Bicycle tour Carpathian & Balkan mountains


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Betliar (Sk)-Roznava-Aggtelek (Hu)-Szilvasvarad-Eger-Mezökövesd-Tiszacsege-Hortobágy-Debrecen-Nyírbator-Métészalka-Satu Mare (Ro)


Friday 13 June: Betliar-Roznava-Aggtelek-Ragaly-Felsonyarad-Szilvasvarad, 102 km

Sunny & hot, > 30 c. Bumpy Hungarian roads after the border crossing. Need to get some cash but nowhere a bank or bank machine to be found. Many butterflies and crickets and very few cars on the road. Finally in Szilvasvarad I find a teller machine at the local supermarket and a nice campground.

Saturday 14 June: Szilvasvarad-Eger-Mezökövesd-Aroktö-ferry Tisza-Tiszacsege-Hortobágy, 132 km

Again too hot and too less energy to take the mountainous road across the Bükk mountains. Visiting the beautiful city centre of Eger. Beyond Eger I cycle along dusty and boring roads on the flat puszta plains towards the Hortobagy national park. Quite 'expensive' campground (5 euros) with a lot of Dutch campers.


Sunday 15 June: Hortobágy-Debrecen-Nyírbator, 102 km

The highway to Debrecen is as busy and narrow as a provincial backroad. When entering the city limits it changes into a busy 4 lane highway, luckily with a bicycle lane. In an enormous modern shopping mall i buy some groceries, a striking contrast with the rural countryside where time has stood still. After passing depressing concrete blocks of the suburbs it feels like a relief to enter the fine, grand centre of Debrecen.
From Debrecen I'm heading north along the "471" through a forested area. Find a campground in Nyírbator near the swimmingpool "Strand", where I'm the only guest.

Monday 16 June: Nyírbator-Métészalka-Satu Mare (Ro)-Negresti Oas-Huta pass-Sapânta, 173 km

Until Métészalka the highway has become quite busy. The landscape is boring and the road seems endlessly long. I pass the Romanian border quickly without troubles. Soon I'm aware of the poverty of the country. A begging gypsy boy, buildings and houses in a deteriorating state, the slums... In the city centre of Satu Mare I end up in chaotic traffic and start looking for a bank machine...

Continued in Romania