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Climbing our way closer to the boarder to Greece and Turkey

What a nice evening we’ve had here at the Makaza Complex, just outside Momchilgrad. Friendly people, good company by my mom and a nice skype conversations with our family home. It’s early morning and we’re ready for breakfast. Todays plan is a short day towards Krumovgrad.

20140920_135904We’re sitting at the breakfast table at this beautiful resort. It’s beautiful weather and you can see them making preparations for a wedding that will be celebrated today.

It’s time to back our bag, to leave the room and to start cycling. We’ve seen the beautiful wedding couple from the window. They are walking around with a professional photographer.

On the road. We are cycling towards Momchilgrad. It’s only 5Km to this small town. One car is stopping ahead of us and are showing us a signal for us to stop. What now? I can see that it’s a driving school car. I guess my moms head is thinking of other options. Two guys are waiting for us on the road side. They don’t speak a word english. We understand that they are interested in the bicycles and the trailers. I show 20140920_092849them how it works by disconnecting my trailer and connecting it again. They are smiling, and we’re using finger language, name of places and things like this to answer them about where we are cycling. They thanked us and continued their driving lesson….BULGARIA! 🙂

We’re cycling into Momchilgrad. It seems like a poor but friendly place. People are smiling in the streets and you feel some type of happiness. There were people selling their products from their farms. Paprika, tomatoes and peas, among others. One women is waiving with her hand to us while smiling. We turn around and stop there to buy something. My mother walks over and are looking at what she got. She chooses some peas and paprikas. She wanted to leave some money for the lady and wanted to pay for the products. This friendly woman rejected, she didn’t want the money from my smiling mother. She wanted a hug and a smile. My mom tried again to give some money, but understood quickly that this is a friendly person who loves the feeling that we stopped at her place with a smile on our mouth. My mom gives her a hug, one kiss on the cheeks and we’re ready to leave.

You get a good feeling after something like this. Everyone seems so friendly. People are different then what they were 1-2 weeks ago. I can’t say that they weren’t friendly then, but it’s different now. The traffic is nicer to us, it seems like they are respecting us, they are waiting behind us until it’s safe. Of course you have a couple of the guys who just seems like they want to play lottery with their and others lifes, but most of them are nice.

IMG_3742The road is back to normal when we’re cycling out of Momchilgrad, we’re heading directly into a climb. We are familiar with this and are fully prepared. It’s not much traffic at all. We’re cycling next to each other and are singing along to the music. The cows are walking along the road, no fence or anything between us. I asked my mother if we should call «Tya» and tell him to come get his cows which are loose. (Internal comment for Fitjar people)

The view in the mountain side is beautiful. Especially when you get further up. You can see the landscape far away in the horizont. We’re both strong when climbing. It’s not going fast, but it’s going steady and with a smile, which is the most important of all. Who cares about time? We’re controlling everything ourself.

Finally over the first top, about 660 meters above sea level. It’s beautiful! The weather is perfect, warm and we are just enjoing life at the moment.

We’re ready for some downhill. It’s beautiful and the feeling of getting some wind is really nice! But just to let you know, there will never be complaining about the heat from us…WE LOVE IT!

20140921_091342Getting closer to Krumovgrad. I’ve seen it from distance for a while. We have no expectations of what we will meet. We’ve seen pictures of the hotel and it seems nice.

Cycling into the centre of this small town. You get a feeling that this is a small town, poor people and my first thought is that I wouldn’t go around here alone after dark. But you know that even in Oslo they tell you to be careful after dark.

I’m following my GPS and google maps into a weird area. You can see old containers, people wearing clothes that we normally would throw away or maybe use for cleaning in the garage since they are so worn out. People are drinking while they are doing some work. You can see the garbage laying in the streets. Is it an old market place? There are some fields on the side of the hotel, they are full of trash, it’s covered. My mother asks me if I’m cycling in wrong direction. I’ve seen the hotel from distance, I know that this is correct. We stop outside and are looking at each other. You can see a beautiful, brand new hotel on your left side. On your right side you have everything I just described, dirty, trash, garbage, drunk people and everything you don’t want to have there.

Are we really gonna stay here?

IMG_3776A friendly guy comes out of the hotel. At least he seems friendly. He doesn’t speak a word english. What a contrast. We decide to stay here. We decide that this is a part of the experience and most likely a night we will never forget.

