Wednesday, July 16, 2008

A busy busy day

Day 44 Varna to Aheloy

Just like the old saying it never rains but it pours. Today was one of those types of days. So, this is going to be a long story and I just hope that you have the patient to get though it all. If you don’t, well that’s ok I understand.

With that disclaimer out of the way we started out of Varna with a group ride cross the big bridge which connects one side of the harbour with the other. These group rides are sure great for ensuring that everyone gets out of or into the city ok. After we reached the out skirts of Varna we were cut loose and started the big climb out of the harbour area to the surrounding highlands. It was about 12 kms to the top of the hill and I had drunk one of my bottles of water by time I reached the main highway south. After turning south the main highway was good but no shoulders and with a huge amount of traffic. Jim is about 200 m in front of me and Jaco is about 100 m behind me. Then this old Dacia (Romanian version of Renault 12) which is travelling in our direction decided to do a u-turn in the middle of the road and was nailed by an on coming Jetta. The Dacia’s rear end is totally collapsed and it is punched across the road and into this deep ditch. The Jetta winds up in the opposite ditch with it’s nose punched in. There are two loose propane bottles in the Dacia one of which is on the road blowing propane up the other is under the Dacia in the ditch blowing propane. Jim never hears any of this and rides on. I hear the wreck and turn around and Jaco jams on his brakes to avoid the flying wreckage. Juerg rides up and he and I try to get the driver of the Dacia out but the door is jammed and he isn’t moving. The propane is so thick you can’t breathe in the hole the Dacia is in, so we bail out. About 20 minutes later the driver of the Dacia comes around and releases the door lock and Glen climbs down and helps the driver out. Five seconds earlier and I would have been in the wreck, five seconds later and Jaco would have been in the wreck. Clearly the Gods were smiling on Jaco and I.

After lunch we started the big climb of the day which took us across this big head land. The climb is suppose to be 12 kms long but I thought that it was more like 17 because there were two good climbs before we got to the main assent. At any rate I am not quite half way up when I spot this family of wild pigs eating figs. The figs have fallen from the wild fig tree trees which line the highway. Bulgarian wild pigs are extremely rare and are never seen, as they are very reclusive. However there they are two adults and two infants. They are so intent on eating the figs I was able to get right up and get some pictures. I was the only rider to see the pigs. What a great treat.

At the half way point is a tiny town which had a store which sold ice cold water. I purchase a huge bottle drank half and poured half over myself as it was 35+ C and the sun was beating down. After I reached the summit and began the ride down the view of the next set of harbours and the ancient city of Nesebar were unbelievable. I stopped at this view point were there were some German kids on holidays and we talked and took pictures was really fun. The Black Sea was so pretty and the development along the sea stretched for miles. They are developing the coast as fast as they can and there are hundreds of billboards (in English) advertizing ocean side condos from 350 euros/sq meter (something less than $50/sqft)

Nesebar was constructed on this little isthmus by the Greeks/Phoencians a couple of thousand years ago and just about everyone else since then. It is 3 kms off the highway so I elected to ride out to see the ruins. The 3 kms out is nothing but vendors selling stuff to the tourists and the city itself has some ruins and a museum which I didn’t go into as there was no place to lock my bike, and thousands of vendors selling everything under the sun. Very touristy and fun.

By time I get back to the highway the afternoon traffic is over the top and totally nerve wracking. Thankfully I have only 5 kms to go. I was glad to get to the hotel which is brand new. I don’t think any one had ever slept in the room. The remote for the TV and air conditioner were still in plastic. It was a glorious place. Fred and I sat on the patio and ordered hot appetizers off the menu. We had beef tongue, chicken hearts, plate of olives, humus, mushrooms and bead all for less than 14.00 lev ($11.00) total. Besides being dirt cheap it was really excellent.

Later at supper Olivia is dishing up supper to the riders. He puts one slice of sausage and a bunch of sauce on my pasta. So, I said can I have some more, so he puts one cube of chicken which is about 1” square and more sauce on my plate. I said come on how about a decent serving. John says its’ ok there is lots. Olivia puts one mushroom slice on my plate and more sauce. In disgust I dumped my plate into the pot and headed for the restaurant. Six others followed my lead.

The patio restaurant was filling with locals and while we were eating, a guy with a keyboard and a lady sing showed up and started to play. We get up and start to dance, well now the party is on. We are ordering beers and food and the whole place is just jumping. The band didn’t speak a word of English but were doing all these American rock songs. The hotel owner is out dancing with us and telling everyone welcome our Canadian visitors. The party goes until 11:00 when the restaurant closes. It was a total blast.

So ended a long hot day of 114 kms.

Thanks for sticking with me, thanks for visiting, and thanks for your comments.


1 comment:

Roadkill a.k.a. Don said...

What happen to my portion of these meals? I'm back to work OMG!!! Where did the time go? Still black and blue from my fall. C U Soon