The Great Balkan Trail: Kom to Emine

Fancied a ‘walkabout’ so decided to go to Bulgaria to traverse the Great Balkan mountains from West to East. Not so sure I’ll finish it as it needs twenty one days (weather permitting) and I only have seventeen. Didn’t factor in a little run in with a car four hours after landing at Sofia airport. Got run over at 4am while having a pee at the side of the road during a break from the car journey to Kom. Luckily for me there was a hospital 15 km away  so I got x-rayed and checked out: no broken bones but smashed legs, backside, spine, right hand shoulder and whiplash. Thought I was going to have to come home BUT a good injection of some powerful painkiller and with some help from my guide Marian (he helped me onto the horse each time) we managed to get going. Boy that hurt- ride the horse or walk, each was as painful, did a bit of both through the first day but …when the injection wore off the next day, I thought I’d done 12 rounds in a boxing ring. It’s taken nearly 10 days before I can get out of bed without grabbing my hair to lift my head up due to the whiplash, didn’t know it had that effect on your neck. Has been worth the struggle tho’- what a place- and am in the Great Balkan National Park now. These photos are of the first five or so days.

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
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