The alarms went off at 6am – not that we needed them, as we were awake every half hour during the night. My parents were kind enough to come down to Dublin the previous night to treat us to our final dinner and to get our bikes and luggage to the airport the next morning. On a typical soggy, dark September morning in Ireland, we got to the airport in plenty of time, but due to the length of the check-in queue, it was all a bit panicked and stressful right up to the last minute.
There wasn’t much time to say our goodbyes. Now, I won’t lie, airport goodbyes are not nice – in fact they are tough! It was very hard for us to see my parents upset and it’s not nice for us to imagine what they were thinking as we were walking toward security. At least myself and Monika had our exciting adventure to look forward to – even though I had been feeling anything but excitement for the past eight weeks or so. More about that in a future post though. My parents plan to come out and meet us somewhere along the way, so I think we will all be looking forward to that!
Upon arrival in Budapest our nicely packed bike boxes looked like they had fallen out of the plane mid-flight, retrieved forcefully from the den of an angry bear and then dragged bouncing along the motorway at 100kph before being reunited with us at the airport. We were very worried about what condition the bikes would be in when we got to unpack them at our new hostel.
The bedroom to our new hostel was huge! It was almost the size of a football pitch! The ceilings were about four meters high – it resembled more of a warehouse than a bedroom. When we opened the door, I walked straight over to the curtains to open them to let some light in. One of the metal curtain poles fell off the wall and crashed onto my head, virtually knocking me out cold. It appears that we booked ourselves into ‘Hostel de la Death Trap’.
Once I came to and examined the bikes, it turned out that Monika’s bike had a bit of cosmetic damage to the gear shifter, but all in all think we were very lucky not to have more damage – given the state of the boxes. With the bikes rebuilt and ready to go, there wasn’t much left to do but to go and explore – on foot – for now…