Our First CouchSurfing Experience

A few days ago we had a relaxing day at the thermal spa at Hevis. We spent three hours swimming around a naturally heated lake. Even though the air temperature was around 30C it was still much warmer in the lake than out of it, so you can imagine how hot the lake was. Apparently they have to add cold water to the lake to prevent their customers turning into human lobsters.

Feeling fully revitalised and refreshed, we headed off from Lake Balaton the next day, toward Nagykanizsa. There wasn’t anything particularly special about this town it was just a good distance for us to cycle to and to get a bed for the night.

Well that was the plan anyway! We arrived at the town and spent a full two hours hunting for accommodation. All the ‘Pansio’ seemed to be closed or massively expensive for us, so we eventually gave up on the town and followed some road signs for a campsite. As with most road signs in Hungary, the signs start a few kilometres before the actual service itself but then never reappear no matter how many junctions and roundabouts you come to. So despite loads of cycling and asking questions, the campsite did not materialise. And so back to town it was. We recruited the help of two young boys, who spoke zero English – to help us find somewhere to stay for the night, but unfortunately after following them around town they kept bringing us to places that we had already tried. Despite being unsuccessful, they were extremely kind, eager to help and funny too!

After cycling around a bit more ourselves, we were about to give up and splash out on one of the more expensive places – then we spotted somewhere that was open and reasonably priced, especially after getting the price knocked down a bit.

Our food hunt in Nagykanzsia, similar to that of our accommodation hunt, took a long time but was ultimately successful.

We virtually had a day off the next day. We had arranged to stay at a couchsurfers home in a nearby hamlet of Belezna about 25km away. Phil is an English guy who moved to Hungary just over a year ago. He was a good host and had plenty of interesting stories to tell. The village in which he lives is way off the beaten track, but if you are a either going to Hungary or coming from the opposite direction and are a member of the couchsurfing fraternity, he is definitely worth getting in touch with.

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