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Published: December 12th 2013
Woolly says – Fully charged and a lovely breakfast of boiled eggs consumed we headed out into the freezing temperatures to find Ollie. With only a few minutes to the ferry poor Ollie didn’t even have a chance to warm up before we were leaving Cannakale and crossing the Dardanelle Straights to the Anzac region of Turkey that we were going to pass for the second time without visiting. We will get there in the future. Woolly is correct (for once) in that we do plan to cover this region more fully in the future but with freezing temperatures and with time against us we could only wave as we passed. The last time we were on the ferry to Eceabat we were basking in the hot sun with shorts and t shirts the order of the day, today we sat and shivered in our hoodies, hats and coats as we made the crossing. Unable to open the windows to keep us snug inside we made the decision that Woolly mustn’t have any more eggs for breakfast!
Woolly says – Eggs are good for me! We sat and watched the foot passengers debarking before Ollie
could take to the road and other than a few nasty white flakes we made good time to the border. How would I manage away from my Turkish roots that seem to have increased considerably in the months we have now been there? I feel Turkish in many respects but now we are entering back into Europe again, it seems quite strange. We cleared the Turkish side easily flashing our Blue Books (Residency Documents), they checked Ollie’s boot and wanted to open the Christmas presents but decided that we were clear and after Jo had made a quick dash through duty free (you have to love someone who can cover the whole of Duty Free in less than ten minutes) we were at the Bulgarian border. The women on passport control looked at Jo’s passport and sat looking at Jo, Jo smiled and then tried to make the same silly expression that is on her British passport (was she constipated?), the women continued to frown. I tried shouting out ‘No it’s not her, arrest her immediately’ but the stern Bulgarian Official continued to stare. She called over her supervisor, I suggested to Ian that we dump Jo I mean it’s
only a short walk back to the Turkish border, she would be fine! The two women continued to look at Jo. OK so her hair is a lot longer and she looks tonnes older than her picture but come on make a decision. Minutes went by, ‘she’s’ not with us’ or ‘I’ve been kidnapped’ sprang to mind as my defence in court but we were given our passports and away we went. It did feel a little scary and it did cross my mind that my passport picture as instructed under the UK law now means I haven’t got my glasses on, I took them off and that didn’t seem to help, oh heck maybe we would be separated!!! The relief was immense, well at least from Ian and my point when we were finally waved through and Ollie seemed delighted to hit the Bulgarian roads.
Woolly says – As Ollie hit the Bulgarian roads he realised there was a higher speed limit of 130 KM and went tearing off down the tarmac. “FASTER, FASTER” I screamed, bouncing up and down on the dashboard. Have to say I didn’t appreciate Jo trying to shove
a sock in my mouth or the threat of being placed in Ollie’s boot. I wish the Bulgarian’s had stopped her entering the country! As we were thrown about on the roads I could only compare them to the worst country for tarmac, the UK, they were awful and we had to pay for a vinegete to travel on them. When we came this way during the summer months we had been surrounded by trees, with the branches naked you could see what lay behind, a desolate landscape with buildings deserted and broken in spirit. The towns we passed through we grey and looked barren with windows broken and graffiti prevalent, it made me quite sad. On and on we drove with the roads remaining poor and the scenery remaining flat and relentless, trying to make up time we decided to push to Sofia or at least the outskirts before stopping. Yesterday’s snow had slowed us down and we needed to make time up, as the sun was dying we arrived on the ring road that would take us round the city and with light fading we started to look for accommodation. The hotel Simona appeared and
with everything we needed we pulled up for the night. Twenty seven Euros (approximately £23.00 GBP) for the night with breakfast included seemed like a great deal. With a restaurant below the rooms we sat down for tea and what a tea we had. A humongous mixed grill for Woolly and Ian and fish and potatoes for me not to mention a bottle of red and a few beers, we were laughing at the 37.80 (approximately £16.11 GBP) that was amazing and even the Mammoth was full to bursting.
Woolly says – Argh my tummy, I need my bed!
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