Finally the day is here, I’m gonna cycle to Smolyan to meet my mother. She’s ready to cycle with me to the sea side of Bulgaria. I just have to climb a few mountains first, I’m climbing my way up to 1700 meters above sea level today.

20140917_123343I’m waking up with a good feeling. I’m ready for breakfast, ready for a hard day on the bike and extremely ready to meet my mother in Smolyan. Imagine that she’s actually joining me on my adventure.

The breakfast is 2 pieces of bread, a small omelette and an espresso. I must admit that I miss the choice, I miss to be able to have a real breakfast, maybe something more than 2 pieces of bread?

I’m finished with the blog post. I’ve called my mother and confirmed that she’s in the car on the way to Smolyan. I’m ready to start. It’s just 75Km and loads of mountains in the way.

20140917_123859The road goes directly into some climbs, there’s not much to see, but you can’t expect a beautiful scenery at all places. I’m not counting hight meters at all today, I know that I will cycle over the highest mountain of the trip. Today it’s the kilometers that is in focus.

After 19 kilometers I start cycling downhill. I am fully aware that the climbs will start after 10-15 kilometers more. The road is going down the valley, a beautiful valley. You can see the huge mountains around you, there’s no place to hide, you can’t cycle around them.

I’m stopping at a gas station to buy a few red bull, I’m not sure if I need them, but why take the chance?

IMG_3639Ready for the mountains, ready for the climb that will take me to Smolyan. I know that it will be downhill all the way when I reach the top, but it’s about 35Km to the top. Who will get to Smolyan first, me or mom?

The roads up in the mountains reminds me of Norway from time to time. The only thing I miss is a few panorama spots with a great view. You’ll see mountain sides fully covered with trees and a river when you look around you.

As earlier, you can see the workers in the mountains. There’s not farmers anymore, now it’s woodworkers. There are small open huts with a fireplace and continuously running water available. I believe this is available for the workers, but who knows, maybe it’s available for others as well?

Cycling further up the valley. It’s not steep, it’s possible to have a speed between 10-17Km/h. Of course there are parts which are harder.

IMG_3650You can see the small old villages. The houses looks like they can fall apart anytime, one house have covered their roof with some plastic or something like that.

I’m arriving at a small village called Shiroka Laka. This seems like a popular place, even for a bit of tourism. The buildings close to the streets seems to be renovated and in good shape, but if you look a bit higher you will see that it’s just the main street which are in this good standard.

There’s only 3-4Km left to the top, I keep on climbing. I’ve called my mother and it seems like we will arrive almost at the same time.

Finally over the top. It’s just 7Km left to Smolyan and it will go fast, it’s a steep downhill road. The quality is horrible and dangerous, I need to be careful. There are huge holes in the asphalt.

I’m arriving at the hotel, my mother isn’t here. I give her a call and she’s just minutes away.

There she is. My mother is arriving with the taxi from Burgas. We give each other a good hug and are checking in at the hotel. We are ready to have a nice evening here in beautiful Smolyan. Our plan is to take an easy start tomorrow and then to increase the distances the next days.

It’s an amazing feeling to finally have a visitor again. Imagine that….. My mother is joining me on my adventure!!!

Mammas litle reise hjørne:

IMG_3655Da var det min tur til å få ver med på Stian sitt sykkeleventy. Må jo sei at det eg har gruet meg mest til er å reise aleine, eg har det med å dilte etter andre uten og tenke sjøl men tru det eller ei det gjekk strålande og eg er ganske så stolt av meg sjøl.

I Burgas blei eg tatt imot av ein veldig kjekke Taxi sjåfør, sto der fint og venta på meg med skilt «Jorunn Torland» eg skulle kjøre 35 mil for å treffe Stian, ganske langt og då er det grett om sjåføren er grei og snill. Me plukka opp kona hans slik at han hadde selskap den lange vei tilbake, FANTASTISKE folk. Me IMG_3656stoppa etter å ha kjørt mange mil på ein Cafe i ein liten landsby på vei opp i fjella, der spanderte dei deilig Bulgarsk mat på meg.

Smolyan sto det på skilta og då viste eg at no nærma eg meg Stian og der sto han utanfor Hotell Luxor. Va utrulig godt og sjå Stian, no va det bare å sjekke inn. Me gjekk ein tur ut i den vakre fjelllandsbyen.

Så no starter mitt SYKKELEVENTYR!!

Picture album from todays ride:

GPS Data from todays ride: