Winter Arrives in Bulgaria; Romania Plans Cancelled
Marie, Nil and their guest Maya, headed into the Pirin National Park in southwest Bulgaria. The Pirin Mountains are rich with lakes and rivers and the trio found the trail quite demanding. There were some seriously rocky sections and the weather varied massively between day and night. While hiking in the day, their winter gear proved too hot and bulky, but come nightfall the temperatures dropped, and they shivered the nights away dreaming of thicker sleeping bags and a warmer tent.
They stayed in mountain lodges whenever possible but they had mixed luck. The first stop on Lake Tewno was beautifully located and well set up, however the host seemed hostile to foreign guests and avoided speaking to them. When some Bulgarian hikers arrived, he was much more welcoming, even giving out wine that he instructed shouldn’t be shared with Marie, Nil and Maya!
The second lodging, located at the foot of Mount Vihren, proved too much smaller than they had anticipated. Just a small, square wooden hut, it was barely big enough to squeeze inside. At least it gave them somewhere sheltered for the night.
The next day, they tackled a stretch of the park called Koncheto ridge. Koncheto means “Little Horse” in Bulgarian, on account of the tendency for some hiker’s to straddle the ridge and crawl along rather than risk falling on this dangerously exposed ridgeline. Fortunately, a metal wire has since been installed to protect hikers, allowing the group to enjoy the spectacular views without fear!
Marie and Nil had originally been planning to continue up through Bulgaria to Romania, however, it looks like they have drastically changed their plans. Their journey has already lasted longer than they anticipated, and they are short on funds. Heading north would mean a long way around to Istanbul and see them arrive in Romania during the depths of winter. It was a difficult decision, but they have eventually elected to skip Romania completely.
You can support their trip through their website here: https://www.deuxpasverslautre.com/contribute