Hungarian jungle.

Whitsuntide was a great time for us at the Altlengbach 4x4 Club. We prepared our rigs for trails, loaded them with equipment, CB, maps and GPS. On Friday four families kept their campers rolling south to Heviz, a small town north of lake Balaton. A hearty supper was the best time to talk our planned tour over again. Ten years ago Herbert had run a trail from the off-road festival at Somogybabod south to Kaposvar following a crudely drafted roadbook. We took this crumpled piece of paper and compared the drawing to a more exact new map ( 1:100000). With a lot of imagination we found trails that could have made up the old route and punched their coordinates into the GPS. Rudi scanned the map into his laptop. With the GPS attached to the serial input he got our position drawn on the map. So we would be able to follow old trails even if nature tried to obscure them from us.  

The trail grew very green covered with dense vegetation and ended abruptly at a large field. Some farmer simply had included it into his wheat field. We like off-road driving, but we make sure to use only existing trails or areas where we can't cause damage. Crossing a field in June was no way to go. We had to search for a detour. Following small trails through the wood fate rewarded us for treading lightly. A year ago I had stored the coordinates of a remote Csarda ( hungarian  restaurant) in my GPS. Without knowing we came near this place and the GPS suddenly showed "CSARDA" on the display. We followed the direction and had a great dinner.

Filled up with fresh energy we entered the jungle again. We found the trail again and froliked across the sunny hillside until the vegetation grew more and more dense. Only our compass and a dent in the forest showed where to proceed. Sure it is an adventure to part the high grass with the brush guard and to get the screen cleaned by soft branches. But I had to think of ruts and stumps hidden below. These thoughts made my right foot feathering the gas and the diesel of my Montero kept snoring on. When the green hue turned from bright yellowish to blue green I stopped. Some years ago I didn't notice a change like this and dipped my Suzuki into the tributary of a trout lake. So this time we first visited the mud bog on foot. Erwin made it with his Jeep by the help of power. I chose a rather dry route but was almost swallowed by old tractor ruts. Rudi wanted to test his new Mud-Terrains burning a lot of fuel until he got his Frontera through. Martin drove his Montero into deep green grass and we fetched our foto-equipment and tow straps. But he found the right line and speed to get him through. The rest of the trail was easy and relaxing.

The festival in Somogybabod attracted our attention. Organized by a german & hungarian team 800 off-road fans gathered for a weekend of trailrides and competitions. We entered the area and enjoyed some of the trails. The evening sun saw us on our way back to camp.

On Monday the sun again invited us on a tour. North of Heviz the Russian army had run a military camp. The camp had been abandoned for many years. Only some tracks remained and a few farmers used the grass to feed their cattle. Some time ago Erwin had taken part in a competition in this area. So with his knowledge and our map we drove the old jeep-tracks.
The easy going left time to survey an ascent to the ruins of an old castle built in the 12. century. Following our compass and off-road feeling we soon reached the top. The view was breathtaking. Especially when we found the huge black cloud of a thunderstorm approaching us. Quickly we retreated to our camp before the rain started.