This week we have done too little cycling, and yet moved quite far.
We finished off Bulgaria with a few nights wildcamping after hilly days cycling, and two nights in Burgas. Having no idea what to do with getting the ferry, and needing to apply for visas and do some general sorting out, we got a b and b in Burgas two days before the ferry left.
We arrived in Burgas after a perilous ride on the only road into the city which felt like a motorway (but wasn’t), and headed straight for the port. Luckily we managed to bump into a port security guard who spoke perfect English, who told us where to go to get tickets (the tallest building down that road), and we booked our cabin with ease.
We then had a day off exploring Burgas, getting wound up with online visa applications, and visiting a restaurant which we had seen multiple billboards for on the last few days riding – advertising works.
Then on Friday we boarded the ferry after a bit of hanging around the port. It felt terribly unorganised to us, we just turned up, waited a bit, found someone to show our passports too, waited a bit more, walked onto the ferry and were shown to our cabin.
I had been a bit worried about the ferry as I’d read online it wasn’t very nice, but we thought it was ace! We had paid extra for our own cabin, so we quickly got our washing line up and had a lie down.
We spent two days at sea, after setting sail the morning after we were told the ferry left (? :S) and by lunchtime of the first day I was going a bit mad. There was nothing to do and nowhere to even walk around and I didn’t take it very well. Jim however was loving it, spending nearly every minute lying down watching Netflix or playing a game on his phone. I resorted to walking in circles on the deck like a crazy person.
We had some quite nice meals on the ferry, and met some other cyclists, including a couple who are riding to Kazakhstan and might be on the Caspian sea ferry with us soon, and a family with two kids under 6 touring with a tag-along and a chariot!
Boring as it was on the ferry, we did see dolphins swimming alongside us, and playing in the wake of the ferry quite a few times, which was pretty incredible.
We finally got to Giorgia for more unorganised hanging about on the 2nd, and after some EU passport priority disembarked and headed straight onto a massive and busy road through the centre of Batumi.
After a few hours at Macdonald’s (I know!) using the WiFi we braved the crazy traffic and headed east out of the city on the A1. And quickly found it’s totally normal in Giorgia for there to be cows on the road. All the time.
We quickly got used to the traffic – a beep means your getting overtaken, cut off, or both, and were soon climbing through beautiful green hills dotted with houses, alongside a massive river. The hills were huge and misty, however it soon became apparent that it wasn’t ideal for camping, as nowhere was flat.
So when we saw a guesthouse sign we decided to treat ourselves and slogged up a final very steep km. The guesthouse was beautiful, massive and very nice. We got given a delicious dinner which we shared with a German couple and their two kids who were doing a jeep tour of the Caucasus. They were lovely which makes it even more terrible that I can’t remember their names (sorry!), And the guy was a Restrap customer who has done some good cycling tours himself! (Small world!).
So we are now in the beautiful countryside of Giorgia, and really enjoying ourselves.
Jim’s words – Burgas, Boat, Ferry, Dolphin, Giorgia.