We checked out of our comfortable airbnb accommodation in Burgas , discovering from our hostess, via her son as translator, that we were their first airbnb guests! Bet they won’t have anyone else arriving by tandem!
The way out of Burgas was quite protracted, since it is quite a big city. Fortunately, most of the way was via an EU funded cyclepath which avoided the busy dual carriageway out of the city. It was fairly well used by local cyclists, but it seems that cyclepaths in Bulgaria are a relatively new phenomenon since we frequently found our way blocked by people repairing cars, setting up stalls or people just parking slap bang in the middle of the path!
We passed the wildfowl reserve we had visited previously, then discovered that the cycle path stopped dead and on the wrong side of a dual carriageway for where we were headed. Fortunately our trusty Orux maps app with our downloaded maps showed us there was a minor road very close to where we were and we found our way onto the road needed, on the correct side of the road.
Our road to Malko Tarnova, although a primary route, had little traffic and the surface was good – and although we were beginning to climb into the hills the gradients were modest.
This was a day of climbs, downhill runs and climbs again… most of the height was between 300 and 400 mtrs, but we started at (Black) Sea level!
Again, we saw notices that the route had been funded by the EU Development Fund, and since we were under pedal power we were glad that the new road had slighter gradients, and the occasional bridge crossing deep valleys.
We could see the old road occasionally, now relegated to a local road, which twisted down valleys and back up again, to meet the new road… phew!
The day was hot and we drank 7 litres of water, one apple juice and a can of beer during our exertions, reaching Malko Tarnova at around 6pm. Having researched possible places to stay whilst we were in Burgas we easily found the Guest House in this small border town. It even had a small swimming pool…. but our shower was enough. You have to experience a sweaty day of exertion to appreciate the cleansing shower at the end of the day!
We saw our first road sign directing us to Istanbul, no kilometers yet. We must be getting near!
Malko Tarnova is around 9km from the Turkish border, which we will cross tomorrow
Burgas to Malko Tarnova: 48 miles.
Total distance travelled so far: 2716 miles.
Total climb today: 955 mtrs.