Thursday 15th July to Monday 19th July
Thursday 15th July
Decided to head southwest to the city of Pecs, as it’s supposed to be pretty and also this year it is the European city of culture. The closer we got to Pecs the more the countryside changed from the boring plains to lovely rolling hills. There were a few campsites to choose from around the outskirts of Pecs, so we decided to check them all out and find the cheapest one. The first one was quite far out but was a lovely small campsite in-between hills and woodland, but not as cheap as we had hoped. So we continued on and on, all of them not cheap and none of them matching how lovely the first was. We also stumbled across a festival taking place beside a lake near the town of Orfu. I was eager to go, as one highlight of summer is festivals and I was missing them. Also just missing music I suppose, we hadn’t really been to any gigs or I hadn’t played music with anyone for a while now. In fact I hardly ever pick up my guitar at present, never seem to be in the right frame of mind as it were. Still one thing I will do when we get back is immerse myself in music again. Anyway we had a quick attempted blag at getting into the festival at the VIP entrance but that failed, I’ve never been any good at blagging! Over at the main gate, there wasn’t really anywhere for us to park the motorhome safely and besides, we knew full well we didn’t really have the money to spend on festivals. So we departed and left the revellers to their work. After another couple of disappointing campsites, we ended back at the first one. Having lost a good few hours and wasted fuel, of course! It was by now early evening so we found a spot and finally relaxed.
Friday 16th July
Woke up to another blazingly hot day and decided it was time we just sat still for a day. Since Bulgaria we seemed to have just travelled everyday, it was high time for a rest! The campsite was a lovely place called Camp Mare Vare and run by a very friendly and helpful Dutch couple. We set up the hammocks and proceeded to enjoy the sun. Also making use out of the campsite’s small, but wonderfully cooling little swimming pool!
Recently both our minds have been starting to think of home and going back! We try desperately not to think of that depressing fact of heading to the UK and getting back to work to earn money, but that is the way our heads are going now. I think it is because we are heading back north, slowly making our way back to the ferry. I mean it’s a good few months yet, but it can’t help edge it’s way into your mind. We are no longer heading south wondering about, we are heading back! Also our finances are getting very low, so the routes we need to plan now require not so much to-ing and fro-ing but limiting the miles as much as possible. All very depressing really, but I suppose inevitable as we head north and back into expensive Western Europe!
Also the plans for next year seem pretty open still, all we know is we need to go and earn some money. We both still want to head to Morocco again, but again we need to earn enough in a few months to get back there before the hot weather kicks in. Lorna at present I think has her heart set on going to Asia, while I’m unsure. I want to go, but at the same time I feel I need to surround myself with music and give myself a good push. I think I would love to go around the festivals for the summer. Anyway, were both happy to do our own things for a bit, as by the end of this trip we will have spent 24-7 for 12 months in each other’s company! I still think mind for that amount of time and as we are living in such a small space, we are still getting on great. One thing is pretty certain, that when we get back we will be able to save more money if we continue to live in the motorhome, even if it’s on a campsite! Also it would seem really strange living in a flat now! We originally bought our Hymer as an investment, as they seem to hold their value. Now though we have grown very attached to it, so I don’t know if we will part with it.
We have recently been in contact with some very knowledgeable and experienced motorhome full timers Margaret and Barry Williams. They have a great and amazingly useful website, www.magbaztravels.com It contains lots and lots of info on travelling and living in a vehicle full time. We have found it a great help on many occasions, I would recommend people checked it out, if interested or planning any trips. Anyway, in the course of our communications with them they commented that in the blog I hadn’t really spoken about what we wanted from the trip, or what the idea had been. So here is what we wrote back,
“I suppose we set out to look and learn about alternative ways of living, as well as seeing places outside of England. We feel that there must be more to life than the working 8-5 grind, paying bills, shopping at the weekends and living in a society who expects 2.4 children, a shiny car and a new Ikea sofa. Before we left we were living only for the weekends, now we are thoroughly enjoying the week!
We feel until you step out of this society you don’t really see everything around and all the other possibilities this can open up for life. A great influence to us starting to think about our journey was reading Living Off Grid – Journeys Outside the System by Nick Rosen.
We are enjoying feeling free to move about how we like without constraints and learning how friendly and generous people can be, as well as taking in different countries and cultures.”
