After a few lovely days in Vienna and a visit to the dentist, we are finally en route again. The sun in out again and we make good progress to the Hungarian border. From there we cross the country on the main roads. Our impression of Hungary: flat! Even flatter than Holland! Never thought that was possible…
We cross into Serbia late afternoon and head for Sombor, which is the biggest town on the map along the route we plan to take. It takes us a while to find a hotel but with the help of a friendly local, we are directed to a nice place in the very centre. The hotel manager is very welcoming! She indicates all the nice places to see in town on a map and recommends a good local restaurant, and then we’re off!
In the morning, we are greeted by lovely sunshine and at 9AM we’re on our way. Next destination is the Danube river. Crossing the northern part of Serbia is not much different than Hungary: flat, and very straight roads. Not very eventful.
When we stop for fuel, we meet Yanko. A biker who had been in an accident and is now hanging around, doing his obligatory walk around the block every 15 minutes. He’s very interested in the bikes and keen to get well again so he too can enjoy riding again. We wish him all the best!
When we come closer to the Danube, we get off the main roads and cross the countryside down to river along some smaller back roads. The scenery is really beautiful!
Around 4PM, we arrive at Toma Campsite. There’s already some Serbian youngsters enjoying the good weather, but otherwise we see no reception desk or manager. One of the guys comes up to us and he speaks German really well. He tells us that we need to go up the road to Toma restaurant for the manager and ask permission to camp. So off we go again, find the restaurant and the manager. The price difference between camping and a bungalow is about 2 EUR so we decide not to bother putting up the tent. It will saves us some time as well tomorrow since we have quite some distance to go still to Motocamp Bulgaria.
We are assigned bungalow number 5 next to the youngsters, which in hindsight is probably not the best place to be…
The campsite doesn’t cater for dinner and since we didn’t do any grocery shopping, we decide to ride back to the restaurant and have some lovely fish there. Not sure which kind it was, but is was very tasty!
Back at the campsite we have a chat with Sladzja, who pointed us to the manager earlier. He’s really interested in where we are going and how life in Belgium is like. Around 10PM, I go to bed but it’s clear I won’t get much sleep. Our neighbours clearly intend to party all night long and their loudspeaker is next to our bungalow pouring out very loud Serbian techno and rap music. Never realized they have so much local music!
The next morning, I get up at 6.45AM (note: I didn’t say I woke up). Half an hour later we’re on the road and the music is still playing… This is going to be a very hard, long ride into Bulgary.
At the border crossing, we’re clearly the first ones to arrive. It’s Sunday morning 9.40AM, Bulgarian Easter, and the border guards are definitely taking it easy. We take some smaller roads down to Belogradchik where we stop to get some cash and a drink.
Then it’s on to Montana for lunch. By then, we have also fallen in love with the Bulgarian countryside: lovely views, friendly people, and the fact that the sun is still shining only adds up to it. After our pizza lunch in Montana, we decide to take the bigger roads to make up for some time. We did cross our first timezone when crossing the border, so we lost an additional hour there and we do not want to arrive too late at Motocamp.
Around 5.30PM we arrive in the village and the place is quite easy to find. We are immediately greeted by Polly and Ivaylo. The vibe of the place is just great and we meet some more travelers: Wolfgang from Germany, Nicky from Bulgaria, Tony from the UK, Alpi and Hava from Turkey…
On Monday we decide to take it easy and do a small tour to Buzludzha. The monument site has been on our wishlist for years and from Motocamp it’s just a small hop. Tony will join us as he’s also keen to see the site. .
We stop in Gabrovo for some more cash and a picknikc lunch and then it’s off to the mountains. The twisty roads up there are quite a treat and we arrive at a lookout on the flying saucer just before noon. When we want to continue, I notice Jo has a flat rear. Bugger! So out come the tools and about an hour later we’re off. At least the views were nice. We’ve had worse places to get a flat tyre. But it is bloody cold and windy up there.
When we arrive at the monument, there’s only a few people there. It is really an impressive sight! We have a walk around, taking in the views.
Unlike the info we got from Ivaylo, this time the front door is open, or at least it has a small hole, big enough to crawl through. So of course we get in! The place is in total ruins and the sound of the roof rattling in the wind just adds up to the overall atmosphere. The main hall is still impressive even though most of the mosaics have gone.
We wander around a bit, trying to imagine what it must have looked like when it was just finished.
When we get out again, Tony is waiting for us and we have our picknick lunch somewhere secluded from the cold wind. And then it’s off the Motocamp again with a short stop for some grocery shopping. Tony is going to cook us dinner tonight!