At the end of a day's ride it can be dispiriting to turn up at a campground and find it closed. When you ride on and half an hour later a second campground is closed, then a third, you can begin to wonder if there is a devilish plot.
To make matters worse, we had bought groceries for dinner and the front panniers were loaded with strawberries and apricots, milk, a bottle of wine and other essentials - making the tandem heavy and awkward to handle. Each time we stopped to rattle a forlorn gate, mosquitoes descended on us.
As we cycled on, we began to realise what had happened. We were seeing the effects of flooding that occurred on the Hungarian part of the Danube in August last year. We spotted 'For Sale' signs - sometimes on every third house, and we could see where the water had surged up and into gardens, turning once pretty lawns into grassless wasteland.
At our fourth campground, at the town of Szentendre about 20 km from Budapest, we were in luck. Showing some forethought, the owners had constructed most of the facilities, kitchen, showers and so on, on foundations that stood well above any likely flood. As a result, they were still in business.
The flooding was a reminder to us of just how the Danube effects the lives of people along it. It provides hydro-electricity, allows the shipment of freight, provides tourist dollars from cruise boats, and yes - when it floods, it dumps vast amounts of silt which enable the growing of crops. It also provides an excellent breeding ground for mosquitoes - don't forget the repellant.
Taken in the main square of Gyor, Hungary.
Lunch stop just inside the Hungarian border. No wine, but the mozzie repellant (yellow bottle) is at the ready.
Post a Comment
Express a view here.