back with the bikes

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This post is about a 14km walk from Budapest to Szentendre. Brad and I walk on a bicycle route and get invited to stay with Gabor.

The guesthouse had a map in the lobby. It showed the same thing I had seen on that monument on my first day in Hungary: the territory of the country, just bigger, a lot bigger.

Historically, Hungarians seemed to have a tendency to get themselves into bad alliances. In 1920, after World War One, this had resulted in a peace treaty that sliced off large parts of their country. The treaty was called Trianon, and the mere mention of it was enough to make many Hungarians foam at the mouth.

My mom’s family was Hungarian, but I wasn’t sad about Trianon. I thought it was fortunate that Orban didn’t get to fuck up an even bigger part of Europe.

EuroVelo 6, again

Brad and I decided to walk west until we hit the Danube and the EuroVelo 6. It was the bicycle route that I had briefly been on in Serbia the year before, and it turned out to be awesome.

This section of the EuroVelo 6 followed the river, it was in good condition and very quiet, and there wasn’t a car in sight. There were, however, lots and lots of cyclists.

One time we saw a man playing a game with his dog. The game involved a ball and an incline. The man stood at the bottom of the incline, and the dog sat at the top. Once the man had tossed the ball in the direction of the dog, the dog would then catch it and place it on the incline, letting it roll back down to the man. It seemed like a genius game, and I found myself wondering who had come up with it, the man or the dog.

the lost chronicles of Brad

Brad and I took a lunch break in a pavilion that seemed to be designed specifically for this purpose. We ate bread with spread and tomatoes, and we drank tea. It was a bit cold and we were a bit tired, and the feeling of the old walking days came back. The walking days in Turkey.

I had walked with Brad before.

We had first met in the summer of 2019 in Gonio, Georgia. It was then that Brad asked me if she could come along for a few days. I hesitated. I was on a mission, and I was used to walking alone. Would she be able to keep up with my awesomeness?

As it turned out, Brad was a machine. She was a reliable walking companion and fun to have around. Still, it took me a few weeks to allow her to pull the Caboose for the first time. It seemed like a big moment for me. But I never talked about it.

In the end we walked all the way to Sinop together, for a grand total of 861 kilometers. We laughed a lot on the way, and sometimes we fought bitterly. Maybe I had walked alone for too long. Anyway The Longest Way felt different when I got to share it with a friend. Still, I didn’t talk about it.

Brad only made a brief public appearance in the 12007km dance video.

But now she was back.


After our lunch break a cyclist stopped and asked if he could help us out in any way. His name was Gabor, he was an elementary school teacher, and he lived in Szentendre, the next town. “Why don’t you just stay at my place?” he asked. He had traveled extensively over the last thirty years, and he was always happy to help out fellow travelers.

We ended up staying in a room full of artworks, with a view over the town. Gabor was a quiet, kind man who went to sleep early, rose with the morning sun, and spoke passionately about his job in education.

“That’s our future – the children,” he said, and it sounded all the more meaningful in a country full of people who were angry over old maps.


the walk from Budapest to Szentendre:

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