31C in the Shade by 10:30 a.m.

It’s a bit of scorcher today! I got up “early” (7:30) to walk the dogs before going to town and it was already hot and sticky. Sausage took off like a mad man, but soon flopped down on the trail panting before resuming at a more sedate pace. We walked a good 20 minutes roundtrip and I made sure they had lots of fresh water when we got in.

By the time I’d had coffee and toast as well as checked my email, dressed, and packed, it was getting close to nine. I grabbed my bag and headed out. There was a nice breeze out in the open and the sun wasn’t pounding down yet, so I decided I’d be quite happy to walk all the way to town, but would make an effort to get a lift home.

I was in Yablanitsa by ten and started with produce. There didn’t seem to be much choice today, especially in the fruit department. I’m tired of melons and stone fruit (peaches, apricots), so I just got tomatoes, zucchini, and onions since I still have heaps of carrots and potatoes at home as well as a couple of grapefruit.

My toast already felt quite far away by the time I was done with my produce shopping, so I grabbed a kebapche. This seems to be the go-to fast food in Yablanitsa and I’m so glad that I’ve figured it out. Market days just don’t feel right if you don’t indulge in some street food. I’d seen the kebapche every time I was in town and recognised it was what it roughly is (sausagey thing in a bun), but had no idea how to order it and hadn’t managed to time things to get in line behind someone and point to their order. I really felt like a local today as I put down my 1BGN coin and said, “One kebapche, please.” The lady gave me a huge smile that was even warmer than the sun.

After I ate, I went to the ATM to take out money for the month and I’ll admit to being relieved that there was no problem with my debit card!

Next, I wanted ibuprofen as I’m almost out. I thought the pharmacy (apteka/аптека) would be a good place to go for that. I did some research first and learned the Bulgarian name for Advil (nurofen/нурофен). The lady at the counter apologetically said, “No.” I tried again with ibuprofen (ибупрофен) and she said, “No,” again. Hmm. Well, can’t say I didn’t make a valiant effort! I’m sort of kind of thinking of going to Sofia on Monday, so I’ll try there.

I then popped into the grocery store for a bit of a top up (still have tons of stuff left from my unexpected trip to Botevgrad) and was surprised that I could not find baking soda. Google translate put it as “soda for bread” so I tried that and got an apologetic “no.” Oh well… I didn’t have any more stops after (I thought at that point), so I rummaged through the ice cream case and got a chocolate orange cone!

Needless to say, I tore into my treat the second I got outside and it did not disappoint, a super dense dark chocolate ice cream with orange liqueur and candied bits of zest scattered through it. It was a bit bitter and not too sweet, rather like eating a creamy grapefruit. I hope I can find one of these again!


I was done with my ice cream by the time I passed the other food store, so I went in to see what kind of produce they have. It’s a tiny bit more varied than what the supermarket has and I picked up two apples that looked good. I also asked them about baking soda and got a no. Another thing to add to my Sofia list!

It was then time to head home. I climbed the long hill out of town and when I got to the top, a car roared to a stop beside me. It was full, but the man in the passenger seat got out and the driver called to me, pointing down the road. I said Malak Izvor and a lady in the back said something that I assumed meant, “Would the turnoff be okay?” and I replied in the affirmative. She motioned for me to get in.

They tried to engage me in conversation, but I was pretty useless, of course. Then, they started to say things in English, like good day and thank you, to test my Bulgarian vocabulary (it would seem). When we got to the corner, I said, “Thank you.” Then I realised that wasn’t quite right. They had just saved me walking 4KM under a scorching sun in tropical heat. So I amended that to “Thank you so much/Mnogo blagodarya.” The driver did a double take and said, “Brava”!  It’s lovely to have my meagre efforts rewarded. 🙂

I’d no sooner walked about ten steps toward the village that another car roared to a stop beside me. It was… the handyman who has been working on the house all week and was headed to my place!!!

Well, it’s been a lovely relaxed morning, but I need to get to work. I’ve already got as much as I can handle for the next week and a bit!

3 thoughts on “31C in the Shade by 10:30 a.m.

    • The hitchhiking culture here is great. I could get tons of more lifts places if I wasn’t so timid about it.

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