Wrapping up the summer season

Wow. How quick did that go? I can’t believe I’ve been based around Lake Balaton in Hungary since mid-May, and it’s now September. It really feels like I only arrived a week or so ago.

The campsite will close next weekend (9 Sep) and most people here are packing up. For some of my other all-season neighbours it’s quite an operation – they move here with everything (and more) they will need to stay comfortably.

I’ve been doing a few odd-jobs, including applying a layer of colour restorer (Owatrol Polytron) to parts of the outside of Rayquaza and wow! It works a treat.

Here’s a video about it:

So where to next … ?

If I can get Olli’s paperwork sorted, I think I’m going to take the advice of a Dutch couple I know from this campsite (Eric and Johanna) and go to Turkey for October and November! But there are many “if’s” etc so let’s see if I can get everything sorted.

For now, most of my packing is done – thanks to the trailer – and I’m relatively ready to head to Budapest where I plan to spend most of September.

Preparing for the road again

Whilst it’s only mid-August now, I’ve been at Lake Balaton since early May and the season here ends 9 September. I had a few jobs I wanted to do on Rayquaza,  most of which I obviously did not find the time for! But a big one was to consider adding a small trailer so I can reduce the downwards weight in the motorhome and rather add that weight to a trailer.

This is quite important as the allowed maximum weight of my motorhome cannot exceed 3,500KG, which I’m quite sure it currently does. Apart from being unsafe it’s illegal and several other campers have been telling me about spot checks being done on motorhomes at highway weigh bridges, and very stiff fines being imposed on the spot for exceeding the allowed weight.

I did a fair amount of research and spoke to other motorhome owners where I could see they’ve added a trailer, and they all said the same thing – DO IT! It really improves the handling of the motorhome and obviously reduces the stress of knowing in the back of your head the motorhome is exceeding it’s allowed weight.

My camping neighbour here at Lake Balaton heard I was looking for a trailer and immediately recommended a supplier that provided hard-cover, lockable trailers.

It arrived last night (he was kind enough to go collect it for me, miles away) and WOW! I’m impressed. It seems to be German made and then imported to Hungary.

The build quality is fantastic and it was a great buy. For just under €1,000 as well, this is a trailer that will sell for easily double that in the UK. It’s watertight, very strong walls and roof and even with roofbars on top that will allow me to put the bike up there if I want (or the undeflated paddleboard if I want..).

I also really like the way it opens up so loading is easy (or showing the contents at a border crossing.)

All in, a good buy from this supplier – I can happily recommend them if you’re in the market for a trailer. It seems they are re-doing their website at the moment, but you can contact Gabor on utanfutocentrumkft@gmail.com and he’ll send you their stock list.

I’ll put up some pics and perhaps a video once I get this all loaded and hooked up.

Life at Lake Balaton …

Pure bliss. I have to realise how absolutely priviliged I am to live at the shores of Lake Balaton for the European summer.

As a result, there’s not much to write about – my setup here is perfect for putting in a productive day of working, which I’ll scale down a bit in August, and still be able to go for swim, or paddleboard or just walk when I want. The campsite is as good as ever and last week I had Edd, business partner and friend, visiting and we got plenty done.

I’m also glad to report Olli’s injured foot is as as good as new and he’s started to run after the ball without showing any signs of pain, and I’ll start taking him on (possibly shorter) runs next week. He’s also making plenty of new friends…

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Speaking of which, my running has been fantastic and I’m aiming for 3x14KM runs this week, two already done, the last one under 5 mins/km. So not bad!

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At the moment I’m shopping for a trailer to put behind Rayquaza as I now have too much weight with the extra’s, and it will just be a better and safer option to put most of that weight into a trailer. Pics to follow once that’s in place!

 

Starting life on the right foot

This magnificent truck camper conversion drew my attention immediately when I saw it parked near my plot last week. It confirmed the heavy sound that vibrated through the whole campsite when it arrived.

Wow!

I went to have a chat with the young couple who owns it and the story behind it is even more inspiring.

Christian and wife (Ina, I think I might have that wrong) recently became first time parents and decided they wanted to spend quality time with their daughter in her first 6 months. They combined that with their love for touring and Christian converted a truck he bought from the Danish army, with a container from Holland, and they set off on an extended trip which saw them spend nearly 3 months in Morocco.

They were experienced motorhomers and they could kit out the new truck just they way they wanted. It is a magnificent piece of touring equipment and I got to take a peek inside.

The container is the perfect height and size to provide for a comfortable, safe and well insulated living environment. They are very eco focused and had plenty of ability to stay off grid yet have all the power, clean water and environmentally friendly grey water disposal they could require and produce.

Very impressive. The cherry on top was their (now very happy) rescued Polish dog, Hubert, who posed quite happily from his favourite spot.

Man down in Budapest

I came up to Budapest today for a work related item and some other errands, and given there was a turn in the weather, the rainy day was perfect for escaping Balaton (where I’m based all summer)

I took Olli with as he is allowed on all public transport in Hungary. He’s used to train and metro travel and it was quite easy.

We arrived at Budapest Deli Station and headed down the escalator to the metro. I am very aware of the dangers of the bottom bit at escalators for especially dogs but Olli is quite good at jumping over the end.

Untill today that is.

For the squeamish, stop reading here.

His left back foot’s one nail got caught, and ripped out clean, by the escalator. He also suffered substantial tissue loss to the cushions on that foot with pieces cut clean off.

Man! And he only yelped once, but he clearly was in pain and shock. There was blood everywhere and luckily I had a towel with me to wrap his bleeding foot in. Several very concerned bystanders offered helped and one very kind lady located a vet for me on my phone, saved it and helped me towards the taxi rank. Bless her.

The vet imemdialy helped and cleaned the wound, and gave me loads of creams, pills and bandages with a ton of instructions. Then he offered me one of the many shots he gave Olli for the shock and pain! I must have looked like I really needed it…

Wow do I feel bad. Olli is OK now hut it will take a some time for him to heal. In the meantime, he got a hamburger for dinner and he is certainly sleeping on the bed for some time to come! Luckily at Balaton he has a great relaxing environment to get better in.

Always carry your dog on a escalator!!