't find the way to show the beauty of a lake on the plains. But riding on the dam (this road is normally reserved for bicycles, and I'll have to cycle around the lake Tisza some time!) was great.
The next leg was boring then plain bad thanks to a planning error on my side. The event let us take different routes than the itinerary (and even re-arrange the lakes, which we did once) so I did everything to avoid a certain, alomst non-existent road. This time I overdid so we ended up in the crowded city of Debrecen...
Road 471 was better, it had even curves, which was somewhat unexpected from such a flat road. And then the next lake, another city (by the itinerary this time), then the town and hill of Tokaj - know from its wine, now I only sought for the scenery
Then another, long city (Miskolc) and the mountains of Bükk. The third lake (at Lillafüred) lies hidden in a valley. Well, not that hidden, but behind many twists on the road, especially from the other side where we left the range. There I confirmed that I'm still no good in descending twisties... it's much better uphills.
We began the next mountain range in dusk. Then it grew dark, especially in the woods, and I had to switch to high beam and keep the engine running even gliding downhills just to keep the battery from draining too quickly... it was strange and surreal in the deep darkness through the forests of the Mátra, very slowly... until the next lake, which is the highest lying natural lake in Hungary (at 507m above sea level). Of which we couldn't see a speck in the pitch black night. We were past 10pm, so it was high time to reach our next lodging. We didn't fill our bikes since the start so we panned a fuel up for the next morning - we made a guy with a CB500F marvel on the capacity of our tanks
Then came the next day. Which began with returning among the hills of Cserhát, through a different route (with legs of awful quality), to the 4th lake, at the village of Bánk:
And so it began... as we reached the Danube river we could see clouds gather around the Peaks on the other side. We reached that other side through Slovakia, and we ran into rain immediately as we got back to Hungary in the town of Esztergom. I didn't take any picture of the Palatinus lake in rain, but shot the next one, the Garancs lake which looked good even like this:
And so did the peaks of Gerecse, when the rain finally stopped:
By that time we were soaking wet, after an almost-slip on mud, a thorough watering by a car in the opposite lane, and a huge pothole (the roads are quite bad in the Gerecse too).
The next lake was in the city of Tata, then we took a short cut to the Northwest border, where the 8th one lies (the larger half belongs to Austria), leaving the Bodajk lake to the evening, because we live a mere 7km from there and planned to sleep at home.
We got the rain back before we could get there. And we rode in rain for quite a while, even though we tried to weather it at a fuel station, with some hot cafe and a late lunch from the package. Another memorable event was when shiNIN hit a dog. That animal was totally stupid and zig-zagged across the road like crazy and even hard to spot because of the rain and the traffic. I couldn't even see it until it darted through the road right before me (and a car in the other lane, makin it perform a sqeeking braking). It couldn't find peace ot the other side, but went back and forth again... right into shiNIN's footrest. Thankfully she didn't fall, hitting such a large animal can be dangerous on a bike...
Then came the lake Hévíz, the second largest thermal lake in the world. It's only lukewarm, but now it was fuming in the cold rain. I had to count the towers on the building of the bath. From that angle and state it looked six with points and a big flat one. And a packet of lightning rods
The next lake was another interesting one: It's basically a lake in a lake: this small one lies on the Tihany peninsula in the lake Balaton. I was looking for it before, now I finally found the way to the shore:
It was only drizzling by then, and the rain finally stopped soon for that day. Wet cobblestones still weren't too funny, but the sight of coney, once volcanic hills north of Balaton were worth that one slippery village. I'll surely take pictures around there later!
The we left the official path again, for that day's last lake. We arrived in dark again, answered the question in the itinerary, then rode home.
We started the third day with another nearby lake, I'm sure its pictures are somewhere in this topic (oh yes, it can be seen in the last picture of my last report). Then we headed to the Southwest part of Hungary, toward mostly unknown parts. Lowlands came it became hilly again. What's more the Somogy hills were very pretty
And the Acacia trees were blooming along the way.
Then came the artificial lake of Deseda:
And the last legs where even the main road 66 was full of twists and roller coaster-like parts, nearing and crossing the range of Mecsek, where the last 48-hour run began a year before. I tried to take a short cut the the lake Dombay, then had to turn back thanks to a road block by a big, yellow helicopter and a long queue of cars. There was an accident... Forced back to the itinarary we turned back and saw the freshly re-paved road to the town of Komló, the city of Pécs, and the last three lakes around it. The scenery was beautiful, and the roads mostly good and twisty.
And the huge satisfaction: we weren't the last ones to finish the run
After the speech and lunch and short fill to get the run's average FE we headed to a nearby village where we spent another day with a friend, climbing the highest peak of the Mecsek (Zengő, 682m|2238ft), as we'd been planning since the last such run:
It seems that Ciliegia's taller transmission works better (read: beat me and Teresa) on roads taken with a constant speed, even under bad conditions (rain and wind). More twisty, climby and glidey legs returned basically the same FE with the two bikes.