After checking out of my tiny basement apartment in the Black Sea city of Varna, Bulgaria, I jumped back on my bicycle and rode for two full days through the center of Bulgaria (here’s the route I took) to the city of Ruse, which is located on the shore of the Danube River and on the border of Bulgaria and Romania.
To be honest, cycling through this region of Bulgaria was downright boring. It was relatively flat (although there were lots of gradual up and down climbs) with very little to look at. It’s farming country, so there were lots of farmers, trucks and tractors. That’s about it. I rode all day long with my earphones in and my music blaring.
The only excitement I had was when someone tried to pass a semi-truck coming from the opposite direction, only to find that I was riding in the lane they were now wishing to occupy. Sometimes I gave the driver of the passing vehicle the evil eye (and was tempted to give them the finger). Other times I abandoned the road all together and nearly fell in the ditch.
I spent my first night on the road camped in an apple orchard just off the road north of Shuman. The following morning the orchard workers started doing their thing just a few meters away from where I had set up my tent, so I had to break camp and sneak out of my stealth campground location without being detected.
Back on the road, I simply put my head down and pedaled. I figured that if I rode hard I could easily reach the border town of Ruse by nightfall, which is exactly what I did.