“Today’s Show is Brought to You By the Letter 3”: Bulgarian Roads pt2

At the moment, we’re somewhere on Route 73, some 150m lower than our altitude this morning. Despite that though, we’ve still managed to climb over 740m over the day- illustrates well just how much the roads in Bulgaria roll on these undulating hills….

Apart from the terrain, as yesterday the roads continue to be decent. The tarmac was mostly smooth, plenty of verge and laybys for those essential comfort breaks, and decent and safe motorists (certainly no worse than in Serbia or Hungary).
Coming off route 2 though, and onto the smaller 73, you do quickly notice the change in road quality. Broken tarmac now covers the road, making for a rather lumpy ride. My arse sighs in relief everytime we rolled over a smooth patched up area, which passed far too quickly.
No doubt this is all made worse by our choice of tyres- 1 1/4″ wide Gatorskins were not necessarily something I would shout out about, but they have done us very well. Nearly 4000km (I think?), and only 5 punctures between the three of us. Not bad, considering the lightweight low resistance ride they give.

Anyway, that’s all very boring.
And since my mp3 player decided to spontaneously break the other day for no discernible reason (very disappointed with it…), I know boredom all to well… Practising the cyrillic alphabet has been my most recent way of passing the time, using only the map I bought in Vienna. With such letters as “backwards N”, “3” and my personal favourite “space invader” (pronounced “D”), there’s no end to the fun to be had on the road!

Tomorrow though, will likely not be so fun, as we cross the Varbishki pass over the mountain range bisecting Bulgaria. With two peaks over 400m, it will likely be the toughest day’s cycling on this trip so far.
All afternoon today, the mountains hung above us in the distance, reminding us of what was coming.
The only plus is that somehow we have managed to avoid the worst of the Bulgarian weather. The cold that had been here as we arrived seems to have lifted, leaving nights of a balmy 5 degrees. Pretty lucky, considering we were expecting sub zero temperatures…

At least in true Hallowe’en style, the hounds are all howling (and I do mean howling) tonight.


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