I think now we have started living out of the normal society and travelling, it has defiantly opened our eyes and minds to many other possibilities. For one thing it makes you realise how cheaply you can live and how you don’t need most of the expensive items that life pushes onto you. Also we have travelled only round Europe and that is so small compared to the rest of the world! It puts life into a different perspective, makes you realise there is so much more out there and there is defiantly more to life than work! Although obviously some sort of work is required to earn money to get by and have a bit saved for a rainy day! Life is a journey we set off on to learn about the world around us and ourselves and I think that remains stagnated while were busy earning as much as we can and fretting about keeping up with everyone else!
Saturday 17th July
We had plans to go for a long walk and to take the bus to Pecs, but in the sun these went to waste. We did go for a small woodland walk near the campsite, but decided we would drive to Pecs tomorrow and see it. As we were paying for the campsite, we may as well sit and enjoy it!!
Sunday 18th July
It was time to finally leave the campsite and continue our journey to Pecs. Before we left though we got chatting to a nice Australian couple called Tom and Elise. They had been travelling around for the same length of time as us, but by van and plane to places. The rest of our trips were actually pretty similarly planned, so no doubt we would bump into them again. We ended up doing a book swap, new books to read were required. I say book swap although we only had one to actually swap, they ended up giving us loads of books! One thing during this trip, is we have read so many books! Unlike most motorhomes you see, we don’t have a satellite dish to put up every night. We haven’t missed TV in the slightest really, as most things on it I found I watched wasted your evening and then left you thinking, why the heck did I just watch that rubbish! Of course a good documentary or comedy show you can’t beat! We have the laptop to watch films on and some comedy series we brought with us, it’s good for rainy days. Anyway, we were happy to get some new books to read, so then bid them farewell or bon voyage. Although we were both heading to Pecs, so we would probably bump into each other in a couple of hours! We drove off and realised we hadn’t got any contact details off them, as the rest of our journeys were similar I’m sure we’ll meet them again.
We headed into Pecs and found somewhere to park near the old town. The old town seemed pretty quiet, probably due to it being Sunday, though the buildings were grand and beautiful.
I think due to it being the European city of Culture they had cleaned and tidied up all the buildings, and all these grand old places looked new!
That in combination with it being a sleepy Sunday, just didn’t grab me that much. It was very pleasant to walk around though, maybe again we have just seen too much!
We left Pecs and headed northwest towards Hungary’s massive lake Balaton. After all the campsites we had stayed at recently, we really needed to find some free parking spots. As campsites cost money and that is something that is getting lower and lower at present. The problem with finding a free parking spot is the driving around looking! So some days the cost in fuel may be the same as a cheap campsite anyway! We seem to be pretty picky about where we free park. We prefer choosing somewhere quiet and out the way, rather than a lay-by by a main road. As long as you don’t pull up in front of someone’s home or block gateways and lanes, then surely it’s causing no harm. Plus we never leave any litter etc, everyone should always respect where they are.
Anyway today was one of those driving around days, although most of it was at least on route to the lake! We eventually found somewhere that would do as the sun went down! It was outside a small motor cross track, near the village of Somogyamos.
The weather has been great so far, but with the weather had come mosquitoes! They always seem to bite Lorna, so every night she seems to have a ritual of going around the motorhome killing them! Otherwise she doesn’t sleep, I think she has become obsessed!
Monday 19th July
Got up early and headed off to a town called Heviz, on the edge of lake Balaton. In Heviz they have the worlds biggest biological natural thermal lake and we wanted to take a swim in it. Even though the water and mud on the bottom are slightly radioactive! Still the minerals and the waters are said to be very good for you. The place is and has been for years a spa, but we paid a small price for a 2-hour visit and headed in. There is a massive building over the lake, and people bobbing about with rubber rings in-between the lilies!
After a visit to the sauna and Jacuzzi, we went and dipped in the lake. It was strange swimming around past the lilies in a warm lake, but very nice. Apart from the Sulphur smell, you know that lovely rotten egg smell!
Anyway, was a great way to spend the morning and very relaxing. The later part of the day was spent driving around trying to find a place to free park again! We eventually did find one not far from the lake near the village of Vaszoly, down a track.