Saturday, 14 June 2014

Mud On The Road

It seemed like only two weeks ago we were looking forward to the end of the rain. Then the sun came out and everything looked to be heading towards summer again. The day time temperatures were going up into the 30s, there were blue skies and the sun shone all day. Then someone mentioned the up coming weather, and once again it looks like the rain will be putting in an appearance. At least with the temperatures it should be warmer rain, but I do wonder just when summer will actually get a chance to start. Perhaps it is a plot to let us football fans spend some quality time in front of the TV watching the World Cup.

The ground has only just started to dry out from the previous downpours. With the extra moisture in the soil and then the heat, the humidity has increased to various degrees of stickiness, and it has really boosted the numerous weeds. When it was raining you couldn't get out to do anything about them, when the rain finished the mud took on the characteristics of super glue. As there had been so much rain, many of the seedlings were washed away from their trenches, into what is probably now a mixed vegetable patch. Also the upper surface of the mud became smooth, and we now have a crust an inch thick. As you can see from the photo we are not the only ones in the village to have these problems with the vegetable patch.

The other afternoon while we were up under the barn, hiding out of the way of the sun, I could hear strange mechanical noises in the distance. I did remember reading on a local Facebook group, that the stretch of road, which I refer to as Bomb Alley, is due to be repaired. So being the inquisitive sort I thought photos might come in handy for a blog at some stage. I grabbed my camera and headed out of the gate, turned round and came back for some fresh batteries and then once again I set off. It didn't take me too long to work out that the noises were coming from the wrong direction for it to be Bomb Alley. I decided that as I was out I might as well go and have a look anyway, as it's only a 10 minute walk away.

As I wandered up the hill, there are fields on one side and woodland on the other. Through a gap in the hedgerow I was able to see that the rain had done some damage to a wheat field. Well it might also have been barley or corn, but you get the gist of it. If it is wheat, then we can expect to see the price of bread and flour going up. It might not look that bad, but the main problem is with the humidity which can cause a mildew like growth. In effect it can mess up a whole crop. In some areas we have noticed that they are harvesting already, and ploughing the fire breaks ready for burning the stubble.

As I continued to climb the hill I noticed that there were signs that the mud had escaped from the fields and run down the road towards the village. The next field which I passed had been planted up with Sunflowers. It was possible to see where a lot of the smaller sunflower plants had been washed away. It was similar to the gardens but on a much larger scale. It must have been like a river running through the field as once again there was a smooth crust which had formed. We have been breaking the crust up in the garden, just to allow the rain a chance to soak into the ground rather than end up who knows where. As to how the farmers will tackle this problem I have no idea. By now I had been walking for 20 minutes and I still hadn't got to the top of the hill. It never seems quite so far when you are driving, but I do know that it is quite a constant climb.

I finally made it to the top pf the hill, and the drop down to Bomb Alley is between trees, so provided some welcome shade. Bomb Alley is down in a dip, and as I got closer it was clear to see that there had also been problems with this large field of sunflowers. It was possible to see where the surface water had cut a swathe through the plants. Not only that it had also crossed the road to go into the lower field. I have since learnt from the villagers that the road itself was 2 feet deep in stinking sticky mud. It was so bad that it even made the BTV news.

One thing which I did discover is that there is actually a drainage culvert, but it seems as though it was pretty ineffective. The worrying thing is that previously it had been hidden by vegetation, and on a few occasions I have moved over to allow a vehicle to pass going the other way. Looking on the bright side all of the trenches and craters have now been filled in by mud. So that will cause problems when they actually get round to doing the repairs. I do have to admit that this road has been getting progressively worse over the last six years. It has now been reduced to a single track .

Tractors and farm machinery, not to  mention the village bus have driven over this mud track further compressing it. So the track now resembles a Scalextrix circuit, with mud kerbing to prevent any deviation, and a mud crown in the centre. The crown proves a problem for normal vehicles as their sub frames and exhausts rub along it. With the additional rain which we are now expecting it could cause even more problems down there. While it is dry it just creates huge dust clouds which get everywhere, but this fine dust when added to rain will soon become mud again.


  1. We can't do anything to change the weather, but the roads -is possible to remake. But not now....It's a real problem and I think it alaways going to be.So we are weating for the rain again and for more and more mud...

    1. As someone pointed out to me yesterday the infrastructure just isn't here, which is one reason why so many people are moving away from villages and the village way of life. I did read that one MP has ideas about repopulating villages, but we shall see what happens there.

  2. There is a road repair program in place funded by the EU, our local road between Oresh and Balgarene was completely renewed last year cutting a whopping 20 minutes off an airport run to Sofia despite that stretch only being 25km long.

    I was convinced before the renewal that the Bulgarian Roads Agency was actually digging holes up from other roads and transplanting them on that stretch, some pot holes were that big you actually had to treat them like Roundabouts Lol

    1. I am sure that some of the pot holes are being carefully cultivated before being exported