Day 26: From Baja to Mohács – 33.4 km – 4 hours 40 minutes – 6,808 paddle strokes – Total kilometres covered: 1006.9 km
14/08/2017. Mohács is Pascal's goal today, a place rich in history.
First of all, it was the site of peasant revolt led by György Dózsa. He was defeated. The home troops were, however, weakened as a result. The Ottoman Turks were drawing ever closer. Belgrade had long since been taken. They advanced yet further. Suleiman demanded tribute from Hungary. He was refused. He didn't take long to act. He had 60,000 men march on Hungary, including 12,000 janissaries, the feared elite troops. The generals and the Hungarian nobility completely underestimated the situation. The rushed to the attack, even though the Hungarian troops were not yet all prepared. The result was inevitable. The Ottomans crushed them. 20,000 soldiers and farmers were executed, Mohács was burned to the ground. Hungary entered into 150 years of occupation. The Battle of Mohács in 1526 is one of the greatest Hungarian traumas, a national myth, something that the nationalists of today would like to transform.
At this time, the King of Hungary and Bohemia was Louis II of Hungary and Bohemia. Apparently, he already had grey hair at the age of 16. During the Battle of Mohács he drowned in a small tributary, his body was only found two months later. Some even suggested that internal political enemies had had him killed. He had bad premonitions before the battle. When asked by his cook where they were to have lunch he answered: "God knows where we will have our midday meal." He felt that the other Magnats had left him in the lurch in this battle for the defence of the realm. This treacherous behaviour would also be clearly demonstrated in later years. For example, during the 1848 March Revolution and the related war of independence against the Hapsburgs. This was also lost.
Back to the present: the thousand-kilometre mark (in total kilometres) has been smashed!!!
The start took place a little later in the morning today, as from kilometre 20 in Dunafalva Pascal is to be accompanied by two co-paddlers, Marton & Balàsz. But Pascal's first encounter occurred after just a few kilometres, just before the bridge in Baja. The water police approached him and Pascal pulled over. The conversation was, however, abruptly interrupted, because the police boot and Pascal were heading straight for the bridge's middle column. Collision with the bridge was just about avoidable… The water police then informed Pascal that stand up paddling is not permitted on the Hungarian Danube, as the SUP falls under the 'water-bathing device' category and is not a type of boat. Pascal took note of this and explained his paddle tour to the Black Sea to them, then asking them if they couldn't provide him with an 'escort' until Mohács, just 30 km away on the Hungarian Danube. When the authorities did not, however, have any desire to do so, and Pascal no desire to stop paddling, they agreed that Pascal was to 'check out' when he reached Mohács! At this point, thank you for supporting Pascal's project!
Pascal's journey now continued and just after the first break he was joined by Marton & Balàsz. The contact was made via Laslo from FANATIC. The three had a good time on the remaining 13 kilometres and there was still time for a sundowner together at the supporter's in Mohács.
Tomorrow Pascal will paddle another 10 kilometres along the Hungarian Danube before then paddling further on the Croatian side… TF/DS
PS: Incidentally, as a result of the Hungarian TV programme from last Friday, Pascal is now a well known figure among the ferry men. The video can be accessed via the following link: http://www.petofilive.hu/video/suppal-a-kornyezetvedelemert/