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Hungary

Kéktúra

Geo and I want to walk the long and famous Hungarian trail in sections. Not a fan of carrying a backpack I am going to check whether I can go by kickbike.

Kéktúra: an almost 1200 kilometer long walking trail through the upper part of Hungary. I kick a tiny part. Days of kicking: 3/Days in camp: 2/Average speed: 9/Maximum kilometers in a day: 60

I am simpy stoked by the spot I found and stay a few nights, rain or shine.

The charm of long past memories

A most basic breakfast, no hassle with a sink and cleanliness. The absence of choice when waking up in the morning and not having to stand in front of the closet, instead a pungent smell of built up menopause sweat. A half-thorough wash when there is enough water warmed on the fire. No tasks because the only thing that has to be done is moving on.

At a place nearby the start of the trekking route where I rest and enjoy the simplicity of camp.

Blending in with the locals in Hungary is not as much a problem as it could be in Germany. My favorite little ABC shop in Várvöly does not raise an eyebrow upon entering while stinky, dressed in a greased down-jacket with a color hard to trace back. My fingernails dirty and hands blackened reaching out in some odd pocket to fetch money. I am not more unusual than the old folks, the alcoholic worker, the hunter, the passerby.

The National Blue Trail is easy and pleasant for a kickbike at this section.

Oh, how I love these little trips, so immensely needed for the soul, yet having a home base is a treasure and to combine the two is not as easy as it seems. It is difficult to be a tramp when you are not and it is even harder to enjoy when knowing the bordering country has gotten a war against them. A fresh war. How mismatched.

Could this be a dropping of a deer? The size is rather on the big side. Huh, another surprise…

The fragility of life is not only measured by the ones we love nor by our own package of genes nor by the choices we made nor by our own ability to cope with any of them, it also depends on the political leaders under which wing we fly. Marveling about Biblical times where king Solomon ruled a kingdom or thinking back when I walked hours through Maharajah palaces in India I realize that those were perhaps securer times (though when I walked there in lonesomeness I doubted that). But bonded is what we were and what we will always be. Victims of the system, as Cedric ‘Congo’ Myton sings. Slaves of the egoistical twists.

My own made sourdough, a beautiful view and a fire: it is enough to very much enjoy.

Kicking carelessly around, making fires to keep warm and my dear husband who waters the saplings in the greenhouse, it is all a bit overshadowed by the people swarming the border into Hungary and only when I am fully into the present (and ignore the blabber on Facebook) am I able to enjoy.

Snow drifts in and I seek shelter in my super sturdy tent, just like old days and unlike back then, I am now enjoying cooking in the tent.

And enjoying is what I do. Oh boy, the nights might be icy cold and the earth radiating a tombstone feeling against my back. All right, the position I can sleep in is one I can’t fall asleep with as I am mummified in my minus 10 feathery sleeping-bag with an extra one on top. The strings of the inner liner hood and the sleeping bag hood constantly waddle in my face. Uncomfortably, I have to pee in the night time, though am rewarded with clear skies carrying a multitude of stars.

Since I started to travel more mindfully, age 29, I have always lived with a notion that every day can be the last and may be regarded as such. Though the human mind likes to attach to the impression that life is endless and that it has no real visible end; it is a lot more difficult to enjoy when you know there is an end date in view. Would there be one Ukrainian refugee that enjoys camp fires and pitching a tent in the snow?

On the Blue trail and it is hard work to push the kickbike up the steep hills of grape growing plots.

Life is easier in all aspects when we have little yet enough to come by. Living a life on the road was blissful to me, until I longed for more substance. Here, on my little tour I am able to glimpse that again, to grasp the feeling that usual hangs above somewhere, fleeting over, unable to grasp, difficult to catch: the essence of life.

When the trail goes steep down over steps and a railing for support, I think it’s not meant for kickbiking. I turn and find a place to sleep the night.

The power of nature always delivers. The smell of old, gnarled acacia wood in the fire is sensational and the deer their markers are so as well.

A flashback to Geo and me on the Blue Trail in Mátraháza, where I was reminded of Nepal.

Memories. Some stand out, like the ‘Teahouse trek’ in Nepal. A very strong recollection, one that I can grab and hold for a few minutes. I wanted that again, to be in the mountains and go as slow as two feet can go. To breath simplicity and to exhale pureness. To carry only the bare necessities seemed not to be able to carry out by me in Hungarian wintery settings. Not even at sections of the Kéktúra nearest by our home.

Another recollection. On the bus somewhere in Kashmir (Indian governed, mind you). Traffic was each day or every other day only in 1 direction as the roads are extremely dangerous. The turns have the vehicle bend over the edge, for me to see the carcasses below. The bus driver had to reverse the coach to make such turns, his vehicle making sounds like one hears on a ship dock. I was not scared because would we fall into the depths we would be killed at once. I was, however, very aware alive. Nervous yes, but especially extremely… alive.

Using the Bushcraft-Essentials Bushbox Outdoor Pocket Stove because now I prefer not to make a fire and attract attention on a sunny day.

