Across Continents

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Motorway madness

There was definitely a hard shoulder. We’d seen a car miss a junction and reverse some way up it. And we’d checked with the Police. Yes, cycling along the motorway – the main road artery across Bulgaria towards Turkey – was permitted, even if not recommended. I’d joined forces in Sofia with Myles, a fellow long-haul cyclist from the UK, on his way to Istanbul. We joked about tossing a coin, the loser riding at the rear.

Just a few miles to cover, traffic light, the road surface good. Far better than many of the more minor routes. Besides, the alternative was a detour that would cost us a day or so. Soon onto the old main road, mostly following the motorway, we reached the town of Kostenec and an overnight stop. At first it hadn’t looked promising, and then we realised we were on the wrong side of the tracks. Literally.

Eventually finding the town centre, we sought directions to a cheap hotel from a shop keeper. We’d only a rough idea of what she was saying. Sensing this, she telephoned a friend in Serbia who spoke good English and got her to translate directions. We were, with the best of intentions, being guided to the best hotel, some way out of town, or at least to the one described as ’the better one’. So that would mean there was another establishment, more likely closer. It would soon be dark. We thanked the lady and headed off.

Safely out of sight, we asked a passer-by if there is a place to stay nearby. A young boy appeared on his bike and offered to escort us to a small hotel a few streets away. It was immaculate, modern. And about £7.50.

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One response to “Motorway madness”

  1. Nevena says:

    I will continue to watch your journey with interest. Travel safe!

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