PISS 2000: Bulgaria - Day Five - Lets Off Road !


Awoke after 5 hrs kip, shocked to see I'd drunk too much Bira and Menta Rak and had pulled a local minger. As my vision cleared I saw it was in-fact the Weaner. After checking I had not been reamed in the night by Cecil I joined the chaps for some top scoff.

After a duty faff overseen by Yodaski we sped off to visit a show cave. Tzvetan said the area was a nature reserve, which was immediately apparent from the stinking piles of gash. broken bottles, scabby dogs, hill-billy hicks in ex-Ruski pickups and metal signs shot to shit by local scurf poachers.

Yoda

Yoda speaks !

This was a local cave for local people so we were forced to pay top dollar to get in (A typical trick in old-commie countries - Ed). Saw some ice pillars and a stage where ZZ Top played last night. The HSE visit was well overdue in my opinion. Went out and found a "NON STOP" restaurant which sold us some bira that went out of date in 1978 and nearly got stung for the entire tab for the hicks filling the place. Nasty old business.

Got our shit together (except homs that weren't caving…ha ha). Rumen took a hard right and we were off road - Great ! After 15 minutes in-country he was gutted to find he couldn't roll the bus, so kicked us out in bandit country. 3 hour tab through deep scurf country saw us at the entrance to another Bulgar cave.

To be continued (too tired)

Andy

Sleeping off the Rakia

Caught with our trousers off !
Our place in the slum

Our accomodation in Vitosha village

We're here ! It's obvious....

We're here ! Or, are we there?
Icecave-caving

Darkness, glass and ice. Very good !

Ice Cave

Ice Cave
TO 2000

Ice Cave

Ice Cave
TO 2000

Early morning faffing, well morning anyway.

Fed and milked the chickens. They like spunkcake for sure. Drove to Ledenika show cave; The heart of bandit country where Bill Hicky and the brother he married ran the show cave.

It cost us 16p to get in and the ice formations were fantastic. More off the wall humour which Yoda didn't rise to. The H&S at this cave was more than mildly amusing. Ice covered steps led down to an ice-filled chamber, where ice-slopes led down steeply to a slippery icy area which was festooned with live HV cables etc etc. The roof was low, lights low and metal work rusting and generally crap.

Flowers nice all day, crocus, blue things and white ones too. Big eagles with white tails, black woodpecker and a big black salamander with orange spots. Cave was dark and full of stones, mud, water, calcite, bats, rock and us.

Beliar Cave:

Another sloping Bulgar tube. Full of rocks and choss at the top, better at the middle and tight, wet and pretty at the bottom. Milanski was impressed/worried/horrified at our enthusiasm to get to the sump. Because we wanted a meal before 2am we told Tzvetan where to put the second cave and the scurf battle commenced.

Simon

Bulgarian wilderness

Walking across an enormous polje
DK 2000

Giant fire salamander

A huge beast seen on the journey
DK 2000
Waterfall in the Beliar Cave

Waterfall in the Beliar cave
A large bat, one of very very many

One of the thousands of bats we saw in Bulgarian caves

Stals

Stals in the Beliar
DK 2000

Stals

Stals in the Beliar
DK 2000
A freak ! A freak !

Bulgarias top caver exits the Beliar cave
DK 2000

Note: When walking five miles across treacherous karst/scurf terrain, I recommend some sturdy hiking boots and not wetsuit socks with wellies. These will make your journey considerably more uncomfortable than it needed to be. P.S. Must get some sleep and also do a cave where there is more cave than mud.

Dave


"Scurf: That's just the way it is."

In a moment of madness we declined the offer to cave again and opted instead for a series of leg and arm exfoliation programmes. We crossed the edge of the fuck-off polje in the gathering gloom and witnessed the evening emergence of the scurf from it's daytime dormancy.

Paths and pastures, clearings and meadows were transformed into a veritable thicket of scurf. The scurf bushes, smelling sweet western blood, lifted their earthy roots and stretched out their woody arms and thorny fingers. They closed for the kill and the Bulgar countryside echoed with screams, curses, swearing, howling and terse warning shouts. The day was saved by Milanski on point, fearlessly walking in the domain of the alien scurf with only a cafeteria carbide lamp to protect him.

Bloomski was nearly lost at one point. He felt the scurf close around him, thorny arms entwining him, pulling him towards their humic pits and soil-filled nests. Claiming him as one of them forever…………

Scurf on the wire !

This is exactly how it was....

Just for a giggle, Rumen was an hour late to pick us up so we sat huddled at the, now stopped, NON STOP restaurant in the cold. Yoda tried to make us walk back to Vratza over the hills (he reckoned about 2 hrs - probably in daylight including a grade 5 scramble or three), but by now we had worked out that he was barking mad and refused to play his silly night time walking games anymore. (Sorry about the writing, I am living in fear of my life on Balkan Air, or at least I was).

Simon

Happy days !

Post scurf at the now stopped "NON STOP" restaurant