On such journeys there was always a chai stop, usually to break the journey. I remember this particular stop so well, maybe because we had to be quick, as the driver standardized yelled how long we’d stop for. We are in the very high Himalayas, I am surrounded by Muslim men and very few, very shy women. Though I can’t remember women at all on that journey (usually women always kept inside the bus on such stops anyway). I kept warm by covering fully with a thick dupatta. On this particular journey the tape installation did not sound its usual shrieky high-pitched voices, which I came to love. It was dead quiet, the tension tangible and when we had our very short break I could feel the relief, of all persons, on that particular journey. A chai was in my hands, poured in a small stone, English type cup and a piece of flat bread along side. Both fresh, ‘Kashmiri’, someone added. I could have died right there: all became a crystal clear moment of alivesness, the simplicity of tastes, a hint of salt in the melting butter atop the warm flat bread (not a chapati nor a paratha, it was Kashmiri. Its chai had a piece of cardamom in it).

The surprise. The newness of life. The unexpectedness. The excitement of the unknown, of not knowing what comes. The moments that catches your full attention and the voice in your head that has no sound, sees it.

The soundless voice in your mind that ceases the ego that always has a say. That is what the not usual does.

And it is a hard nut to crack when settled and into any regularity. Yet, here it is; the chai and the warm flat bread, with melted butter on top. I am back at that treacherous road in the high Himalaya. Only because I wanted to see whether the Kéktúra would be possible by kickbike. It isn’t. And so I ended up the day lost. Lost in decision. In an uninspiring patch of the forest, without a view. At the mounds of an abode house, woken up by a full bladder at 6.00 AM: out in the cold I am.


You’d see me embroidering in camp: all the works can be purchased on CINDYneedleart

Coaster Catpaw € 30

Dyed with red elderberry, filled with pokeweed seeds. A coaster is like a place mat: I’d use it to protect heavy items from scratching a surface or have it slide easier over the table- or kitchen counter.

Leah & Judah € 35

Dyed with black walnut, double zipper pockets. A beautiful double pocket pouch which is a true eye candy.

Small as catpaw € 20

Dyed with carob. A simple small wallet with a pleasant colored kogin stitch.

Flaky Flower € 20

The liner is bright yellow, made possible by using goldenrod as a dye.

Dipped in paint catpaw € 30

Dyed with carob. An inner pocket made from blockprinted fabric originating from Cameroon (bought on my cycling journey).


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By Cindy Servranckx

Years of traveling brought me many different insights, philosophies and countries I needed to be (over 90 in total). I lived in Pakistan, went over 15 times to India and when I stopped cycling the world, that was after 50.000 kilometer through 45 countries, I met Geo. Together we now try to be more self-sustainable, grow our own food and live off-grid. I now juggle with the logistics of being an old-fashioned housewife, cook and creative artist loving the outdoors. The pouches I create are for sale on www.cindyneedleart.com

12 replies on “Kéktúra”

Yes Marloes, a real housewife and farmer-alike. Just as the photo you recently send me, at the aloa vera plot.

The new trail shall be done by foot. It was not doable by kickbike.

I’ll send you my number over mail, okay?

Greetings to Claudine and Suleyman and family.

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Hi. Been following your travels for a couple of years. Thank You for letting me see your perspective. I note well you have not been on your bike for awhile. Instead on the push scooter. Curious why.

Thanks

Liked by 1 person

Hi Lenny, I did a week long tour previous summer on the bicycle and I disliked being on the saddle very much. The saddle always hurts and it’s a hassle to push it, as the pedals are hitting my calves. Also, I try to avoid sealed roads and be off road as much as possible, and with a bicycle this is less easy. I am very much fed up by sharing the road with cars, or trucks. It’s so stressful.

So, enough complaints 😉 the kickbike has so many advantages if one is not pushed to make kilometers. 1. There’s no saddle so a relief to the bottom. 2. It’s possible to go over the smaller routes and push the kickbike. Getting off and on the kickbike is one swift move. 3. It can carry the lesser amount a bicycle can but enough to winter camp. 4. In case I want to speed up I can, but need to go on asphalt. 5. It’s way more fun. 6. More challenging.

I am more focused on short tours now and the bicycle has really no pull on me anymore. You know, the bicycle was always in my life, to go to the grocery store, to my job, to every where (no car). It’s not special. It is special once you are out for loooooooong!

But the kickbike is odd… yes!

Greetings Cindy

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It’s not too inhabited true but it’s almost all private land. Of course you can ask a farmer for permission but it’s not easy. The forestry department are also quite strict about this. Anyway, I live in the countryside and can take bike trips from here so it’s OK 🙂

Liked by 1 person

That’s a pity because it is almost not possible to first trace the owner of a field and then ask permission to camp. It takes time too. So, I guess, wild camping is not appropriated by most farmers?

It’s understandable of course. But it can be done nevertheless (and leave the place as clean as you found it).

In Hungary it is allowed to camp every where except when there’s a sign indicating hunters are active.

Will you not camp in the open then?

Liked by 1 person

Exactly. Farmers aren’t keen on it and the government are very strict with public areas. I don’t see myself camping in Ireland except maybe in summer in a park but they can be overcrowded and that defeats the whole purpose 🙂

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Sounds like the Netherlands. Nature only for those who can sleep safely and securely in their homes.

Nature’s become a pretty picture to look at.

While Ireland is quite spectacular I believe. I have never been there but my husband did and likes it a lot.

Camping on a camping is also not my style. I did it in the beginning of my cycling trip as I had not much experience and confidence yet. But not anymore.

Liked by 1 person

Yeah the Bushbox… I find it too small and hands get full of sooth the moment you assemble it. But a safe way to make tea and food. A bit bigger and self collapsing would be better. They exist but I don’t have that one.

Thanks Daniel, greetings to you and wish you happy trails too.

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