The target for the day was Vienna, and as Jim had contacts there he tried
to organise us a hotel. Not, however, with any success; his contact told
us that it was high season and that camping would be our only vible option.
The traffic of Budapest was better by day, but we still got a bit lost.
In due course we got to the border and, not wanting to bother with
Austrian Autobahn vignettes opted for the minor border crossing, except
there wasn't one, so we had to go on the motorway. We didn't pay though.
By this stage we were old hands at border crossings, and so went through
Hungarian passport control and rode off to Austrian control without, in
some cases, helmets. Except there wasn't a separate Austrian section, and
it soon became clear that the squids of the party were riding down a fully
fledged Autobahn without helmets. Kewl! A brief stop at the side of the
road and we carried on, leaving the motorway as soon as possible.
The first Austrian town we stopped in was incredibly neat and tidy.
Mike says that he felt an urge to drop some bits of paper to make it less
so. I know what he meant. It was almost like it had been done on purpose
to embarrass Hungarians. We topped up with Austrian cash at a cash point
and carried on following the road. Which soon stopped. It became clear
that the Austrians have an odd attitude to road surfaces. Anything even
a little bit substandard gets ripped up, right down to the roadbed. I suspect
that this zeal means that their average road surface is quite bad, as they
have alternate excellent and dreadful bits. After picking our way through
several such special stages we reached Vienna just a few minutes too late
to call in to a Yamaha dealership in search for a TRX mirror. When we tried
to restart Marvin's bike wouldn't go. He suspected a fault with his newly
installed auxiliary power socket wiring. I suspected a dodgy battery connection.
After taking off his tank and pulling out the new wiring he was surprised
to find a dead bird on the top of the engine. It appeared to have been
funnelled down the fairing air scoop, and was very dead indeed. After removing
the bird and fixing the fault (a dodgy battery connection) we set off to
find the campsite, which we did without too much trouble. This one had
space for us, and whilst a little expensive, was well equipped. Though
not with hot water for showers it turned out. This talk that the continentals
are good at showers is rubbish, I don't think any campsite we used anywhere
had enough hot water, except the French one at Nyons which had warnings
that the hot water went off at 8pm but gave a very nice shower at nine.
Various people did laundry, and various other people brought beer,
and we ended up hanging around in the laundrette getting vaguely merry.
Marvin's FJ proved a marvellous way of getting from the laundrette to the
tents, a whole 100yds away. Jim's Viennese contact had arranged to meet
us in town, so when the laundry was nearly finished (and after marvin had
explained to an Italian couple that they could take his stuff out of the
drier if they wanted to, using his gift of tongues and talking loudly)
we ordered a pair of taxis. Half the people got in the first taxi
and I and the others (You can see how good I am at remembering names can't
you) waited for the other. And waited. And waited. after about 45 minutes
and several phone calls we eventually got into a taxi, though I am not
clear whether it was actually ours.
Vienna was very impressive, but it is famous for that so I will say
no more on the matter, for a while. We found a restaurant and ate, and
it was pretty good. A strange drunk Englishman singled marvin out for attention.
He claimed to coach a football team, marvin asked what sort of coach he
drove. We laughed, the bloke missed the joke. After marvin had disentangled
himself we decided that a scenic tour of the architectural highlights of
Vienna was called for. Marvin threw a minor strop at this point, preferring
the concept of a night-club and more beer, then wandered off. We wandered
the streets of Vienna for an hour or so. Ian went to find a secluded corner
of a park to pee in and found that its seclusion had attracted others (it
is apparently a celebrated cruising area) and eventually we loaded ourselves
back into taxis and back to the site. We were a little worried about marvin,
but when we got back to the site there he was.
Day - Next