Ozzie

Ozzie

Sunday, 29 December 2013

Day 218 - Bedeuiua through Mukacheve to Kisvarda - Sun 29 Sept

Day 218 - Bedeuiua through Mukacheve to Kisvarda - Sun 29 Sept
Must be Sunday, church day, village after village with crowds of soberly dressed old men on corners, some leaning on canes, whilst women in head scarves or lacy mantillas and thick black stockings chat together near the churches. Had to slow down through Dunkovytsia as they wandered home like cows all over the road. 











Shower door has been a problem all morning - will not stay latched. Chocked it closed with water barrel and folded chairs in their bags on floor, but will have to find a permanent solution (each one we've discussed to date may split thin inset or have a back protrusion which will prevent inset from closing. Russet Pheasant fluttered low across road in front of traffic. After visiting friends in last few weeks, Miles has theory that these half-finished houses are money laundering operation for Russian Mafia! Stopped for fuel and water in Mukacheve, then north of the town in a field beside autumn trees for a lunch of salmon and cream cheese wraps, followed by crisp new season Hungarian apples. Used midday sunshine to progress drying of clothes...
















Ensured paperwork all together for upcoming border crossing, including travel insurance document. Taped photocopy of missing numberplate to the inside wall of back box (good thing we had put one in before Oz departure!) Approached Chop/border mid afternoon – whole procedure took 3 hours, but actual processing was only half hour. The rest was in barrier holdups especially a tedious crawl along a narrow bridge. We had a brief respite from the boredom when a man came up alongside vehicle playing piano accordion (for 50 griven!). It’s been faster in places where we were treated as a car, not a bus or truck. It was interesting to have passports stamped on back page entering Europe - first time visa into a country was not required. Customs was only interested in cigarettes and alcohol rather than if we were carrying people. Finally crossed into town of Zahony, in the Northern Great Plain region of eastern Hungary, European Union by 6pm.



Our first experience of a vignette/ autobahn card (to travel freeways) was found at Shell service station (next to our old favourite supermarket Tesco) But what a charade, even in "English", it proved complicated to use vending machine. You had to know your exact route (what happens if you change your mind, and see an interesting sign to follow??) had to enter weight, type of vehicle etc, then  printed an enormous paper ticket, (man before us took 20 minutes and had reams of tickets), took to pay at counter - what a shock 90 euros for 500+kms!! Apparently all trips are entered on Internet and tracked through traffic cameras. It would be an expensive exercise to travel on autobahns. Enquired re European SIM card - only covered Hungary. Finally our luck changed - Miles bought bottle of Australia Shiraz for 6 euros! Made a late camp a couple of kms on at Kisvarda as night settled in. Quickly scrambled eggs on toast and called it a day. A long day. Oh, and even longer, found we'd camped in vicinity of dog kennels and it felt as if the barking from 100 hounds went on all night....

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