At the hotel we are met by 3-4 really friendly people. The hotel seems brand new and looks really beautiful. We’re allowed to take our bicycles inside. The room is amazing. Brand new light laminat on the floors, new furnitures and in other words just perfect. When you look out the window you get the feeling of a war zone again. It seems like the place have never been cleaned up by anyone.

We’re ready for a calm evening here in Krumovgrad. After a meal and some skype conversations, we are walking back to the hotel. We put the beds together and are watching some idols and a movie. How nice, just to relax in the room….

Tomorrow will be a new experience. We’ve booked a room at a vineyard. They are expecting us and we have no idea of whats waiting for us. I hope we are surprised with a beautiful location, beautiful old buildings and friendly people. I want to eat a perfectly done beef with grilled vegetables and a local wine from this vineyard…Will I be disappointed? I hope not!

Mammas litla klatrehjørne:
Komme i mål på min 3 fantastiske dag 🙂 det vart ca 4mil idag i eit heilt fantastisk sommer vær. Det starta med ein ganske lang oppoverbakke i dag, men eg må bare smile og ta ett trakk om gangen. Eg har lova meg sjøl at eg ikkje skal klage på at det er tungt i tanke på alle mila Stian har lagt bak seg.

Bulgaria, eg får så mange intrykk, blanda intrykk! Fatigdom, lukter, lyder,falleferdige hus og biler. Smilande, vinkande fantastiske folk. Stoppa på ein bensinstajon, me tegnspråk og litt rusten engelsk så holdt me preiken i gang med fleire nydelige folk 🙂 Bilene har svinga godt utenom oss ingen stygge situasjoner i dag. Kjenne etterkvart at eg føler meg tryggerer for kvar dag som går og det føles godt.

Me sykla forbi eit par damer som satt og solgte div ferske grønsaker, me måtte jo bare stoppe. Eg plukka meg litt sukkererter og ein IMG_3741paprikka, som dama la i ein pose. Tok fram penger til å betale. Den følelsen da den fattige dama nekta å ta imot penger, tok meg i handa og smilte. Eg har egentlig ikkje ord men eg vart rørt. Me ga kvarandre kyss på begge kinn og sa hade med sleng kyss til hjarta 🙂  Eg har tenkt masse på dette i dag, penger er ikkje alt, men eit godt hjarta er jo så mykje viktigare <3

Me har hatt ein del oppover i dag som sagt men det kommer jo alltid ein nedoverbakke etterpå, og det er jo litt kjekt. Eg er ikkje bygd for fart og spenning, så eg kjører ganske kontrolert og trygt. Ner mot Krumovgrad der me bur i natt, va vei standaren ganske rusten. Har rett og slett fått gratis rumpemasasje 🙂

I går hadde eg litt luksus følelse som eg skreiv.Veit ikkje heilt til å beskrive den følelsen da me sykla blant boss, falleferdige bygninger, sigøynere mot vårt Hotell. Eg trudde heilt ærlig at Stian leda meg på feil plass, men mitt i alt kaoset låg det eit lite koselig Hotell. Me såg på kvarandre og lurte på om me skulle stikke av, men hjelpe meg så godt me blei tatt imot. Reint og fint, pynta med blomster og fint rom. Eg får sjå plasser som eg aldri hadde komme til å fått sitt om eg hadde vert på ein vanlig chartetur. Ville ikkje bytta ditta imot noko som helst 🙂 NOK EIN FANTASTISK NYDELIG SYKKELDAG 🙂

Picture album from todays ride:

GPS Data from todays ride:

About Stian Torland

Elsker turer, utfordringer og fysiske aktiviteter. Har gjort det til ein livsstil å utfordre andre til ting de normalt ikkje ville gjort. Driver Challenge4you.com som er et nettsted som skriver om turer, eventyr og utfordringer. Mine fullførte utfordringer og hovedmål: *Nordkapp-Lindesnes: 2700Km, tid: 18 dager - 2011 *Danmark-Italia: 2500Km, tid: 18 dager - 2012 *Trondheim-Oslo: 542Km, tid: 22t 55m - 2013 *The Iron Curtain Trail: 10000Km, tid: ca 4mnd - 2014