And Back To The Beach Again, At Last….
15th May 2016
We left Bulgaria today, we packed up our shed and paid Valentino hundreds of Bulgarian lev for the privilege of freezing ourselves to death for the past two days(!) they seemed sad to see us go, I guess we had been some entertainment for them. The dogs had been really happy here and had chased each other around like maniacs, causing great hilarity from the Bulgarian trio.
Valentino, George ( who was a Doctor and a lawyer and insisted on wearing smart shirts and jackets even in the middle of a field ) and another one, who didn’t ever say his name, just shook his head, or ” wobbled” it, rather! In Bulgaria, when people are saying “yes” they shake their heads, when they are saying ” no” they nod their heads….. It makes for confusing conversation, even shouted Spanglish conversation, or Bulgarianish doesn’t make things easier!
They waved us out of sight and we set off through the forest, out through the villages and past more snow capped mountains towards the Bulgarian border. There are a couple of tricks that Geoff employs as we cross borders, especially if they are being thorough and look remotely like they might want to check cargo. One; he lets Asena bark, full blast!! Normally we are careful with her barking because it’s really loud and tends to upset people, normally we tell her off and make her stay quiet. At borders though, she is encouraged to bark as much as she wants…..and more!! This generally deters the border guards. As a back up plan, however, we have the “click fingers cry” technique…. This is where Geoff clicks his fingers and I cry, loud, hysterically, like a baby!!!!!!! Shake sometimes and fling my arms around too for good measure, generally just trying appear quite insane….. This works too – not that we have ever had to try it because generally Asena does the trick!
We crossed the border relatively easily, with Asena barking loudly and Vodka piping up, just because she could!
It was an interesting drive through the the “North east ish” of Greece, we have been arguing about which part it actually counts as and Geoff was explaining how a country as a whole manages to get itself into so much financial trouble. Greece has been spending more money than it was generating, the country as a whole and individuals living here, so, a big debt builds up, owing monies to the European Union, and with Greece, it reached a stage where the people and businesses were not prepared to pay more taxes to pay the interest on the loans, thus reducing the debt.
In 2016 it is uncertain whether Greece will stay in the Eu and if it does not, what the effect will be upon the rest of the members of the EU who are owed the money.
I kind of understand it and the part of Greece which we had driven through ( north east, north west, south, whatever…..) certainly showed signs of a recession biting hard. Lots of warehouses and industrial estates completely closed and vacant, some car showrooms which were open had two cars on show, for sale in them….. Others, one. It seemed quite a ghost town in some areas.
We drove through Kavala and continued East….. Here on the road now we’re a gang of boys, smiling, wearing shorts in the sunshine.. As we rounded the bend we saw where they had come from. A red cross van stood infront of a substantial camp. Many tents and people high up away from the road, tucked into a field where laundry flapped between tent poles. The refugees! Being on the road keeps you away from the news, and I’m not sure that much is said anyway of late about the plight of the Syrians and other migrants. One tends to forget that they are still here.
We ,found our campsite, “Camp Alexandros” and hastily changed our mind about camping when for an extra five euros we could have another SHED!!! This one though was new and modern, and as the temperature outside was now 27 degrees, somewhat warmer than the Alpine meadow we had hours earlier vacated. After some fighting with the Internet at the camp restaraunt I got a post up to the blog….. And a after dinner we all headed back to the shed t crash. Turkey is looming closer now, home feels like just around the corner, it’s been a long journey so far, every bodies bushed. We’re going to chill here in Kavala for a few days, hit the beach, get our tans back………..Yawn…..