Pirot-Sofia(Bulgaria) 120kms

Some events and experiences have a one-in-a-million chance of happening. Some 600kms from Pirot, in the NW of Serbia, I checked into a small hotel, one of many in the city of Novi Sad. When the receptionist learned of my destination, she exclaimed: “Oh that’s interesting. A Dutchman stayed here a few weeks ago, and he was walking from Vienna to Istanbul. Maybe you’ll meet him”.
And guess what? I did…..

image

As I was relaxing after supper in a small hotel 30kms from the Bulgarian border, in walks Christian and (like most solitary travellers) he immediately engaged me in conversation.
“You look like a cyclist”, he said. When he eventually told me his destination, I said “I know about you already…..unless of course there are two of you!”. When I told him where and when I had heard about him, he (and I) was amazed. What are the chances of that happening?
He is doing a relatively new transcontinental trail (http://www.sultanstrail.com) which starts in Vienna, marking the most westerly point reached by the Ottomans as they expanded their empire west across Europe. At 30kms a day (a very good walking pace) he is taking 4 days to cover what I do in a day. I reckon his achievement and staying power are far more remarkable than mine, and it is always inspiring to meet such people. If you read this, Chris, “may the wind be ever at your back!”.

My route today was to take me across the border of the 6th country of my itinerary, Bulgaria

image

…and once again back into the hallowed environment of the European Union (though not everyone would agree with that).
As I went through passport control, I was quickly followed by another trekking cyclist

image

…who also happened to be called Frank, and he hailed from Perth in Australia. Two months into a six month journey, he told me he had simply walked away from his job as a town planner, finding out in his current simple travelling life style how long he can go without depending on a monthly salary.

image

We only shared 25kms on the road, because he was heading for Macedonia, but in that time we sorted out most if the problems of the world. I tell you, all leaders of state should be long distance cyclists…..we give ourselves time to think as we pedal the miles, and our simple life styles would be a credit to any environmentalist.
We parted company sharing thoughts on how people can extract themselves from the narrow corridors of their lives. I tell you we cyclists have got it all sorted…..

I am now in the capital city of Bulgaria

image

staying in a so-called campsite on the outskirts, and for £10 per night I was given this basic cabin (very basic)

image

but it provides a lock-up for my belongings while I am visiting the city tomorrow.
There is no doubt that the finishing post is in sight

image

and since I haven’t (yet) had to use any of the cushioning extra time I allowed for misadventure, illness or mechanicals, I can approach the final kms with a degree of relaxation, and the opportunity to make the odd diversion.

To finish…I passed this little canine beastie in Sofia, and it’s owner told me it was called Hercules……

image

http://www.justgiving.com/Frank-Burns2

Advertisements

About Frank Burns

Looking for the extraordinary in the commonplace………taking the road less travelled……..striving for the ‘faculty of making happy chance discoveries’ in unremarkable circumstances. Click on the Personal Link below to visit my webpages.

Posted on June 1, 2014, in Kimbolton to Istanbul 4000kms: a crusader's route and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Looking For 42

Traveling the world looking for the meaning for life (and whatever else I might find along the way)

Off The Beaten Path

Inside news from Bicycle Quarterly and Compass Bicycles

Bike 5

Five miles or less? Bikes are best!

Kite*Surf*Bike*Rambling

KITESURFING, CYCLING, SUP: ramblings, idiocy and not much more

Cycling Dutch Girl

the only certainty is change

4000milestothesea

On a bicycle from coast to coast across the USA

CyclingEurope.org

Europe... on a bicycle

Self Propelled

Self propelled adventures through life; blogging on cycling, touring, micro-adventures, general shenanigans, and environmental news

chrisp666

Cycling across Europe, Cornwall to Munich

fossilcycle

FOSSIL - A Fine Old Senior Soul In Lycra

The Vicious Cycle

A man searches for meaning...in between leg shavings

2 l o v e c y c l i n g

It's about cycling ... and other travels

There And Back Again

Life at 15 miles per hour

As Easy As Riding A Bike

Well it should be, shouldn't it?

Bike Around Britain

Blog on cycling around the coast of Britain

David Noble's Blog

Life, Loves and Living

weston.front

The Weston Front - the destination of a road less travelled...

The Innocent Bikestander

It can be better

Bike, Banjo & Baby

They go together so well

Something for Kiki and the Pok

the adventures of Christopher Yardin - by plane, bike, through a lens, or the eyes of a child

Bricycling...

Cycling Blog

Richard Tulloch's LIFE ON THE ROAD

Travel adventures on wheels and legs

THE SPORTSWOOL DIARIES

................."Cherry picking the nicest places in the world to cycle"

Gippsland Granny

Musings from Metung

Serendipities of life

Taking the road less travelled

I Do Not Despair

When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

Tom’s Bike Trip

Adventures and experiments in two-wheeled travel

All Seasons Cyclist

Real World Product Reviews For Avid Cyclists

machacas on wheels

Taking the road less travelled

%d bloggers like this: