A day of contrasts. Driving of course. And a long driving day; the 230km (143 miles) took nearly 5 hours!
It started off badly. The E77 road is the main road North to South through Slovakia. Trouble is just south of Martin it is old concrete sections which are now badly worn. So it is being renewed. Every kilometre there's a 150-200m section of road closed and traffic light managed single traffic. For miles. It's slow. To make matters worse the sections in-between are the worst major roads surface I've ever driven on. The concrete is broken up and the pre-laid sections no longer join together. Doing 30 is uncomfortable but of course everything is pressing me to go faster, overtaking where it can. Unpleasant.
Then near Banksa Bysterica the road is being converted to motorway. Maps show it as finished but Satnav believes we need to detour via the 14. Decisions, decisions. We follow Satnav blindly and, boy, am I glad. The 14 wends and winds its way through forests and up one a mountain top. There is little traffic and it's really enjoyable slinging the van around the tight corners on a nice open road. And the descent, even more spectacular with a couple of really tight horseshoes. This went on for miles - here's a snapshot (the red line if the tracker's 1 minute logs)
But all good things come to an end. The campsite here is right in the centre of Budapest. Literally. So I had to brave the Friday afternoon city centre traffic jams. The last 12 miles took about an hour! One part of the route was particularly complex - Satnav's instructions were "Take the slip road to the right, then take the slip road, then take the slip road". Difficult eh? Now imagine that the final slip road is cordoned off by road works. The next exchange in the van goes along the lines of:
B: I have absolutely know idea where to go
L: I know it won't be easy but you'll have to find somewhere to pull over
B: You've got to be f****** joking
Satnav: in 200 yards turn left!
Fortunately my little diversion was in a sufficiently correct direction for Satnav to fairly quickly reroute us. The rest of the journey was tediously slow but relatively uneventful.
Just over 1km from the campsite is probably the best beer bar in Budapest. No, I didn't organise this, just discovered it when we stopped. 25 different Hungarian beers in a huge ex-glass factory. After that drive I needed a beer (or two)