Mr Liver Lover

November 29, 2009

Cycling consumes vast calories apparently. Based on my body weight and lightning pace I should be burning about 800 calories per hour. This gives me a very good excuse for managing to eat the sort of 40 square Milka chocolate bar that is designed to be consumed as a treat over a few weeks. Read the rest of this entry »

Not My Ideal Job

November 28, 2009

It is a full time job keeping the Mosque carpet clean.

The Bird Man

November 28, 2009

Turks are well-known for their unscrupulous sales pitches.  The trick is to always enter these situations with a position that will not budge under any circumstance, manipulation, bribe or guilt trick.

I told this nice man that I was not going to buy his bird seed but some people do not listen.  He started to throw his bird seed product in front of my eyes so I could get some nice photos of some sky rats. I told him again when he tried to put the bird seed in my hand I am not buying. He threw some more bird seed on the ground at my feet. At half way through the cup I repeated that I am not buying the bird seed whether it is on the floor or in the cup. I knew exactly where this situation was going and the man exploded with anger once he had thrown away a full cup and I kept walking with my wallet firmly shut.

The Birdman’s final attempt to extract money  was to claim that fact that I was  continuing to take photos meant he deserved payment. Of course I did get some value from The Birdman if pictures of sky rats could be described as valuable.

Laziness & Plagiarism

November 24, 2009

In long distance cycling I have got to the point of thinking that there is no need to create unnecessary hard work for yourself and always to look for the most simple and effective solution to a problem.  I have taken this to the next level and Ken has kindly written my journal entry for me today.

Update: 4th December 09

Laziness has manifested into the purest of Plagiarism. Ken has kindly written 3 more entries in his blog of our days in Bulgaria together.

Day 2:

Day 3:


Day 4:

Could I Pedal Round the World?

November 23, 2009

Bicycle touring is as old as the bicycle which is  about 200 years old. There are resources galore on the internet to search for information, kit lists and personal journals. There are whole communities of people who take part in this type of activity in one form or another.

In setting out on this trip I thought I might of come across a few like-minded people but in over 2000 miles I have not personally come across anybody. I was starting to think perhaps it was all a myth but today I have had the pleasure of meeting Ken from England and a guy from Switzerland. In a moment, with all our 3 bikes loaded out in the middle of Sofia I felt like a long distance Bicycle Tourer. Read the rest of this entry »

Day Off

November 21, 2009

Today In Sofia I had decided that my bicycle would stay out of  sight and chained to a railing. It is a constant consideration and taking a break every once in a while keeps our relationship fresh.

With this in mind I have a whole beautiful sunny day to explore Sofia. As I am munching through a bowl of muesli and yoghurt I hear on the grapevine that there is a car driving up to the Rilla Monastery in the hills. I jump at the chance to be chauffeured for a couple of hours out-of-town in the passenger seat.  I enjoy the Read the rest of this entry »

“No Means Yes & Yes Means No”

November 21, 2009

As a man I have spent my life attempting to figure out how to interpret this statement.

I double take every conversation with a Bulgarian as they shake their head up and down whilst saying ‘No’ and shake their head left and right whilst saying ‘Yes’.

I feel very sorry for Bulgarian men.


November 20, 2009

Following Your Nose

November 20, 2009

‘Be Prepared’ is the boy scouts motto. I have no affinity with this motto when it comes to navigation and I have  managed to come the last 1000km from Serbia using only a 1:1200,000 scale map and compass.

Most places and signs use the Cyrillic alphabet which communicates nothing useful to me, I can’t speak or understand any of the language and therefore asking for directions is near impossible.

The more I think about the motto ‘Be Prepared’ the more I think I have become completely reckless. If I was called a ‘Gypsy’ for living hand to mouth I might be tempted to agree.  I never know where I am going to stay, what or where I am going to eat, time has become obsolete and instead replaced by the simple necessity of daylight.

I am an English man. I am supposed to know in advance the answers to all these questions and I don’t. More importantly I don’t really care that I don’t know because I know that I will work them when they need to be worked out. Perhaps this is not a sustainable or effective way of living in a modern and complicated world but for a short time I will savour the freedom.

Please Concentrate El Toro

November 20, 2009

Today I pulled over for a quick break on the side of the road. I could hear the soft jingle of bells from behind the bush. ‘El Toro’ got a little bit excited when this fine beast emerged.