Discovering the world on $20 per day ......................




Post 52: Bulgaria


We actually came into Greece before Bulgaria but as our adventures in Greece continue, I will discuss Bulgaria first.

I woke in my tent to glorious sunshine, camping only meters from the sea beside a Taverna where the owner had kindly allowed us to pitch our tents. Today we planned to go into Bulgaria and then to return to Greece. Our map showed a small road heading north from the town of Komotini towards the Bulgarian border where we would cross, .... and so we set off.

Using the compass and a little 'know-how-not', we moved north along roads that ran out of tarmac and reminded us very much of Albania. The signs for the small villages were all in Greek and did not appear on our map or Alan's SatNav, ..... but we kept onwards, always North. At a small village, knowing we were close to the Bulgarian border we stopped for water and asked at the local store for directions. We were ushered to the local mayor's office where it was clearly explained to us that although a route existed to the border, it was almost impassable and that it was impossible to cross into Bulgaria. On further questioning it was clear that a 'secret path' did exist and was known only to the locals, .... the mayor could not condone such entry into Bulgaria but was kind enough to sketch a small map to demonstrate the possibility, .. result.

The road became tarmac again as we slowly climbed high into the hills, avoiding donkeys, snakes and tortoise at every bend, ..... and then the tarmac stopped. The road became the most difficult yet but the Tigers performed well,.. even with tow knobs like Alan and myself doing our level best to crash at every opportunity the Triumphs saved our bacon on more than one occasion. We passed a military post where bored soldiers looked at us with suspicion and we turned east along an even rougher track for about 6Km following the roughly sketched map. Finally we spotted it, ..... amid a tangle of razor wire, the white skeins and posts that marked the border between the two nations. We consulted Alan's SatNav which had not shown a road for the past three hours but what it now clearly showed was that we straddled the border between Greece and Bulgaria. We had found the unofficial crossing point for those 'in the know' complete with hidden shelters no doubt erected by those awaiting the arrival of people who for whatever reason decide that it's better to travel without passports, .... we were beginning to feel like real travelers. With some effort we managed to ride the bikes across the border line and for the first time in Poor Circulation, .... we had illicitly entered another country.

After taking photos (which I will post once I find some wireless internet) we continued along the road inside Greece towards Kimi but the going became impossible and sadly, we admitted defeat and turned back.

Though we were never officially there, Bulgaria was the 20th Country on the Poor Circulation list and to prove we have been, .... Vodafone were kind enough to confirm the fact by sending us 'welcome to Bulgaria' messages on our mobile phones and the best news of all, .. we've crossed a border and no 'Taxes' were payable, .... fantastic.

3 comments:

Canada tiger said...

Great Story so far!!
Reading from Canada and enjoying your posts, you will travel close to me in time I am sure!!
Ride Safe!

Anonymous said...

umm you put tow haha
hannah x

Anonymous said...

You guys are great! I am loving reading your blogs and looking at your pictures, they are also really well written!

It makes my day at the office go so much quicker and with a smile on my face thinking of you guys. Great work.

Court on the Isle of Wight