Well Kevin made it to Bulgaria and up to my sisters house. In total 3960 miles. Romania was an eye opener. From the border in, to the border out, I felt uneasy.
We had to stop twice due to the fact that it is quite a big country. The first stop was at a sort of large car park with hook up facilities about 3 hours drive into Romania. We were met at the gate by an old man who pointed us to a pair of iron gates that were slowly opening and another chap came out to greet us with his two large, entire male dogs - spot the first problem.
You can just see them sniffing round the Kevin.
They were nice enough dogs but were so determined to get a look at Bracken that one of them even jumped on the bonnet. We had been travelling for a while and wanted to let Bracken have a comfort break but the dogs kept circling the van and when GJ asked when they were taken in, the chap at the second gate said "later". We managed "later" to give Bracken a break and he has now learned to perform on command. The following morning we were on the road again..
Not a very good picture because the roads now start to become a bit dodgy and full of pot-holes.We did quite a few more miles on this stretch, deciding that we would not have a third stop in Romania but would make a quick and early dart for Bulgaria. We found a place to stay via Google and telephoned ahead to make sure they were still open - it being October. They were and could speak a little English so we set off to find them. We followed the sat nav woman who took us to a road/street that didn't appear to have any parking for motorhomes in it and whilst we sat scratching our heads and watching the local wild dogs terrorising a horse that was pulling a cart, a lady knocked at the window and told us to turn around and follow her. It turns out that our stop was in her yard where there was space for about eight vans and they actually had hook up and showers but the loos were a bit dubious so we used our own facilities for that!
Because there were no other customers and we were locked in, Bracken at last was able to have some leg room.
We were able to pay our board in Euros and so didn't have to buy any Romanian Lei.
Not that we wanted to buy any souvenirs!
Being a dog lover, we had to steel ourselves about the dog situation in this part of the world. They scavenge about for mere morsels and there are always a few around the bins at truck stops. They live a bit like foxes in the UK but are more visible. The mountain roads were easily accessible but the driving by the constant trucks/lorries was relentless.
These shots show the roads to be a bit empty but believe me they were not - I think everyone was trying to pass Kevin!!
Every little village had rows of shops selling their wares..
and some have quite a western flavour.
The next day we got sorted early and motored our way into Bulgaria. We were advised (by our Bulgarian connection - Brother in Law) that the bridge at Ruse would take about 2 hours to cross but looking at the map, if we had to divert to another crossing, we would have taken at least another two hours anyway so we motored on to Ruse. As we were waived past all the lorries (about 3 miles of them being checked for stowaways) we settled in to wait so I made a coffee which was the first hot drink we had had all day. Then all the engines started up - oh well, worth a try.
This side of the bridge (undergoing repairs) was built in 1952
Whilst this side in 1954.
On we trundled to our camping destination of Velika Turnovo where we were to hold up for a couple of days until my sister and her husband returned from Blighty. The site...
and weather were lovely and we were able to get some chores done - like catching up with blogs..
And Bracken was having a great time..
I will continue the story but just to whet your appetite, I hope there is a video attached which shows the first time Bracken met a cat close up!