One More Crazy Tour
One more crazy tour …. Not only my English, my Bulgarian is so poor to
describe this tour as well.
I have thought much about what to write about this tour, but I cannot find out words … it seems I have not words … it must be seen … it must be experienced … The only thing I will say is that the best would be, if we repeat it some day …
Saul & Jackie
Here is Jackie's article about the tour. THANK YOU JACKIE !!!!!!!
A bicycle tour through Bulgaria interested me for a few reasons:
One, as a general rule, I am most interested in natural surroundings and wild beauty versus large metropolitan cities.
Two, I seek vacations and adventures that are new, have a physical element to them (hiking or biking) and are unique.
When I researched this trip, the mountain region, thermal pools (water is a draw for me) and simplicity were important elements to my decision to go on this adventure. Additionally, when I read through all of the summaries for the guide, Boris Borisov, and also looked at his online photos and descriptions, I could get a sense that he loved nature, was not materialistic and was very proud of showing his country in an unique way to bicyclists that would appreciate his world. I think the clincher for me was reading his comment about how he thought one of his groups rode too fast. That they should slow down and enjoy the riding without racing through it. I love that concept. I am a slow rider and like to take my time to think about things and also see as much as I can from the bike.
So, how did this all start?
I had ridden through the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania) the summer prior with Liz, Saul and another woman. I liked the Eastern European countries and was getting more exposure to them through my relationship with Saul. We talked about different places to go in 2014 and Bulgaria came up because it was a country Saul had not yet been to. Over time, more countries were added, but to me, just Bulgaria and the simplicity stuck. Through online searching for guides and route ideas, Saul found Boris' website and contacted him to possibly be our guide. As the trip started to take shape, I read all of the trip info and guest summaries Boris had posted. I had a pretty good sense of the flavor of his adventures, his style and it appealed on all levels. Not personally having a grasp on the language, I also liked the idea of a native guide who could help with all of the logistics, plan the route and also spoke English well so that our communication would be in good shape as we ventured into some of the more obscure areas of the country and towns.
Boris is a remarkable guide. I think he has a very good sense of people and how to interact with many different personalities. I was appreciative of his ability to guide this particularly challenging group through a week of amazing beauty and provide each one of us with his attention and make it all seem seamless. Boris showed us gems each day: wonderful thermal pools, mountain parks, reservoirs, scenery and local flavors/hospitality that we would never had found on our own. And the best part was that he loved these areas and it showed. Additionally, he met each crazy challenge (logistics, travel plan changes, varying rider paces, etc.) with calm and always ended the day with a smile for us. I loved listening to him talk about his country and learned a great deal about Bulgaria's history and the challenges that face that country today. I also loved meeting Maja, Boris' daughter, who was a joy to bike alongside of and talk endlessly about all sorts of things. She was a big help at the first part of our trip when our group all came together from other locations.
You can see the route on Boris' site. I will not add the actual route details for that reason. Sofia is a very easy city to fly in/out of. I can say the actual bike route was a perfect route offering a variety of flat, hilly, mountains, thermal pools, large/small towns, great quiet roads to ride on, roads through sunflower fields, quarries, reservoirs, etc. and very safe. The mountain bikes we used were perfect for the various road conditions. The timing of the year (early September) still offered relatively good long day light and warmer weather. Another few weeks and we would have hit the colder winter weather, so early September seemed to be a good time to ride there.
Waking each day to bicycle on quiet roads, overlooking amazing lakes, biking next to Boris when he took a turn on a bike, swimming in huge thermal pools that were so large I thought I might get lost in them, eating shopska salad every day, meeting Bulgarians who were incredibly friendly and smiled so sweetly, seeing how the country was preparing for winter with potato gathering, wood chopping/stacking, laughing with Maja, being surprised every day with a new adventure, hiking in a pretty meadow overlooking Yagodina, eating the most amazing trout I have ever eaten and meeting the stuffed, gun slinging foxes!
|Fred & Keri|
|Bart & Sandie|
A part of our dialog in facebook :)))))))))))))))))))))
Liz Parmer There is my bike!!!! Hey Boris. The lower gears don't work !!!!!! Lol you made it so hard for me on those hills except for the last Km of that long hill when you fixed it for a bit !!!! I know I am a power rider but low gears on those hills would help !!!!
Boris Bob You had to tell me Liz … its adjustment is very easy to be done …
Liz Parmer How many times Boris???? Lol!!!! You were just building character and leg muscles!!!
Boris Bob OPSSSSSSSSSSS ... I did not understand it before the last hill ...
Liz Parmer I guess it was my Bulgarian you didn't understand lol !!!!
Boris Bob hhahh .... :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
Boris Bob :))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))))
|I and Maya|