Czech Out – Budapest

Having had less than an hour and a half of sleep I woke up to the sound of someone using the back of my tent as the tee off to a golf diving range where the targets were people’s tents… Dicks.
Packing up and hitting the road early doors we rolled out of Klenova and headed towards the Slovakian border. Just before we made it into Slovakia Don asked me to drive. Now the pressure was on, I’ve never driven anything that big before and certainly nothing that heavy with that many people on, it was a big responsibility and it took a bit of getting used to. I’d been driving less than 15 minutes when I saw blue lights in the rear view mirror, the filth were hot on my ass! Pulling off the road into a service station Don and I got out to have our best ‘look at us stupid tourists in our oversized yellow bus’ conversation. We were met with stern faces and numerous comments along the lines of “you have very big problem”. Asking what the “very big problem” was we discovered that we had apparently missed the sign saying we needed to buy a €20 vignette and so because we’d missed this we were now going to be fined €700!!!!! Straight away we hit the charm offensive, we weren’t going to be paying that. I whipped out some of my best police chat; “we’re all police here, its all good” – soon enough Don and I had them on the ropes, we’d got them to agree to give us a police escort back to the place to buy the vignette so that we avoided the huge fine. Lots of handshakes and photos later and we were back on the road.. Don was driving again!
Passing by Bratislava through Slovakia and on to Hungary, this time we stopped and made sure we paid for a vignette. About two hours outside of Budapest Don asked me if I’d drive again so I took to the wheel, hoping that this time I could avoid the local cops. Cruising down the highway into Budapest was a fun way to properly get to grips with the bus, I even broke the bus’ top speed record… A whopping 58mph (downhill with a tail wind). It was all going well until we arrived in the city and started trying to look for the campsite. Our Satnav got it completely wrong so in the end we managed to accost a local husband and wife who offered to drive to the campsite so that we could follow them. Driving the bus down single track dirt roads in Budapest was an experience in itself, but then we got into more trouble when we got to a low bridge that had only a 3.2m clearance. It didnt look like we were going to fit but it wasnt going to stop me from trying, Don and Cale jumped out and were doing the shouting directions bit while i started shunting the bus forward and backwards. We managed to eventually manoeuvre the bus under the bridge by stopping the oncoming traffic and driving on the opposite carriageway which had marginally more space but it was really close and barely fit. It didn’t get much easier when we made it to the campsite, a narrow single track road with even narrower gates and zero space to turn around. By now it had gone dark and between Don, Cale and I we got the bus in to the site and in a suitable spot for the night so that we could get the tents out. Tents pitched we even managed to get hot showers before we all went to bed whacked. We had to be up early the next morning for a long drive to Romania for a party… Parties are that important to us. 😉

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