Day 13. Route

Friday the 13th. We awoke, somewhat bleary eyed the next morning to an excellent breakfast. We had warned him that we didn't eat as much breakfast as Romanians seemed to, but it did us little good. After breakfast the others dithered a bit, and I went for a bit of a lie down. They eventually woke me up and we left, with me feeling remarkably improved. Again, the bill was entirely unreasonable in its cheapness.
For a bit of variety we let Ian lead, but when, at the second junction, he spent ages looking at a roadsign, then at the map, and at the roadsign again, when there was an enormous yellow sign saying "SZEGED!!!!!" Jeremy lost patience and set off in front. To be fair to Ian, no other signs had been yellow in Romania. It was raining by now, quite heavily. I haven't really mentioned rain much in this account, but it rained almost every day, some days _really_ hard. Not what you expect in southern Europe in August.
We arrived at the Hungarian border and sat around in the rain for a while while some who had stopped to buy roadside tea towels as souvenirs caught up, then somewhat longer when a phone call told us that Jim's Sprint had overheated. The fan had been staying on for a long time for days, but we had assumed they were all like that.  Jim eventally limped in and we went through customs, only to stop again within a mile at the other side as the Triumph overheated once more. At the side of a major road, in the rain, with muddy verges, seemed like a sub-optimal place to look for the problem, so Jeremy went of scouting and came back shortly with news that there was a garage round the corner. With a roof over the pumps. We parked up at the garage (buying some token petrol) and proceeded to investigate.
Checking the thermostat seemed like a good start, so Crispin boiled some water as we dismantled the bike. When we eventually found the thermostat it began to look like it wasn't the problem, as its removal was not accompanied by the expected gush of coolant. It worked perfectly in the boiling water too. We reassembled the cooling system, topped up the coolant and then had a good look around the bike to see where it was leaking out. It wasn't hard to see, the radiator was cracked and a number of pinhole leaks were squirting water backwards towards the engine. We had some epoxy putty, and found a product which looked like Radweld in the garage shop. Well, it was a small plastic bottle with a small picture of a radiator in the corner of the label. Jim rang his dealer to make sure there was no warranty problem with the use of Radweld, and he and others set about stripping the finning from the offending radiator tube before applying the epoxy. The epoxy proved to be, at best, a partial success, as we seemed to have missed a number of holes, and some water oozed out round the patch. Fortunately these quickly subsided as the Radweld (or whatever it really was) took effect.
Jim contacted one of his international web of contacts and arranged for a new radiator to be fitted in Damstadt in Germany, as he was leery of the idea of doing the Nurburgring with a dodgy rad. I was grateful that the FJ is air cooled, though for the remainder of the day, riding along major Hungarian roads, it was as water cooled as any as the rain continued to fall.
The roads had deep grooves in the tarmac formed by lorries, and these were full of water making for 'interesting' riding conditions. We arrived in Budapest and tried to find a hotel, but had unfortunately miscalculated, everywhere was full as it was Formula 1 Grand Prix weekend at the Hungaroring, just outside town. We eventually (after much getting lost in Budapest and asking in tourist information places) found a campsite. No thanks to the traffic which was amongst the most frightening I have ever been in. We found the campsite to be full to bursting too, but the chap in charge of space allocation took pity on us and said that we could sleep in the seating area outside the snack bar if we moved the tables and chairs, as long as we put them back in the morning. It wasn't a spacious area, and we had to tessellate the tents quite carefully.
I went for a wander up the hill and found that the campsite was actually quite large, and had a bar and restaurant bit. Sadly this had stopped serving food. I went back to the others with this news, and some of us went to the Bar, whilst Jim, most graciously, offered to go in to town and find food. McDonalds it was, which wasn't very ethnic, but it was quick, easy and we had had a long day. The bar kicked us out (closing surprisingly early) and after negotiating some takeouts of remarkably foul dark lager (which I don't think got drunk at all) we repaired to our campsite and ate the McD nosh. I suspect that Jim had misunderstood our instructions to buy 'lots of food', for whilst there was a sufficiency I was rather hoping for a surfeit. We all got lots of change though, apparently the McDonalds Index of currencies, like the Fanta Index, differs markedly from the official exchange rate. I tried to stay up and drink the strange dark brew, but it's dubious pleasures soon paled in comparison to bed.

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