One by one, we say goodbye…

Day 13. 30 July 2004

Friday. When my alarm goes off just after 5 o’clock in the morning, I know that today of all days I must get up. As 5.30 approaches we are all carrying out our bags to the yard. The sky is grey but with hints of brightness to come and the air is fresh. There is no sign of Attila and Babor, and Helen begins to worry about how we wil get our bags to Kelemer to catch the early bus.

For a few of us it is not necessary, but rather preferred by way of sociability, to catch the early bus, but for most there are afternoon an early-evening flights to catch. For Louise it is even tighter; the arrival time of the bus in Budapest is her check-in time.

In the end, Gabor does wake, with minutes to spare, seriously hung over from the party the night before and we stash the bags into the green monster before setting off on foot at a pace.

Listening out as we leave Gömörszőlős for the last time, we don’t hear any of Irene’s tape of Hungarian folk music playing as she promised, but we haven’t got time to linger.

Steven, Jessica and I break out ahead, walking fast along the road to Kelemer. The green monster overtakes us only to stop a short way after. Gabor gets out, slow and unsteady. He’s clearing his head, taking in some much needed fresh, clean, north-Hungarian air. He really shouldn’t be driving in this condition, but there is no other option…

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