Budapest to Byzantium. Day 12. Ruse (Pyce) to Shumen

Today we left the Danube and headed ‘inland’. Sounds weird to say, but after travelling alongisde her for 1,800 miles over 2 weeks of last year and 2 of this – was sad to leave her. Given the change in itinarary I kind of feel I’ll have to come back and see the delta proper some time. Tomorrow however we’ll reach the Black Sea, and that will be monumental for me…

Today we left Ruse and headed for Shumen. The change in landscape was apprarent immediately. We climbed out of Ruce and into the countryside, passing the last few classic tower blocks that the bulk of the population live in in these parts:


Pretty much all of today’s journey, and I suspect the rest of this one, consisted of busy, motorway/A road riding. One thing I should say though, is that although it is stressful, the bulgarian drivers are generally generous with the passing distance, which is a major bonus, especially compared to Serbia. toda, as a result, was all about sticking to the rumble strip on the side of the road.


Notwithstanding the stress of cycling on a 50 cm piece of tarmac with all sorts passing at 100 miles an hour, the scenary was awesome. I wish so much, I could have lifted my head more and taken it in – the ride was unbelievable.


And for the first time proper this journey. We had hills – proper hills. We only rode 70 miles today – but it ws a tough 70 on a fully loaded tourer. I loved it though. Unfortunately as a result of the stress of keeping my eyes on the road i don’t have much in the way of pictures – almost all of the pics are taaken whilst pedaalling – and today that was nigh on impossible.

We stopped for the now obligatory petrol station of lunch:

A fine repast was had. Although, not one of the athlete I suspect – in fact know, as I had no legs all day.

The hills took their toll and eventually it got to the stage we had to have the odd 10 min recovery break:

Maybe not so relaxing though…

We made it, obvs, to Ruse around 17:00 and checked in to our hotel. I don’t have any pictures, but I think we might have made a slight eratum as this place, lovely as it is, appears to be some sort of yoga, health retreat. We are staying in the azzure room and were delighted with the orchids on our beds and board explaining chakras and inner chi. Weird, given we were covered in chain oil and sweat but hey ho!


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