AYKAAS-SARNITSA TRAIL

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First,please allow me to apologise for taking so long writing another post. I don’t know what it is but here in Bulgaria, time just seems to run away with you. Before you know it, another week has flown by. What with gardening, baking, cooking, animal husbandry (there will be posts about our chickens and rabbits some time in the future), earning a crust, walking the dogs and relaxing in the sunshine, there aren’t enough hours in the day. Oh, and let’s not forget all those hours spent trying to deal with Bulgarian bureaucracy. If you get one official thing done in a day it’s considered a triumph.

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Anyway, back to the trail. It’s part of a much larger one that we discovered while walking around the hills above Mineralni Bani. Lucky for us it’s just a few miles down the road from home. If we were still in the UK we’d have to travel hundreds to enjoy such beauty. We’d also have to share it with countless holiday-makers. Whereas here in Bulgaria, there are miles of unspoilt countryside. Much of it you get to enjoy without meeting a single soul. Perfect, in our opinion. We do have to look the other way on occasions, when stumbling across piles of rubbish. Why do people feel the need to take their rubbish out into the countryside and just dump it? How many bins did they pass on the way? There’s a regular collection once, sometimes even twice a week and they’ll take anything. It’s not as if there are restrictions like in the UK. But maybe that’s a gripe for another day.

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Sarnitsa is where the trail begins, just a short walk outside of the village. We first have to negotiate our way past a stray puppy or two and find somewhere to park the Jag that won’t leave it in danger of being trampled by wandering cattle. It’s early in the morning, to avoid the flies, mozzies and heat of the rising sun. With my camera on my back (I find myself taking it everywhere with me nowadays), my soul-mate by my side (my husband, not my dog) and two dogs in tow, we set off up the hill. Before we’ve walked a few hundred yards the view behind us is spectacular. The route is set out with rustic signposts and there are maps along the way. Together with handy picnic and BBQ spots for the weary traveller. If you’ve got a 4X4 you can travel most of the trail in your car. But where’s the fun in that.

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