I didn’t have work again today and didn’t want to start on the small easy job I have due Monday night. So I decided this morning to go on a long hike with Mechka and Sausage beyond my Bulgarian Shangri-La. I thought of having coffee and breakfast first, but our routine is firmly set and the dogs would not have had the patience to wait for me. I’m not addicted to coffee and could definitely wait till we got back. I did pack a couple of jam and butter sandwiches, an apple, and water.
Autumn is definitely coming despite the fact that it’s still quite hot out. So many leaves crunching underfoot!
I love that rebel yellow house!
An unexpected burst of colour.
He looks so happy! I was being slow, so he’s coming back to make sure I’m okay!
One thing that I really dislike about being out in nature in Bulgaria is how aggressive the flora is. There’s these things with super long thorns:
I caught my right calf on one of these early in my arrival here and have a more one one-inch long scar with which to remember the event. I was shocked by how long this wound took to heal and, in hindsight, I actually regret not seeking out sutures immediately after it happened or at the very least some butterfly closures, which I should have in my first aid kit.
There are also low lying vines (possibly from a blackberry plant) that wrap around your ankles and shred them. And then, my “favourite” are the shrubs with barbs that snag at you on the side of the road. One got me yesterday on my way back from Yablanitsa:
Beyond Shangri-La, we followed a very rough 4×4 road.
There’s a picnic table at the top of a hill, for some random reason. Max says he likes to go up there for breakfast. I wasn’t ready to eat yet.
There’s also a fire pit.
And some ruins:
I think these are blueberries, but I didn’t try them:
In the video, I mentioned that it was quiet. Well, no sooner had I stopped filming that I heard a vehicle and found it (and a person) quite far away up a hill:
At first, I thought I found the scene of an accident, but then realised it’s just a dump. I have access to a dump just like this on a friend’s property near Haven.
We eventually turned back and, to my horror, we came to a junction I didn’t remember! I figured, worst case, I’d pick the wrong way and have to double back, but I was getting tired. Sausage seemed convinced as to the direction to go, so I asked him three times where home is and he kept starting down one path and looking back to make sure I was following. He’s never led me astray before, so I followed and, in very short order, I was able to confirm I was going the right way!
We got in a full two hours after leaving. I gave the dogs their breakfast, but all they wanted was water before flopping down! I had coffee and, an hour later, another coffee with a second breakfast of toast with sirene cheese and berry jam. I’ve been eating a lot of peanut butter since I got here and am trying to curb the habit, so I’ve switched to the cheese with jam on my toast. Very yummy. 🙂
Around four, it was time to take them on their second walk. I took a different path, where it was still very clearly autumn.
While the dogs had been very enthusiastic as we set out, the minute we got to the first big uphill, both stopped and looked at me with a “we’re done, thanks!” look. I decided to push on and they followed, but stuck close rather than going on ahead. I have a favourite spot to stop and turn around (start of the second video in the link above) with a nice flat rock for sitting on and admiring the view. I sat there and cuddled with the dogs for a good ten minutes, trying not to cry as I realised how much I am going to miss them. They have spoiled me for life and I will have to be very careful before I accept another dog sit since they’ve raised the bar so high with their intelligence and sweet disposition.
It’s been a lovely homey weekend, but I hope work picks up! I don’t expect anything for tomorrow (since it’ll still be Sunday in North America) and had thought to go to Sofia, but the museum I wanted to visit will be closed. I have to really watch the calendar and bus schedules, but I’m thinking of delaying heading to Serbia by a day or two to have time to visit a couple of Sofia museums. Or I might be able to get away at a late date this week. We’ll see. Work has been surprising the last few weeks!