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Published: September 17th 2006
ooh the scenery
This is the view from Maliovitza
The Rila Mountains are awesome! Not in a rubbish jumping over a shoebox on skateboard way but in a truly awe inspiring >> this is nature and you are small and insignificant alongside it and you'd better learn some respect kind of way.
Came out here Wednesday, a little later than the 9 O'clock start due to a crippling hangover. Had no time to really prepare > no food, no Bulgarian currency etc..
Got a taxi to the Yug Bus Station and a bus to Samakov. Here I changed buses for the one to Maliovitsa and the start of the hiking. Maliovitsa is a good base for hiking from. The huge hotel is only 15 levs a night including breakfast and offers the last taste of comfort before the mountains ahead.
Met a couple from Slovakia on the bus and we shared a triple room at the hotel and decided to do the hike together. They were serious outdoorists with all the gear and a large stock of food. Went for dinner at 6 and then retired for an early night. The mountains were blue in the distance and I couldn't comprehend being able to climb them, the silhouettes of the
pines even bigger than the hills in Derbyshire.
Up about 5 to 8 for the 8 o'clock breakfast. jana and daniel had already been up a while and dressed and packed. Tasted the worst coffee ever made.
Took the path north via the Vada Mountain Hut and then headed south up the mountain to the seven lakes. Took all day to reach the seven lakes and the crappy mountain hut. Although they have a communal room and serve food (the blandest omelete I have ever tasted with a side serving of shredded cabbage) they have neglected to offer running water or a toilet.
We visited the other Hut, a large Hostel across the mountain which was half the price and offered luxuries like a working tap and a toilet with a seat. I would recommend this one to everyone. In fact everyone should boycott the seven lakes hut until they enter the 21st century and respect human needs.
Later a couple of girls from Russia arrived and I had a couple of games of CHESS. One, Lisa was a grandmaster and we had a good game.
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