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           The Craziest Tour      

       The craziest tour …. Not only my English, my Bulgarian is so poor to describe this tour as well.

       Near Christmas 2003 Marty asked me if really it is possible to do a tour in my country – the president of his club forwarded him our offer with an opinion of it – maybe it is a joke, but knowing that Marty likes jokes, over more he likes adventures too, why not, let him try it.

        Very soon we reached an agreement about our tour and if I have to be outspoken,  I was a little afraid - this group was big – Marty and his daughter Laura, Ann and her uncle Steve, adding me and Maya – we will be 6 – up to now we were no more than 4; another, very big  differences in ages and bicycling possibilities …. But Marty assured me they have not problems between them, so the tour will be possible. 


       Well, at the 12th of May 2004 me and Maya welcomed them at the Sofia airport. Only Steve’s bike came with the same flight, another 3 bikes arrived two days later due to the perfect organization in British Airways behaving in this case just like Bulgarian ones. Never mind, it saved us 2 days bicycling in the rain, so we had enough time to walk in Sofia, mountains near Pernik, and the team after these days was a homogenous one, I was already knowing we will spend very exciting time together.

       Here I will not describe everything happened to us all those days – it is done very well in Ann’s blog:


          I'd want it, but no possible such a tour to be repeated, it was an unique one. I will only say after this tour many new wrinkles have appeared on my face caused by the permanent smiling and laughing – so funny time we had. All they had sights for humorous things surrounding us everywhere, often words were not necessary, all we began to laugh having in mind the same things.  We spent a wonderful time visiting remote places, small villages, camping in the wilderness and for this season I believe we had a great chance with the weather.

   STEVE …… My Dear Steve!


       Your quiet and silent presence in our noisy and crazy group was so important! You were the Wise one, our group needed so much!

        Well, I felt that in the months of tour arranging Steve was a little afraid that maybe this group is not for him, but I believe that in the very beginning of our tour he saw everything will be o.k. 

           Yes, all the time he behaved  just like experienced sportiest! I remember the 4th day of our tour, we had to overcome a steep 18 mile long hill parting Rila and Pirin mountains (the highest mountains in the region - 9000+ feet high). He did it having ONLY 3 short relax stops each lasting no more than 5 minutes, keeping a steady state heart pulse-rate all the time.  AMAZING !!!

           Of course sometimes both we preferred to walk up the hills discussing interesting subjects and only to save appearances we had to simulate we were so ashamed.

           Steve, you are ALWAYS welcome to bicycle with us !!!  


           And long time I was hesitating to put here your letter to me and in the end I did it, it really was of great importance for me and Maya all you to spend in Bulgaria a great time!

            Dear Borislav,

            I’m finely home safely in Florida after spending a few days in Washington, D.C. visiting a good friend. Our tour in Bulgaria was a wonderful experience and it will always be one of the high points of my life. I still haven’t quite adjusted to sleeping in a real bed again! I may have to set up my tent in the living room for a few days so I can adjust. You and Maya were both wonderful hosts and feel that I’ve made two new close friends after all the experiences we shared together. (Hope you make good use of the pedal wrench that Ann sent to you from the airport).

            I’m sure Ann and the others are missing both of you just as much as I am. Bulgaria is a beautiful and fascinating country and thanks to you we were able to see it in a way most tourists can’t. I’ll never forget the path down the hill from Rozhen monastery and the many other memorable times as such as the night at the bus shelter! You are truly an extraordinary person and I hope that sometime in the future we gat a chance to see each other again either in Bulgaria or here in our country. Happy cycling this summer and hope Maya’s aths studies are going well!

           My best wishes,


 Laura ….. this girl …… !

        I am so sorry I was not able to pay you more attention, but you were always at the head of the group! And please, forgive me for my little lies that no more hills for today, or the end of the hill is just behind the turn in front of us ….. but you must know, it really was of the greatest importance for me that you and Maya were with me. The tour without both you could be not the same for me.

            Yes, that girl is not like another girls her age. In fact along the roads in Bulgaria this month there were only 2 girls on bikes – Laura and Maya.  And evenings she always helped me for dinner preparing, while all another were still struggling with luggage and tents.  I wish you success in your art studying! And next time you come here, take with you Leslie, I am sure, she will like to do such a tour with us! 

   Aaaann !!!! Where are youuuuuu !!!!

        The last day of our tour me, Marty and Ann headed towards Sofia airport by our bikes (another used the train). So Ann and Marty (carrying all their luggage on bikes) run towards Sofia averaging 25 miles/hour, I had to follow them. There is a 5 mile hill separated Pernik and Sofia and just before I  die climbing by that supersonic speed, a package unhook from  Ann’s bike, so while she fixed it back on the bike, I succeeded to breathe in and survived again …….

         Well, Ann came here intending to change herself, why it was necessary I have never understood - her company was so pleasant!, but if she wanted to do it – why not! If our tour helped her to do it, it means the tour was successful for her. Maybe in my offer page I have to include “if you need to change yourself – it is the tour you need!”.  Yes, there were not impossible things for Ann – to walk along very narrow steep track between sands pyramids near Melnik town jumping over precipices or you can see her sitting at the edge of the high old bridge.

         Ann, in Pirin mountain there is a special place 9000 feet high – so called “the Horse” – a mile long edge between 2 peaks having very narrow track on it (half foot wide only and deep precipices left and right). There was a steel rope there, walkers hold it going on the edge, I have heard gypsies stole it for scrap, next time you come here, both we will visit this place. Do you want? 


         I have more than 400 photos of our tour, but I can not find a Marty’s photo shows this men at rest – he was only on his bike staying right on pedals almost all the time, especially up the hills – it was OBLIGATORY for him! Never mind on his bike  were attached at least 60 pounds of luggage, he always bicycled several times each hill, while some of us (you can see two of them above) were crawling up the hill. 

I can say, I have never bicycled with so strong bicyclist and thanks to some people of the group I survived this time :) . 

      Well, it is not a joke now, it will be a pleasure for me to do a heavy off road tour with him in the wilderness – I know several appropriate routs in my country to do it, only he has to promise me he will be patient with me, waiting for me on the top of the hill.  I believe, one day we will do it! I really want it!

Several photos now

We walk in mountains near Pernik town waiting for bikes. Bikes are here and the tour can begin. A little church near road.
So nice to have a coffee time! Old homes in Bansko town. Plovdiv train station–we will take on the train to Burgas town.

  A wine testing evening near the Black sea beach.


        Ann is so proud! Her luggage is packed and fixed on the bike, all another are still struggling with it. (I think the evening before she did not unpacked it and slept on the grass this night in other to be first in the morning).              →

A walk in Varna town. A customary view ... Marty is on the top, Ann follows him, but we ......

Hotel “Bus shelter”– Marty is still sleeping on the bench - it is really a comfortable bed.

The same place early in the morning

Interesting place – short but very deep river gorge.

The tour ends happy. All we feel the best!

March 2010 … 6 years latter

Ann and Uncle Steve are hiking in the mountains – they are in perfect physical shape !!!

AAAAAAAAAnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn !!!! BG is call you!


Ah ... Ann has a new green jacket ... :)))