Sofia

David returned from Gabrovo, reporting that the car was very sick and he didn’t think that he would make it back. Crassy’s garage couldn’t get the part until the following day so that prompted David to struggle into Dryanovo and enquire at the garage there. They would have the part by 2pm. He was going to return and have the part fitted. He had been reassured 100% that it was where the problem lay. Exploring the concept that the car might not get fixed I got him to ring the local taxi firm and ascertain whether they could do an airport run tonight. They could. We would inform them later this afternoon if needed. Until 1.30pm he helped me make a rockery for Genya and then drove the car to its appointment. With fingers crossed I finished setting the stones, added some pot plants for effect then took Banjo for a short walk.

Returning, I fixed the Sony Viao in the lounge downstairs that had lost its internet connection and uploaded some photos on the past few days blogs. I then took the opportunity to have a power nap. When I awoke David had still not arrived back. Worrying. Eventually at 4pm he arrived. The part had been fitted all contacts cleaned and the car was running better but the engine management light still glowed and it still felt lumpy. He had been giving it a bit of a workout and he thought it might be ok. After discussing this idea, it was thought that it wasn’t worth the risk and the taxi was booked.

With a load off both our shoulders we both perked up and we took Banjo for an enjoyable walk through woods that we hadn’t yet set foot or paw in.

Around 7pm we drove into Dryanovo for our ‘last supper’. The car died on us. What a good call the taxi turned out to be! It started again after a short wait and we made it to the bar. On the journey back to Ritya, the car failed us again, as if to say, “I told you so.”

David chose to watch a film. I chose to lay on the bed with Banjo and have another sleep. The taxi was booked for 11.30pm, I woke up at 11pm to a thunderstorm. Saying farewell to David and Banjo I walked down the lane into the village centre, sheltered under a barn roof and prepared to wait. It promptly arrived, the driver didn’t speak English, a quiet journey I thought, wrong!

In short, we had torrential rain and hurricane winds for the 3 hour journey. We spun on leaves entering the main Varna to Sofia motorway, doing a complete 360 and by some skill kept going in the right direction. We had to constantly dodge fallen trees and branches scattered across the road. Passing several unfortunate motorists with hazard lights flashing and warning triangles set in the carriageway standing by their vehicles looking forlorn and soaked. We met few vehicles on route, just 2 lorries and 1 car (not counting those waiting or assistance) until we reached the outskirts of Sofia and then it appeared the city was deserted. I guess Bulgarian drivers do know their weather and heed any warnings.

I arrived at the airport with the heavens still lashing down. I found a seat quite easily even though it was 2am and passed the time waiting for the check-in desk to open by writing this blog. I was flying Wizzair and needn’t have queued at check-in, but I couldn’t print my e-ticket at David’s as his printer ink had dried up and had to collect it there (for a fee: 8 levs). After collecting my boarding pass I sat in departure for a couple of hours before boarding the plane, people watching. I suspected I was going to be the only Brit n the plane.

The flight took off on time (5.30am) and is probably one of the roughest rides I have ever had, the storms raging across Bulgaria seemed to be shared with the rest of Europe. Well I guess they are in the EEC now. I did manage to sleep most of the flight away. Landing on time, my passage through customs was quick, then picking up my train ticket that I had also booked in Ritya I boarded the shuttle bus. Within 7 minutes of arriving at the station I was on the train continuing the blog.

Sue picked me up from the station and after catching up with all the family news and a plate of English baked bean on toast inside me, the worries of the journey were gone. I just have to check to see if my car is running?

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