Trip Start Feb 20, 2006
52Trip End Feb 18, 2007
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today i went out to a place called the rila monastery, which is this gorgeous monastery out in the mountains in the south of bulgaria
after the monastery we headed up into the mountains to have a wander around. i point blank refuse to wear anything but my thongs at the moment, so i had insisted that i would be absolutely fine hiking the mountains in my thongs. it worked in greece. so we headed off, and it was all fine for a while - we wandered up to another church in the mountains, which had a cave behind it - the story was that if you could fit through the hole at the top of the cave, you were not a sinner. happily, the hole was quite big, so we all passed that test, as did my thongs. the whole place was also full of old bulgarian pilgrims - it was crazy, these 70 and 80 year olds were hiking up this rocky hill and crawling through a cave, then going back down, with no broken bones in sight.
then we headed further up the mountain. the path we were following turned into a track, and the track turned into a goat track, and then that just kinda turned into a line of trampled dirt, that maybe one goat had walked along. anyway, one of the guys insisted that there was good stuff at the top, so we kept climbing and climbing and climbing
anyway, we made it to a point at which we all decided there was absolutely nothing more to see, and then had to negotiate our way back down. they laughed at me when i started descending on my bum, but eventually everyone came around - we had a line of us all going down the side of the mountain on our arses - must have looked pretty ridiculous, but it was SO steep.
when we got down we were completely covered in dirt, my feet were just black, and my face wasn't much better. so we washed it all off in this spring, where the story goes your skin will turn red if you are a sinner. me and one of the english girls went bright red and itchy - i have no idea what was in the water, but it was such a weird reaction. it went away after about 10 minutes, but it was weird.
so now i am in sofia for another day, and then will head off on the 8 hour bus ride to belgrade :s