Road Cycling, multi stages, in the valleys, from Brussels to Budapest, July 2021

Budapest - Debrecen

After an obligatory stop of 3 days to enjoy the pleasures that Budapest offers, I leave early in the morning taking the N31 and I cross the suburbs to the east of the city. I drive to Jasbereny and then stop at a shop to find something to eat. I buy a roadside watermelon shortly after at one of the many small ephemeral sales counters installed at this place during the harvest of this fruit abundantly grown in this region. After a hearty meal, I borrow smaller village roads but this time a strong wind of plain and a weather that darkens will take place in front of me in this desert region where we can discover isolated farms exerting cattle breeding or geese. I cross a lakes area and more or less 30 km from Debrecen I arrive in the Hortobagyi Nature Park. I stop to refresh myself to the sanitary facilities at the disposal of the tourists who come to discover the natural park. It is a region of steppe where there are animals such as horses, sheep, ... of different breed from our country and which are characterized by their nomadism. I arrive late afternoon in Debrecen after +/- 250 km of road.

Debrecen - Baia Mare

After a rest day in Debrecen, I take the road for the last leg of the trip. I have some worries for this final stage because the day before, I met a Hungarian in the thermal baths who explained to me that if for us Hungary is in the east, Romania is even more and it would be better to not stop at the villages. A little before arriving at the border and to follow the not reassuring advice of this Hungarian who make me not to stop on the country roads of Romania, I stop to eat somethings. At the small border of Valea him Mihai, I first pass the Hungarian guard post and then on a narrow road lined with fir tree I move a hundred meters to reach the Romanian border post. To my surprise, one of the customs officers speaks French quite well. I show them my identity card but they have probably never seen anything like it. To check that this card is mine, he asks me to communicate them from memory the first names on this card. This successful test, I can leave and I am now in Romania. If recently Visa is no longer required to go to this country, I still had a little luck to cross the border without a Visa. I drive to Valea Lui Mihai and I arrive on the national N19 borrowed by motorized vehicles but also by carts pulled by horses. There are people in the fields and on the side of the road who watch me go by in astonishment. I arrive at Satu Mare and I stop to buy water at a large park which is abound with people. I'm leaving for Baia Mare. At the passage of a wood, children and women collect mushrooms of forest. A little before arriving at Baia Mare and the approach of the Carpathian Mountains, big black clouds appear on the horizon. The vehicles which I cross are wet. I will not escape the shower. It is a violent storm that awaits me on this national road located at the foot of the mountain. The road is flooded with dirty water coming down from the mountain. The cars stop at the edge of the road because the rain is falling a lot in this place. A lightning creaks violently, maybe it was touching one of the many crosses placed against the top of the road. Once past this storm, I arrive at Baia Mare and I am the few indications that have been given to me to find the house of the Romanian family who will welcome me for the few days that I will spend there. But these indications are insufficient. I stop at a restaurant to ask my way. People there advise me to go to the taxi station of the city who can help me find the street Tudor Vladimirescu where live the host family. The use of the taxi is common practice there and with only some 10,000 Lei, a taxi that I followed with my bike will take me to the requested street. The house number on my paper was not correct, so I went to people who helped me find the right house. I would stay 7 days in this host family and with my host, Marius, the son of this family we will do many activities and it will make me discover the ways and customs that are theirs.