Following the Herd Down to Greece

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June 13th 2017
Published: June 16th 2017
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7th to 9thJune


The campsite is on the shore of Lake Batak (really a reservoir) and about 10 kms from the town of Batak. We arrived to pouring rain and thunderstorms. Apparently it hasn’t stopped raining for three weeks which is unusual for this time of year so we are told. The first evening it seemed to dry up around six. At one end of the lake was a rainbow whilst at the other end, we watched dense cloud gather and gradually creep over the surface of the water to engulf us in a white mist. The following day was just as wet so we stayed in and the day after that we left.

10th June to 12th June

Sakar Hills, Biser

The campsite is in the south east of Bulgaria close to the borders of both Turkey and Greece. The area is gently undulating with vineyards and sunflower fields. Unfortunately the sunflowers aren’t in flower yet. We have also seen fields of lavender. We cycled for the couple of days we spent here, passing through dusty rundown villages which seems to be characteristic of Bulgarian countryside. Away from the main road, the transport of choice is either a tractor or a horse drawn wooden cart. We have seen the odd local who has clearly done well for himself and now has a car to pull his wooden cart! We ate out one evening in the village of Biser. They must be used to the odd tourist calling in as the menu was in Bulgarian and English which obviously helped but it was still a surprise when the food arrived. I was served with a full glass of red wine in a 33 cl glass (what you would normally expect if you had ordered a coke or lemonade). No problem for me but I think the waitress thought we were going to share the one glass. It was quite sweet wine so John ordered a beer. The salad and chips both came liberally sprinkled with grated cheese, very traditional and delicious. I ordered chicken skewer and was a little embarrassed when only one turned up and it was pork. I didn’t realise you bought them singly. John had a pork steak. The whole meal cost about £6.

The campsite was run by Matt (I think he is a distant relative of Giles, whom we met in Greece, as they shared some of the same traits). His parents owned the campsite and he spent the summer running it for them. There was a family from Berwick who were visiting the area with a view to buying a house in the area. There seems to be reasonable ex-pat community in Bulgaria, probably because the houses are still so cheap to buy. We have been told that you can expect to pick up a decent sized property with land for 5 to 10 thousand euros. Our camping neighbour was an elderly gentleman called Peter. It turns out he lives a mile up the road from us.

The campsite had a small holding bordering on to it where the owner grew his vegetables and kept his bee hives and chickens. Each evening as the sun set, the chickens would climb up a ladder to their roost where they spent the night. The owner saw me saying goodnight to the chickens and beckoned me over presenting me with four fresh eggs. We had them scrambled for breakfast.

13th June

We have headed to the coast to see what the Black sea looks like. Our destination is a campsite in the town of Obzor, north of Burgas. We caught our first glimpse of the turquoise sea just south of Burgas and the whole area couldn’t look more different to the ramshackle places we have visited so far. Large hotels and apartment blocks crowd between the road and the beaches. Giant roadside adverts featuring scantily clad women tried to entice us to visit casino’s and buy leather and fur coats. Burgas is a busy big city with road works making things slow going. North of Burgas is Sunny Beach (Nessebar) a major seaside resort with more large hotels and water parks. Obzor was another 30 km’s north and just as popular. The campsite is in the centre of town and 100 metres from the beach. It took us a while to find it and we had to ask twice. The campsite itself is quiet and we spent our time there doing a load of washing and walking along the bay that Obzor sits in. It is understandable why the area is so popular with clean wide beaches of golden sand and azure water. The beach is busy with holiday makers wearing their all-inclusive wrist bands. Towards the south of the town, the beach is quieter (less bars and sunbeds) and seemed more popular with the locals. In the town, small retail units sell all the usual seaside paraphernalia along with Tommy Hilfiger tracksuits and other big brand rip offs. Tomorrow we head inland once again…..


21st June 2017

Really enjoyed readings the last few blogs, they are very interesting to read. Sounds like you are having a lovely trip. Take care xx

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