A Stupid Idea !

I know that when people read this that they are going to think how stupid we are and to be honest, they will be right.
As we had been stuck in our village for nearly two weeks because of the snow, getting low on supplies and cabin fever was setting in ( more with me than Andy ), we decided to go for a long walk. Ok that doesn’t sound too bad or stupid, except we decided to walk to the nearest town, 13km away ! Yes a 26km round trip in the snow! Now your probably thinking we don’t have any shops in our village, we do, five to be precise. So now your thinking, so why walk 13km? The answer to that is the town, Dimovo, is bigger, more shops, more choice…..oh and we are mad.
We set off just after 10am, wrapped up like Michelin men, layers of clothing, hats, scarves and snow boots. It was snowing slightly but only very light,fine snow and it was -3c, so not really too cold. It took us 20 minutes just to get out of our village, as it’s quite a big village, although it did feel longer. The roads were thick with snow and ice even though the snow plough had been out every day. We would have taken a bus but i think due to the roads, they hadn’t been running for a few days. Still, the walk would do us good, even though it would take us hours.
The scenery around us was beautiful, very picture postcard. Although the snow causes so many problems, there is still something magical about it. I couldn’t resist taking a few photos along the way.

We hadn’t walked far out of our village, when I got a slight sharp pain on the top, inside of my leg, near the groin area, an old problem I’ve had in the past. It was nothing sever, just a sharp tugging feeling every time I took a step. Andy kept suggesting turning back, but me being the stubborn sort, I refused, said it was only hurting a little and I was fine. As we kept walking the pain grew worse but still I refused to turn back. It was one of the biggest and most stupid decisions I had ever made! Part of me wanted to turn back but another part wanted to do it, kind of a challenge really. In the past I’ve walked long distances, hour upon hour, but of course, never in thick snow.
We’d walked about 5km when my other leg started hurting in the same way and I couldn’t understand why. Yes, you guessed it, I still wouldn’t turn back!
About half way, there is a bridge over a river, a police car was heading our way in the opposite direction. When it stopped along side us, I thought they were going to ask if we were ok as we were, more or less, walking in the middle of nowhere. How silly of me to think that they were concerned in any way! They asked us for our identity cards, where we were going and if we were walking there, ( no we are bloody flying……fools! ). If nothing else at least we gave them something to laugh about.
After the bridge, there was a fairly steep climb and that’s when it really started to hurt my legs. Andy suggested I walk up it backwards and in all honesty it did help. It would have been a comical sight to see for anyone that drove past us, except we turned around every time a car was approaching, just so we didn’t look silly, ( a bit late for that! ).After about just over two hours walking we finally made it to the main road (E79), only 2.5km to go, except by this time I was in agony. Every step had become a battle. So much so, I had to stop every 30 seconds. Poor Andy was getting worried, he knew I was in a lot of pain but other than offer to carry me, ( which would have probably ended in a worse disaster ), there was nothing else he could of done except keep telling me ‘ not much further ‘. It took us just over an hour to walk that last 2.5km and every step was hell ! The pain was so intense I just wanted to cry. Worst thing of all was I knew I couldn’t walk back. It took us 3 1/2 hours to walk 13km.
I’d seen a couple of taxis pass us by, so we decided to get a taxi back, how naive were we ?We made it to a shop that we had been to before, as I knew the young woman could speak a little English. After purchasing some groceries, (although not everything that we needed, as I wasn’t in the frame of mind to shop, I just wanted to get home), I asked the woman if we could get a taxi or phone for one, well she just laughed ‘ no taxis here’. The only way we might have been able to get a taxi is if we called for one in Vidin, well that was miles away and would cost a fortune. So that’s when I panicked. I couldn’t walk and we needed to get home! In the end we had no option but to phone our friends to pick us up. They were shopping in Vidin at the time but were just about to leave and they didn’t hesitate to agree to come pick us up. I was so relieved and grateful, especially as they had to travel 36km just to rescue us. It was just over an hour by the time they got to us, by that time we were both frozen. I couldn’t apologise more to our friends, ( our heroes 🙂 ), after all it was my stubbornness and stupidity that got us into this mess, worse still, we weren’t the only ones they had rescued, as they had just rescued another couple who had been stranded and had to drop them off first before coming to pick us up!
It was such a relief to get home into the warmth and safety. After a nice hot shower and some hot food, we settled down for the evening in front of the fire. Andy was aching and I was still in pain, so much so, I just couldn’t get comfortable. By 7.30pm we were worn out so decided to go to bed. It hurt just climbing into bed and although it was great just to be able to rest my legs, it wasn’t long before I was in agony again. Every time I tried to turn over, it was torture. In the end I couldn’t stand it any longer so I got up and sat on the sofa until eventually I was so tired, I fell asleep. It’s still painful to walk but I’m hoping by tomorrow, my legs will feel better. I suppose i got my just deserts.
Moral of this story, don’t venture too far away from home, especially in the snow and more importantly never be a stupid as me !!!!!

