This time in Bulgaria — like all times since March, 2020 — hasn’t actually followed the plan. After the first two incredibly intense days of riding, I abandoned the whole carefully-crafted intention to traverse the country by bike and cobbled together a whole new trip of time with my friends, time by the sea, shorter… Continue reading 5 days in Burgas: be here now
Sozopol has been an actual holiday type sojourn, a beach-and-trashy-novel day, a restaurant-with-cultural-dancing evening, lots of ice creams eaten while looking at the sea. A 70 km loop bike ride that took me to ancient Thracian standing stones, a ride that was so much more easeful in 29C and without a loaded bike. Susan says… Continue reading “It’s not every day you go on a boat”: 3 days in Sozopol
I’ve abandoned my project to slowly murder myself through dehydration and hills, and rerouting to the sea for mostly unladen day rides, except a 50 km two way jaunt with all my things. There will still be riding, but less of it. Like a train to the coast instead of a 93 km single ride,… Continue reading Sliven to Burgas: the train
My bike is called Kivrin, I’ve realized. After the character in Connie Willis’ Doomsday book, the historian who time travels to the Middle Ages and ends up in the middle of the plague by mistake. While there is an influenza pandemic occurring in her own time. Only here, it’s the opposite. There is no plague,… Continue reading Rest day: Veliko Tărnovo. Time travel.
My second day of riding was an exercise in persistence. But not persistence like, grit, pushing it hard, more like persistence when the journey owns me, giving myself over to it and accepting what it was. The nutshell is that day 2 was more of day 1, but slightly less terrible. With Deyan’s advice, I… Continue reading Kormyansko to Veliko Tărnovo: 70 km, 800 m. Persistence.
There’s hot. And there’s hilly. And there’s long. The hat trick is too much. I knew this was going to be gruelling and maybe a little “bit over more than I could chew,” but even with that, I was almost broken. The day started off cloudy, with Deyan showing up at breakfast with some last… Continue reading Day 1: Pleven to Kormyansko. 84 km. Hilly. Hot.
Deyan claims that Pleven is one of the two hottest cities in Bulgaria. It was at least 39 today, when I checked. I went for a slow run at 35, checking to make sure I still have a body. I had enough downtime today to develop every form of jitters about my ride. SO hot.… Continue reading Last pre-ride day: Pleven
At the train station, man with a prominent tummy in a stained yellow shirt with a ratty name tag around his neck accosts me in front of the empty information kiosk. The info boards are all in Cyrillic, although the track numbers are our script. I smile at the man and say I want to… Continue reading Time travel: the train
I’m in Bulgaria. In another dimension, where covid is merely notional and everyone smokes. Before I left, like any good Canadian, I lined up all my documents proving I was okay to travel: proof of full vaccination, an expensive covid test. The travel was a bit disorienting, unsmooth. Forty-five minutes in the “priority” check in… Continue reading Time travel
My dishwasher is loud. Like, Monty Python clanking knight in armour riding a kawasaki crotch rocket loud. And it’s right in the middle of my condo. Which I have been in 99% of the time for the past year. Technically, it still works, if you don’t mind weird rust on the dishes and no timer.… Continue reading Get a Bosch! A pandemic dishwasher tale