(Guide says 24.8 – 15.4miles, but we walked 27km – 16.8miles)
We wake groggy, after a full night of feeling like we had bugs crawling on us, to the sound of rain outside. We had all made an agreement the night before to wake at five and then delay if the rain had come, but we went down for breakfast because we couldn’t stay in the beds a single second longer. Bread, some cold cuts and cheese with instant coffee. Honestly, none of it really matters to me too much but the coffee. Instant coffee is just not going to get the job done this morning. Our accommodation left a lot to be desired, but the dinner was nice, and we were given complimentary shots of pálinka before and after. Jenny had fun with it. See photo below. The owner had also driven us to the pharmacy upon arrival at no charge to obtain cream for my newest painful rash which has taken up residency in the nether regions. The itchy all body rash has just started to subside and now there’s this.
We set out in a light drizzle and after spending 45 minutes trying to find the route back out of Köszeg, made a decision to go with the Google maps walking application. For the first 3 km, it had us walking along the roadside and there was only a very small shoulder. While we were happy to finally be making some progress toward our destination, having to climb into the wet, brushy ditches when cars came, wasn’t enjoyable. Jenny stopped speaking entirely, and when this happens, you know things are bad.
The scenery along the way was beautiful though as we passed vineyards and multiple sunflower fields. We are noticing that the further we progress to the south, the more open the blooms on the sunflowers are. By the time we make Trieste, the sunflower fields should be in full bloom. This will be a dream come true for me, as sunflowers were my mother’s favorite flower and are also the favorites of both my daughters and myself.
After walking along the wet road for about 3.5 km during what seemed like Hungarian morning rush-hour traffic, we decided to stop and look for a cappuccino. We asked a man who was hastily put out of a car in front of us. He was left to stand holding a small cup of fruit yogurt on the side of the road with his zipper down, (we figured he must’ve said something ornery to his wife) and he spoke a little English, but he couldn’t help at all. Clearly, he had his hands full with figuring out how he was going to get to work. Bet he waits to fuss at his wife a bit closer to the office next time.
Then, around the next bend, we see an entryway open in a large festive looking building with flags. Naturally, we decided to go in and investigate. Some women were busily preparing large quantities of food in an open garden area, so we asked if there was any way we could purchase some drinks and use the toilet. They were very hesitant at first but began to warm up quickly. It didn’t take long and we were all hanging out chatting like old friends. Then as we were leaving, we took a quick photo with them and one of the ladies says, “This is our Village Day celebration and you’ve just had your photo taken with the mayor.” We had done it again, just like the Camino days, stumbled into a great moment unknowingly.
After leaving the village party we decided to head down the road with Google maps again headed for Bozsok. After a short distance, we happened upon an ice cream parlor and decided to pop in. I can’t even describe how the ice cream tasted, but imagine the best freshly made cherry cream ice cream blended with cinnamon and chocolate that you’ve ever tasted. Ice cream will never be the same for me. (Sorry that there are no photos here, I was far too engrossed with my ice cream.)
While eating and strolling, we went to the little park with the wine barrel that is mentioned in the guidebook. This area is so picturesque with a little stream and swing, a great place to stop for a picnic. From here we carried on down the road and got to see our first close view of a storks nest before accidentally happening upon the red arrows again.
The arrows led us across the street and up a long hill on a dirt road before leading us through a few large fields and then finally, into the woods. We decided once again, that the walk was much more pleasant through the woods rather than along the roadside, although probably a little bit longer.
We continued through the woods for about 5 km which took us an hour and twenty minutes. Then we came down into a little village and immediately saw some children playing with tiny puppy on a farm that had chickens, goats, turkeys, and geese all living happily in the same pen together. Presumably, we didn’t actually stop to ask.
The path we were on continued to meander along next to a little stream until we came out of the village and onto a highway lined with trees and squash fields. We could see a little church up on the hill in the far distance and we knew our accommodation was just past it. We walked and walked and walked, and seemed to never get any closer to the little church on the distant hill, so we decided not to look at it any longer. That way maybe it could get closer, kind of like the ‘a watch pot never boils’ theory. Believe it or not, it worked! We had to stop looking at the distance and thinking of how much our feet hurt and how desperately we wanted to stop. The moment we started talking and thinking about something else, we arrived. We were welcomed by a Border Collie who snarled and acted like he was going to eat us. I was too tired to even wave my walking stick in his direction.
All in all the day felt long, but pretty pleasant. We had some rain drops at one point but they were actually refreshing and, even though it seemed much later, we arrived at our accommodation at 2:45. This meant we would get loads of rest time before having to walk the following day.
Lovar Pension (Horse Farm)
20 Euros per person for bed in dormitory setting.
Dinner 12 Euros per person. Breakfast 5 Euros per person.
Baggage transport 30 Euros
Some favorite pics from the day: