RIDE TO GEORGIA …. BULGARIA
RIDE TO GEORGIA …. BULGARIA
I am taking the main road to get to the Bulgarian boarder. Not the nicest road, but sometimes one has to do this transition day. And so I am stuck on the busy road full of trucks taking me over. See, my riding style is very very slow. So there is no wonder that a busy truck trying to make it for a delivery passes me swiftly. Here I am again crossing yet another boarder. Same procedure here. Playing stupid and riding along all the cars all the way to the front thinking bikes do not wait 🙂 I take the helmet off, hand over all the documents and couple of minutes I ride on. I still keep the helmet in my hand waiting for the Bulgarian side to check me. When I suddenly end up on a massive bridge. Still having a helmet in my hand I somehow realise my both checks were done 🙂 I don’t know if that was the excitement entering a new country or shock of how fast and smooth it was, I just simply did not realise I was checked. My first stop in Bulgaria is a small town called Belogradchik. Not far from the Romanian and Serbian border. To get there however I have to fix one issue first. A petrol. My levels are crazy low. I can see a petrol station on my GPS approaching soon. Stop at the station, get off the bike, check the door for credit card sign. All works fine till the moment when petrol station guy tells me there is no way of paying with the card and he send off me to the first village. I get to the first village searching for an ATM. I ask locals and one guy directs me to 2 of them. Insert the card, enter the PIN code, select amount, confirm and… nothing happens. Well, luckily there is another one. Right in front of the police station. I park the bike on the main road hoping they will understand. A guy comes out from the bank looking at me and starts telling “no electricity, no electricity”. Me desperately telling him “no petrol, no petrol”. Haha like from a comedy we look at each other and everyone explaining his trouble. “you can wait for couple of hours if you want” the man says. A policeman comes closer telling me there is electricity in Belogradchik and a lot of petrol stations. Well, let’s pray this works out and I will make it all the way there. Arriving to Belogradchik beautiful scenery opens up in front of me. Still a little stressed my focus is rather on the GPS not to miss the turn for a petrol station. After that I quickly check booking.com for some accommodation and few minutes later I have the whole villa only for me. A young raper hands me the keys and wishes me a nice day. Well, no time to waste and off me go to see the rocks. My oh my. That place is just beautiful. It’s like a field of rocks in whatever shapes coming up from the ground. A beautiful fortress on the top of the rocks is offering an amazing view over the valley. It is also a perfect spot for me to take the drone out again and do some flying here. That will have to wait for tomorrow morning. First dinner time. I see a little corner place with some canteen style food so I step in and try to order. Haha, no language skills on both sides make this a lot of fun. At the end of all that hassle explaining and ordering both of us are very happy. Lady got her cash and I got some delicious bread loaded with all kind a stuff.
Next day morning I am spending with my first drone flights. The conditions are perfect. There are some clouds on the sky and it is not very hot yet. The scenery is beautiful and so I use up 2 batteries. Looking at google maps I see some kinda monument. My direction is clear now. From the main road I turn left to some kind of abounded road. First I am scared if there would be some dogs, but luckily there is nobody. Just me and a massive monuments rising up into the sky. Drone take number 2. The wind is a bit too strong so the options are slightly limited. Sun, as usually, is in the worst position for the photos, but I am getting used to this phenomenon. The next stop is another monument called Bezludzha. UFO style building on the top of the hill is a massive touristic attraction and a mecca for motorbike riders. Few hills before you can also see some monuments with a canons heading to Bezludzha. This place is absolutely insane and super cool for guess what… DRONE!!! Here I am meeting with a young German rider Max his blue Suzuki. He is heading the same way and then via Sant. Petersburg back to Germany. We are having a long conversation on our plans and even though our journeys split for now we know we will meet later. For now I am heading to Asenovgrad. Once reaching the city I am looking for an entrance for hotel when a young guy sees me confused and makes a “come here” gesto to me. “I am also a rider, how can I help you?” Halil asks. “Why do you want to stay in this hotel? Parking on the street is not safe here, let me call my friend”. Suddenly, Halil closes his store to take me to his friend, who is a hotel owner, and few minutes later I am accommodated in a huge place with a spectacular roof top. “Take a shower, have a rest and then call me; I am taking you for a dinner” he says and leaves
One hour later all 3 of us (Halil, Antonio – the hotel owner and myself) are sitting in a nice place downtown having a great food and chat. -“Are you in rush?” Antonio asks. -“No, not really” -“Ok, I will show you the city and you also need to see Plovdiv, will pick you at 9am” The next day Antonio is showing me around this beautiful small town and couple of hours later we end up in a church where his friends baptise their daughter. As a new member of the family I even get invited for a massive lunch to the restaurant. Amazing!!! My departure day has come and I feel very sad; almost with tears in my eyes leaving these amazing people who made me feel a part of their family. It is funny how fast one can get emotional travelling solo. The moment you open your heart and let the other enter and they do the same with for no reason, only feeling that it is the right way to do, things get deep. I heard it many times how difficult it can be leaving people you recently get to know. Now I feel it myself. Riding the road that was not recommended I am having a great time. Music is on and my brain is occupied by the surroundings. Beautiful roads through the mountains where there is almost nobody. The fields are full of animals and endless curvy roads. Those are unfortunately getting changed for a big potholes after few km and from my swift riding I shift down doing a slalom exercise. After a couple of hours I spend my last money in the petrol station, hide against the rain and plan the quick boarder crossing Bulgaria-Greece-Turkey. Quick is getting changed for a trouble when a greek officer cannot let me in as I looks like some troublemaker from Slovakia having the same name and birthday. After 30mins I am luckily free to continue to enter Turkey; first time ever.