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Our arrival in Bulgaria continued on the theme of our departure form Romania, expensive. Insurance for one week was 88leva and then there was road tax and environment tax. We drove off to Belogradchik and realised why so few people enter Bulgaria by this route. The roads are not very well made or maintained and there were still many horses/pony and carts on them. Belogradchik was amazing. The photographs we had seen before arriving did not convey the sights. Lumps of sandstone and conglomerate stick up as needles and pinnacles out of the beech forest in all its autumnal colours.

We found a secluded spot with amazing views and camped there till Thursday. We had our bonfire for Guy Fawkes night but no fireworks unfortunately.
The only problem was the weather – quite rainy. Tuesday dawned rainy and we headed into the town to post a letter and try and send a fax. The post office people were very helpful although they spoke very little English, I don’t think they see many foreigners. They pointed us towards the ‘Youth House’ when we asked about the Internet and a very helpful bloke there gave us some postcards of the area and walked us through the town to the Internet Café. We then bought some food and wandered around the rocks in the rain.
Wednesday dawned bright and sunny and the rocks gradually dried out for some bouldering and new routing. The rock looked as though it should fall apart as soon as you pulled on it but most areas were quite solid. The problem was that being sandstone it wouldn’t really take any gear and to climb we really needed some top bolts for top roping as I’m not sure staples would hold for bolting. Thursday and we had to move on to get to the border before our insurance ran out.





We just drove through to near Plovdiv after some navigational problems. The roads on the map do not exist (yet?). We stayed at a lorry park and Nelly got a wash in the morning before we drove on to the Turkish border.


I think you are supposed to collect tickets from the places you stay at whilst in Bulgaria, but we only had one ticket because we had camped in the forest for most of the week. They guy asked but when I said we had stayed with the lorries he just shrugged and stamped us out of the country.


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