P.S. To my Mum and family, don’t worry I’m fine 🙂

Start Of A New Year

Well it’s now January 2014, the start of a new year and our first winter in Bulgaria. This is the real tester for us, will we be able to cope with the cold, the never ending days of snow, being stuck indoors for days, maybe weeks?, only time will tell. So far so good. This has been the worse month so far, in terms of weather, that is. The first half of January was pretty mild, cold in the mornings and nights but mostly sunshine and warm during the days. There have even been days where the temperature in the sun has reached 34c ! ( that’s in the sun,not the shade, which in my opinion, is the only important temperature reading I’m interested in haha !). Of course that sort of weather didn’t last long as now the snow has arrived! It started on the 24th and it hasn’t stopped. It’s now the 1st February, ( just realised January is over already!), so it’s been snowing now for 8 days and there is no sign of it stopping. In fact as I’m writing this, the snow is coming down thick and heavy.
Cabin fever is now slowly setting in. We have now been stuck in our village for 9 days and it doesn’t look like we won’t be getting out any time soon. There is only so many films you can watch and we’ve watched a few! I’ve tried to occupy myself with a bit of sewing and baking but at times it’s been just too cold to do anything. Every other day we venture out to the barn to chop and collect more wood and kindling as the wood is going down rapidly!
The first couple of hours in the morning is taken up with my constant battle with the petchka in the kitchen, bloody thing just won’t stay lit ! By the time I finally get it lit, I’m frozen to the bone and it takes me all day to warm up again. Andy’s not much better as he has poor circulation so his feet and hands are constantly frozen. Sometimes the only way to get thawed out again is to have a hot shower halfway through the day. Only problem with that is, we have no heating in the bathroom, so it’s a case of taking the chill out with a small blow heater, jumping in the shower, ( which is pure heaven to have heat on your body ) then quickly dry ourselves before freezing to death again! Then it’s layer upon layer of clothing ( for me anyway! ) to keep the heat in. The coldest it’s been was -14.5c, although some areas in Bulgaria have had it a lot colder. Day by day we are slowly getting used to it, if there’s such a thing as getting used to feeling like a snowman!
How are our dogs coping ? Well Kenzo (the Staffy) doesn’t like the cold, so snow is a big no no in his book, he only ventures out when he can’t cross his paws much longer. Twix (the Spaniel), is a different story, he loves the snow. He would play for hours in it given the chance but that’s a big no no in my book! When I take him out, the first thing he does is get his ball, plonk it in front of me then jump around like a mad man until I throw it. So amusing to watch him retrieve his ball that’s buried in the snow, it doesn’t seem to bother him, he just dives his head straight in, covering his head completely and he won’t stop till he finds it. By the time I decide it’s time to get back in the warm, Twix has masses of marble sized snowballs hanging from his fur on his belly and legs. It then takes me about an hour to melt him and get him dried ! Half an hour later Twix wants to go play ball again!