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J164 - Monday, March 29: Szajol - Tapioszecsö

74.23km – 9H55’
Altitude : 140m
A beautiful spring day is here to welcome the new kids, who aren’t beginners since Ludovic has been on every crossing since 1999 and Thomas, Serge’s son, came for 3 weeks on the Paris-Tokyo in China.  So they have already experienced a typical day on this kind of tour.  Ludovic is already in shorts to get his legs tanned.  The temperature is 22°C at midday.
I was very sorry to leave Bertrand at the airport, then I picked up Marc, one of our cameramen who is back for two weeks to get shots of the next 4 capitals, of which Budapest tomorrow.  It will be a heavy program so the kids won’t have time to get used to things and are right in the thick of it.
Serge is happy to have Thomas at his side.  He was all smiles all day long; especially because the small roads we are taking today are a change from the truck filled we have been on since Brasov in Romania.
Hungary must be a hunter’s paradise because there is a lot of game.  Yesterday Bertrand and René had fun counting roe deer, at least 100. And there are plenty of hare and pheasants.  The cities are immaculate, nothing is out of line and the homes are rather luxurious.  Discipline seems to be accepted and the law is respected, which I can confirm today following an unexpected stop by two members of the police force.  On my way back from the airport with Marc, two policemen step out in the middle of the road and stop me.  I know it is not because I am exceeding the speed limit because I am very careful to respect the posted speeds.  I am asked for my papers – they speak no English and I have not got beyond hello, goodbye and thank you in Hungarian.  I’m made to understand that I have to drive with my headlights on all the time on the roads (it’s not mandatory in the cities).   René and I thought that parking lights were sufficient.  No, you have to put on your headlights.  I am asked to follow the man so he can give me a fine of 20,000 Forint (80€).  I take out a 20,000 Ft bill but he doesn’t want it.  He wants to give me a ticket and then explains that I have to go to the post office to pay it.  Then I am lost because I don’t know what to do with the ticket, which is written in Hungarian and if I have to send it with money or not.  We can’t understand each other and after 15 minutes he caves in and grudgingly lets me go, because he and his sidekick aren’t funny  and don’t want to take into consideration that we are foreigners and didn’t know we had to drive with headlights rather than parking lights.  So we have been warned, but it didn’t keep me from seeing 2 accidents on the E70 this morning and several cases of cars passing anyway and anywhere.  I’m happy we have changed our itinerary.  Between yesterday and today we have seen 2 speed checks with binoculars.  Now we know you don’t joke with the rules here!

Town : Tapioszecsö

GPS : N 47.2748.5° E 019.3748.0 °