Off Roadýng.. Velkas to Malko Tarnovo
Trip Start Apr 02, 2008
47Trip End Jul 20, 2008
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Best bit: Huge national park (1200km of it)
Worst bit: hot!
Looking at my map I had two choices on how to reach the Turkish border today (a) via a big red road (b) via small windy village backroads
Red roads in Bulgaria are invariably mini motorways. The associated terror levels with these (for a self-confessed softie like myself) are much like a ride at Alton Towers with no safety belts. The alternative to the red road involved long detours on that that seemed to pass every mountain peak between here and Gallipolli. The villages looked so remote that probably the only annual visitor was the Grim Reaper
So, as I ground my way along the backroads I was increasingly flagged down by friendly locals who said "stop" go no further, road head "gone". Of course I ignored them all. So, lo and behold the road got narrower and narrower, with more trees growing in the tarmac until, sob, it simply disappeared. Some friendly guys grazing their pigs directed me to a dirt track that really was off road. cobbles, rocks and mud. A medieval farm forsest track. uphill. I put on my helmet and was very glad I was on my mountain (as opposed to roadie) bike.
The irony was, that eventually, a couple of sweaty and bumpy hours later, I popped out of the forest onto the red road. It was big, fast and devoid of any traffic.
My overnight stop on the border in Malko Tarnovo turned out to be a brand new hobby hotel built by the local architect. I had a dip in the pool, watch a bit of telly on the plasma tv in my room, sat in the garden with a beer while the sun set. Bliss. And all for £30.