Mayan Prophecy Countdown
I was up around 5.00 and started to write a blog update, I figure I can write one then post when I get good internet. I heard Ant get up and when I checked a bit later he had already gone, slack bugger, never said goodbye, never mind, he had a long day ahead. I could sleep in, if my brain would let me, every day I am awake at 5am, regardless of time zone changes, that is real weird and a bit annoying sometimes too as surviving on 5-6 hours sleep can get a bit tiring!! So, after brekky and posting a blog entry, I chuffed off around 9am and headed to the shop I had seen. I had to wait to speak to the service chap, nearly an hour, but when I did he said he had no parts, but just down the road was another shop where he orders them from. He spoke good English and also tried a number of times to call them, but they were engaged each time he tried. He gave me directions and an address and I made the decision to head back east 75km and see if they had a chain kit in the town of Tatabanya.
The place I was looking for was called Pink Motors, but it took me a little while. If I had turned left instead of right at the T intersection I maybe would have found it, but it was the wrong colour so I am not sure about that!!! :)
Some good news and bad news, they had the parts I need and after doing some currency conversion on my phone, found that they were quite cheap. There were non OEM, but the mechanic back at the Red Baron told me they had good quality sprockets and DID chains, so I bought two of each. Well, why not eh! And when I asked about fitting they said no problem and no extra charge, wow!!! The thing was though, no credit, only cash, so I needed to go find a bank and get out some local currency. I only wanted to do this once so I started to check out what else I needed for my upcoming journey. I ended up buying brake pads(two sets of sintered front and back), three oil filters, one set of top and bottom wet weather gear and both clutch and brake levers, all for 142,000 Florint, which is $600. I thought that was a bargin myself, because a chain and sprocket set back home is about $300 by itself and I have two and all the rest as well :)
So, I packed the bike which is now lower to the ground with all the extra weight and headed back east again. I was a bit disappointed as there had been a misunderstanding and there was no mechanic there to fit the chain, but I guess I could see that chap at Red Baron, I would be going past again soon. On the way back I stopped for fuel and food. I had been using a lot more than normal because I went real fast back east then the same back west, this time I decided to stop at an Aqip servo, well, never again I tell ya. The dunnies were disgusting, the food was basic and crap and the service abysmal, I will stick to OMV from now on! I did see a strange sight, a mini moke, with no side covers and the occupants wearing full bike type gear :)
During that rest stop I made a decision. I had seen how busy the Red Baron shop was and decided not to get them to fit or even ask to use their workshop and do it myself. I would instead make a run for Vienna and get the visa sorted out. If I could get there this arvo, I could find the place and a hotel near it, apply for the visa first thing then go looking for a workshop at my leisure, but first I needed to find my Hungarian cache :) That one was just down the road and on my way west, with a small diversion then a short walk to the Abda Chapel, a place of very bad history, so you probably won’t want to read about it, lets just say the site of a mass killing in the former years. The cache was right inside a thicket of thorn bushes, but lucky for me, other cachers had recently been here and blazed a trail and the find was an easy one :)
Job done, now it was time to hit the border. I got there a short time later and made a mistake of going past the money exchangers. I had rounded up the figures for my parts when I took the money out of the ATM in town, so that way I would not have to go back, this meant I had about $100 worth of Florints I did not want. I noticed in the other direction across some barricades other money exchangers for those traveling east, so I rode the wrong way back though to there and swapped my money out. I met a chap in a red van who is from Germany and liked the bike, so we chatted a while before he headed to Hungary for 3 weeks work, nice meeting you m8, of course he was a biker himself ;) Once i got my Euros, I did some more sneaking through barriers to get the bike headed west again and went through a sort of border, nobody stamped me in nor out, so I guess it is all EU!
It did not take long to get to Vienna(Wien) on the super slab and I was soon working my way through the traffic network when my GPS froze up. It has done this a few times and I need to get it replaced, but I cannot contact Garmin from my mobile because when I tried once before I was put on hold and it can get a tad expensive. So, I stopped in a likely looking spot and frigged around with it and reset it to default before it would give me a map again and give me a line to follow :) Once that was up and running again, it did not take me long to get to the Kazak embassy, a very nice looking building it was too :)
I pushed the intercom buzzer but they said they were closed and to come back tomorrow(I thought that was what he said, he had pretty good English), that was no problem, I then dialed up a hotel on the GPS and one was just around the corner. I was lucky and they had a room, very expensive, but the lady said that was the going rate throughout Vienna. Well, for one night I could indulge I guess and took what was on offer. Booking out was midday, so witha bit of luck I could get the embassy thing done at 09.30am then pack and leave well before 12. I had time also to get down to a copy shop and get some nice colour copies of my passport, because I would be without it for a week, which may make it difficult to check in anywhere! That done it was time for an Austrian beer, the first one was a house brand homebrew, it was nice :)
Once that was sorted out, I went and grabbed some cash out as I knew they would probably not take credit card at the embassy, then I sort of found another bar place and met some people and went to another and just lucky for me managed to find my way to the hotel around 11.30pm! Lucky because the night clerk was off soon and I had not taken my key but left it at the desk :)
I had a good night and met a couple of nice people, this is me and Georg, taken with the iPhone, no chicas though.