The hospitality of our host continued the next day, with spirits and beer forced upon us at regular intervals. He took Ben and Jack for a ride on his Belarus tractor, then at lunchtime, without warning, he served up goulash with pasta – and more beer.
Then, in a moment of sobriety, I remembered that we hadn’t paid for the Hungarian vignette. I managed to get through to the English speaking helpline, but it is not possible to buy a vignette for the day before. If you miss the midnight deadline you face a 140 Euro late payment charge. I know that Norway’s road pricing is rigorous – but usage charge only, no fines. I never received a charge for the Gothenburg congestion charge, so there is hope, but somehow I fear Hungary will be ultra efficient at collecting fines. Suddenly 27 Euros for a 10 Euro vignette doesn’t sound such a rip off.
Kopačevo is on the Danube flood plain, now protected by a substantial levee, the other side of which is protected wetlands. After lunch we cycled down to see these wetlands, Ben on his own bike, Jack with Clare and me in charge of luggage and Meg. A series of walkways and hides have been built over the wetlands, and boat trips are offered on a lake – we just missed the last trip of the day!
On top of the levee was a rather good cycle path, and we rode for some distance along this – until Ben picked up a puncture. We then had to strap his bike to the front of my Brompton, looking like some obscene bull bar, and Ben sat on his child saddle in front of me. While we have just four bikes with us, we also have a child seat on each of our Bromptons.
We had a few odd looks as we rode back to the campsite like that, Meg happily trotting alongside.