Sunday, 20 April 2014

Rila Monastery: Bulgarian Hospitality

Hi again, its been a few frustrating weeks at the Moto camp in Bulgaria. Before leaving the camp last year " Peach " said he could make repairs and have the motorcycle ready and waiting ... Not So..
After 100 KM the rear hub was destroyed because of a missing spacer while remounting the back wheel, that also put the chain sprockets out of alignment bringing them to an early grave...
Parts and the rebuilt wheel finally came and I am mobile again. It was a huge waste of some serious cash, thinking this guy knew what he was doing.. mistakes happen, but the apology or return of some of the money never did. lesson learnt ... what kind of name is " Peach anyway ??"

I did enjoy some really good hospitality while stranded at the camp. Its in a village of some 80 people. Friends are very social,  having dinners, movie nights, sharing rides to town for shopping, the endless Happy Hourzzz, everyone is welcome and treated awesome.
 Niki Kisimov in Sofia is a certified BMW guy who saved the day and my pocket book from further damage.. Niki would think nothing of ,  charging me for labour to rebuild the wheel, and completely go over the bike before leaving.. He could not stand the Chinese parts the bike had acquired while in Africa and replaced what he could free of charge with genuine BMW parts.. including a new mirror. The morning turned to noon and his family brought out lunch, then it was dinner, and they put on the BBQ, eventually the bike was good to go and time to see the historic bits of Bulgaria.
 The Rila Monastery started in the 10th century, and remains an important part of Bulgarian history. Not sure where all the monks were. I saw about 3..
 Veliko Turnovo in Bulgaria, about 25 k from the moto camp. Its been a cool spring in Bulgaria, as well as Greece.. so travel will be slow as I wait to here from the Pakistan and Iran embassy about visa applications.
 Rome... I have a lot of pics from Rome,,, but I am sure even with all the practise using my camera you can still find better pictures on the net..
 Alexander the great, and if I had it a picture of Marco Polo...and Genghis khan ...who knows the connection ?  Picture is also from Thessaloniki, Greece.
 Finally arrived in Greece.. Thessaloniki, its a cool city, filled with a lot of coffee shops, drinking holes, tourists, and ruins. the city is built over top and around of what is left.
 Rila Monastery in Bulgaria again, I wish I could show more photos, but for some reason your supposed to act pie es ? no picture taking or silly tourist questions at a monastery ...
 Martins and Jeana's place in the moto camp village.. cost about $10,000 remodelled ..
The final picture is also Greece.. where I made a point of stepping foot in the Mediterranean as part of my next adventure.. it will be complete if I can step foot in the sea of China... There are a number of Silk Roads, including a northern route, southern thru Iraq, as well Iran into India, China, and of course Afghanistan.. Travel overland thru most countries is no longer possible. My goal is to see what I can, taking as long as it takes.. Marco Polo spent years, or it can be done by train in about 3 months.. visas, as well as shipping and bmw parts :(  will determine what I see of the silk road.

1 comment:

  1. Garth: Great to see your post, and I am very glad to see you are rolling again. So your travel rule is to "keep the sun in your face", yes. Please let me know if you are heading towards Isreal, as I have a good friend who will show you the country. Ride safely and write often.