Tuesday, 29 March 2011

It Has Been A Busy Weekend (part 2)

My apologies for being a day later than previously planned, but circumstances overtook us and we didn't get back until late. So where were we? That's one of the things that I have noticed since moving over here, I tend to lose all track of time and often have trouble remembering what day it is, but it is so nice not to have to live against the clock. Reading back over the previous blog, it was Ruse so that must have been Friday.

So on Saturday, it was the start of the motorcycle season, and there was a planned rally in VT between 12 and 2. Both Claire and Pete like bikes, and wanted to know if we would like to go, and not having anything planned we decided that we might as well. Thinking that the Arbanassi hill might be either closed off or chock a block, we took the old route into VT via Lyaskovets. We arrived in plenty of time, and were able to park quite close to Tsarevets square. We even had time for a coffee before heading towards the square. I have to admit that on seeing all of these bikes I hadn't quite realised that there were quite so many in Bulgaria, and this was just one of the rallies held across the country. Arbanassi hill was still open to traffic until about 10 minutes to midday, when Police started to wave their lollipop sticks about, then with a revving of engines and smoking tyres the bikes started to move off. So I don't know where the 12-2 o'clock came from, as no bikes returned and the Police reopened the road. We did have a stroll round the old town as I have been looking for a bell to hang at our front gate, the winter seems to kill the batteries in our wireless electronic doorbells. We did find a bell in an antique shop but they wanted 100 Leva for it, and no doubt some sticky fingered 'erbert would have had that away and sold it for scrap. So thanks but no thanks.

After a bite to eat in Gorna, we decided that we would try and find a more direct route between our 2 villages. Looking at the map it seemed possible, but as we were to find maps lie. Being prudent we put fuel in at Kamen, there was an awful racket coming from behind the petrol station and it seemed as though half of Kamen was there. Maybe it was a village celebration or a gypsy wedding, but the Chalga was so loud we didn't hang about to find out. At the start of our search all went quite well, we were heading in the right direction and managed to go between 2 villages where according to the map there wasn't a road. It wasn't until we got to the back of the 2nd village that I recognised where we were. We could have got through to Pete and Claire's village from there, if we were part Himalayan mountain goat, but it would involve a lot more buttock clenching for Claire. So we back tracked and took our normal route into Popovo, and had a very nice coffee. It was over coffee that we started idlely speculating about where a road went out of Medovina, we had all seen it in the distance going up over the hills. Maybe it would be easier to find a direct route going from Pete and Claire's end.

It was still daylight and no one had anything pressing to do, so just out of interest we all decided to see where it went as once again it didn't seem to appear on our maps. We found the start of the road easily enough, and there was an EU sign there which we took as a good omen. Once again we seemed to be travelling in the right direction, and the road surface was not potholed, an added bonus. The road wound up and down the hillsides, and the views were spectacular, apart from when it was obscured by smoke from burning stubble in the fields. On and on the road led and into a village at the top of a hill, where we found the missing potholes. Luckily the potholes were short lived as we soon ran out of tarmac too, and we were back  onto village lanes, a car overtook us being driven in the typical Bulgarian fashion, so we decided to follow in his tyre tracks. So weaving from side to side and trying to drive on the best bit of 'road' we found ourselves at the other end of the village and confronted by a herd of sheep and goats. We allowed them to pass and turned round ourselves, then followed them back through the village. Goats and sheep peeling off left and right, then waiting patiently for gates to be opened for them when they arrived home. Through gaps in the houses Net had spotted another road running parallel, so we turned onto that and once again made our way to the end of the village. The road started off ok'ish but soon degenerated and got progressively worse, at one point Pete was concerned that he might have damaged his sump as it ground along the 'road'. At least it was getting so bad that the 'road' was actually getting better, there were still power lines running off to somewhere further down the road so we deduced that there had to be something at the end of it all.

We were right. It was a big field with some tumble down buildings, and some form of compound right up on top of the hill, but the views were absolutely stunning. Typically I didn't have my camera with me, but I'm sure that we will return there, maybe in the summer, as it will give Net something else to paint.

Part 3 will be following tomorrow, hopefully :o)

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