Day 15. Budapest to Byzantium. Slanchev Bryg to Tsarevo

Another transistion day – taking us down the Black Sea coast to the foothills of the mountains we will cross into Turkey – and one I was hoping would be relatively easy after our rest day on Saturday. Unfortunately 2 things went against us. 1. Our rest day wasn’t so restful and a day in the baking sun by the beach, with a few too many beers, turned out to not be the choice of an athlete!! 2. The roads. Much of this rubbish blog are about roads and Sunday’s were easily the worst. We spent much of the day on very busy dual carriageways -praying as every vehicle came thundering past – that it would pass..


As a result I barely have any pictures, as it’s terrifying with both hands on the bars, and to take one off and mess about with my phone would be suicide!!

We stopped after abut 20 miles for me to do some much needed repairs to my brakes.  After 2 weeks of riding, with very heavy loads, my brakes had taken a pounding and I had literally no stopping power. Once sorted we carried on into the town of Bourgas – probably Bulgaria’s main port town and to be honest it looked really lovely – clearly a lot of money around in this part of the country. Additionally some very welcome cycling infrastructure.


It seems to me there are 3 ‘economies’ in Bulgaria. The cities, which appear to have wealth and some decent infrastructure, not unlike, at least in the centre, other European cities. The coatal towns, which have money, but sadly are trying to emulate the Spanish Costas. And finally the rural centre, which has been completely left behind – to compare some of the hillside villages to villages I’ve seen in Nepal wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

On exiting Bourgas and the luxury of cycle paths I spied another luxury.


As is the norm we stopped here for sustanance. Or at least I did. a pre-packed sandwhich was bought – first I have seen in any petrol station on this trip  – it sounds ridiculous – but I was most excited by this Haute cuisine. Oh – when I say “or at least I did”, I should mention here that as we roll on, we roll differently. Matt doesn’t believe entirely in nutritional values on the bike, and quite often just wants to press on to the destination – I am much more a stop and eat/drink regularly rider – and on this leg , as a result of the previous days drinking, I wanted to stop even more. This was adding to the tension that had been building between us. Nothing major, and it’s obvious, but sometimes forgotten, that people do roll differently. And on a trip like this you really have to try and accomodate the other at all times. As a result of this we decided we would change the nights planned accomodation to another beach side location, to allow Matt more swimming/chilling opportunities, and we splurged on a room each for 2 nights – a very good idea I’m thinking.

We got back onto the dual carriageway south of Bourgas and made our way, slowly, through undulating foothills to the beach town of Tsarevo. Maybe in 20 years this will be as abhorrant as Sunny Beach, but right now it is perfect. absolutely deserted. We each have our own studio flat with balcony and is perfect for today’s rest day.

Matt’s sent the afternoon by the beach… I’ve washed, de-greased and serviced my bike. Followed by lounging in my room listening to the world service. A real good day so far. Much needed because tomorrow will be a challenge over the mountains and into Turkey.

Some shots from yesterday.



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