The End is Near

Finally daylight came and we could at least see where we were going and we felt relieved. That relief lasted all of 2 minutes as the road was taking us up the mountains. The roads were twisty and steep. Our poor van was struggling as we tried painfully to climb them. Andy had to put it down to second gear just to crawl up the mountains at a painful 20mph. There was bend after bend, not just slight bends but sharp or hairpin bends. Every time we got to the top, there was a steep decline and that wasn’t much of a relief either. Every decline we approached, we prayed it was the last, only to find it wasn’t. Our stress levels were reaching breaking point, all we wanted to do was get to the border.
Traffic was quite heavy which didn’t help, it seemed that not even a mountain or sharp bends was going to stop them from overtaking in the most dangerous places. Every pain staking minute of the 11 hours that it took us was a do or die mission. Your probably reading this and wondering why it took so long, but when your van is fully loaded and your pulling a caravan and the fastest you can go in some places is 20mph then your certainly not going to win a gold medal for speed, it would have been quicker to walk !
Apart from the difficulties the mountains were beautiful and breathtaking and it was a shame we didn’t get to enjoy it. At one point, when we had finally completed the mountain course and was nearing the border, we turn off a road by mistake and found ourselves by a beautiful lake, so we decided to take a little time off and walked the dogs. It was so pretty and tranquil and in a way reminded us of why we was putting ourselves through all this stress, so that we can have a little peace of this heaven in Bulgaria. It gave us the push we needed because we knew it would be worth it in the end.
We arrived finally at Calafat to catch the ferry at 11am. We were greeted by a friendly man who asked for our passports and with a smile sent us off to the gate where we paid 10 euros ( although we were asked for 30 to start with ) to get in. Next we had to pay to get on the ferry, which was 66 euros, then our passports checked again as we’ll as our vignette, then off to queue to get on the ferry. At 12.30 we were finally on and making our way to Bulgaria. The end was near and we couldn’t wait. 20 minutes later, border checks, passport, purchase vignette, then more money for the pleasure then the last bit of driving to our house, at last the end of our journey and the start of a new adventure………to be continued

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