Extraordinarily enough I didn't get bitten in the night and slept quite well. In the morning I didn't trouble the hotel about breakfast but walked down to a bakery where I had an abject cappuccino and a couple of rolls. Dunaujvaros is a rather dismal place, the people look poor and they look tired.The two go together. It's a far cry from the zip and zap of contemporary Budapest only fifty miles upstream. The town is sat on top of a hill overlooking the Danube and running along the hilltop is a splendid park full of dog walkers and teenagers sitting on benches wondering who they are. I too sat on a bench and with the sun setting behind me watched a vast moon, magnified by the Danubian mist, rise in front of me and I didn't worry too much about who I was.
I was determined to make up the time/distance lost the day before. I had to get back on schedule. The schedule is everything, without a schedule we are nothing, without a schedule we are no better than the earthworms that aimlessly tunnel away beneath our feet. So I left at first light, not something people do very much in the twenty-first century, having plotted a complex route avoiding proscribed main roads and involving a wide arc to the west along farm tracks and country lanes. A cold grey start to the day but, as my wife will tell you, I am mercilessly cheerful in the morning and there was much to see. I saw a cavalcade of fifteen young boys cycling in to town each carrying several sacks of empty plastic bottles, each sack larger than they were. I saw an old man driving an ancient motorised tricycle who stopped to feed some cats in a derelict house and I saw twenty men arguing about how to get a car out of a ditch. Never say that rural Hungary is dull.
At about 10.00am I was back where I should have been but with another 87 km to go. So head down and go for it. The path at some points ran along billiard table smooth tarmac roads recently constructed on top of the dikes that prevent the Danube from flooding or along busy main roads, which was not so good, but most importantly it was fast and flat. Flat the landscape certainly is. Hungary makes Norfolk look positively Alpine. It stretches featureless away into the distance, endless farmland with not a landmark in sight. God rural Hungary is dull! I think I may be cycling along the edge of the Great Pannonian Plain, which extends away to the north and east and from which pancakes derive their name.
I stop for beer in a tiny village where two locals eye Cynthia appreciatively and I stop for coffee in a pretty town called Kalocsa. I stop to inspect a field of paprika, now is the time to harvest paprika. I stop to drink water and eat peanuts. I stop because I am tired. I plod on and make it to my target Baja where the hotel turns out to be a joy. I am back on schedule. Saints be praised!