The world is full of surprises

Wild Thyme Organic Farm, Palamartsa, PopovoOur two week trip south to the Rhodope mountains got off to a slow start. We had a mishap with the bus in Popovo, only 8km away. Not to be easily put off, we enjoyed a couple of tourist days in exotic Popovo and Targovishte, discovering new wonders, before getting on the road on day three. 

We stayed in a wonderful wee village, Solishta, deep in the mountains and, everyday, walked to our hearts' content with Wally in toe.  We had several little excursions, to Shiroka Laka where we met a colourful character called Ilya who owns the Gaida Inn; to Devin where we visited Orpheus’ cave, the Devil’s Throat and had a dip in the open-air mineral baths; and to Smolyan with its amazing museum.

Wandering near the Greek border on our last day, we came across some weird and wonderful structures – a little mud and straw hut, straw statues and herb garden.  It turned out to be an NGO project called Future Now which brings volunteers from all over the world to work in this remote village where they try out lots of crazy and creative ideas.  That evening we were drawn into a traditional dance class. The regulars were very patient given that we tended to do the opposite of everyone else!

And so we’re back to a pregnant pig, 2 pregnant goats, a slightly ferile cat and clearing out the last of the garden.  Oh and chopping lots of wood – the autumn chill has set in!