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The next morning I wake op with the view of a fine mist over the lake (no, seen no vandals). I want to wash myself in the lake and then discover that the water is warm! The mist comes from the water, not the air. There must be a hot water source underneath. I wonder what kind of fish can be caught here?  Dançko comes to pick me up, as he promised. Gabra being an old miners’ town in combination also brought National Geographic here. It must be quite exceptional.

Dançko takes me to the old monastery of Vakarel, exactly the place where I had wanted to go from Sofia but then decided it was too far off course. It is far off course. Just walk doen this hill, he indicates, keep following the high tension lines, he says, they will take you straight to Turkey.

I am so glad with his help for just another stranger and try to find ways to express it. His reaction makes it clear that he doesn’t just do this for everyone. It is as special for him as it is for me.

I can reach Dolni Banya today if I keep going. Still I decide to camp in the woods a few kilometres before, on a hilltop. Something tells me to stay in the woods a bit longer. It’s a wild night, with also the roaring of a deer and the sound of wild pigs (I assume).


  1. It seems that your courage is paying off; I would be scared to sleep in either of those places but you have reaped the rewards of your bravery.

    • Hi Geri. As do you, every day of being there. I admire your courage! sometimes wonder how it comes to us to do what we do. Glad you found a bit of ease again. May your gods be with (a dear expression from a lovely Irish friend).

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