After being super lazy and sleeping in til 7:30 (okay so technically its 6:30 since we just had a time change…We are SO jetlagged) we had a few cups of coffee and were on our way. Leaving Sofia took as long as it did to get in, the city is huge! On our way out we had an encounter with the evil dogs we had heard about and this hound from the baskervilles wanted our blood, our legs were pumping like little turbines we were so desperate to put him behind us. After that little episode to ensure we were properly awake the mountains loomed before us… We reeeeeally didn’t want to go through another day of burning thighs (so hot you could fry an egg 😉 so we decided to just maybe…try out the highway… Hmmmmm, so maybe not the brightest idea but trucks versus mountains was a tough choice. Our hands are now fixed into a permanent claw shape from gripping our handle bars so tightly, the road itself has a hard shoulder but its the exits that are the worst and Anna pretty much saved my life after shouting out a warning when a truck was exiting and I had just started to cross the very same exit. After about 30km we decided to try out the old road since we had passed the worst of the mountains. Weeell there is a reason it is called the OLD road it was without ANY doubt the worse road we have ever been on, in some parts the tarmac just dropped away and there were more potholes than road. Add to this the fact that our host the night before had regaled us with tales of man eating bears and so at every turn we expected to be mauled. And cars? Not a single one, I wonder why? So we bit the bullet and when we heard the moterway we snuck back on lifting our bikes over the barrier and breathing a sigh of relief that we only had trucks to worry about.
After about 30 more km we took our exit only to find out that there was nowhere to stay in the town we had planned on spending the night. So we pushed on, the scenery was amazing, waterfalls, steep cliffs and bridges spanning canyons but we were tired and then it started to rain…
Finally just when we started to worry that we would never find a place we saw a sign and were led down to a beautiful little house with the cutest rooms and clean spacious bathrooms and only 5 euro each… I am sitting outside, its dark now, the crickets are chirping, I am surrounded by grapes and tomatoes, and I am happy to be alive.
Its the Halfway point people!