PISS 2000: Bulgaria - Day Seven
- Devetashka Peshtera
Up early in order to visit a local monastery. Crumbly old buildings and crofters galore. No monks or nuns doing religious-type things, which was a shame. The frescos on the monastery walls were very impressive, in 1436, but had deteriorated somewhat in the preceding years and now resembled an artistic impression of the inside of a cave without any lights on ! Black, black and more black !
The guide explained (for the equivalent of 8p) that the local saint in who's devotion the place was built for, had three hands. One for eating, one for scratching his bum (he was inflicted with a continuous affliction, which is why he was a saint, of Itchy Bum Syndrome, a well know disorder in the caving world amongst those that piss in their wetsuits) and one for healing people. However, he was also a bit simple, often got confused and either wiped shit on pilgrims, or worse, ate them alive. Needless to say, we were well impressed and moved on.
Another interesting fact from the guide, Bulgarian children have it tough at Christmas, apparently their Saint Nicolas is a bit of a cheeky geezer and often amputates fingers after brave people have touched his nose. Hence, Christmas isn't so popular in Crofter-land.
After an invigorating drive during which Tzvetan showed us Bulgaria's premier cock-ring factory, the second biggest cave resurgence in the land and numerous crofters on carts, we arrived at one end of a very dodgy bridge. Rumen was keen for attempting a crossing, but Tzvetan put his foot down and we were saved from a watery Bulgar grave.
The cave was a wet one, so Tzvetan suggested we dry our kit out for 4 hours in the sun, then go caving and come out in the dark. We decided to gorge ourselves on Bulgar dry rations, laze in the sun for 20 minutes, then go caving ! The Bulgar military had used the cave during the Cold War to store aviation fuel, so when they decided to abandon the site, it had been cleaned up really well. Gone were all the foundations of the fuel dumps and any hint of gasoline, not ! Stinking bastards had, predictably, left a horrid mess and it stank !
The cave, however, was superb. Thousands of bats, tonnes of bat shit, guano insects, invertebrate devourers, long refreshing swims and huge gour pools to climb. Tzvetan found his niche and leapt into the many lakes first, squealing with pleasure like a suckling pig on a farmers knob. Stevey required assistance and Andy kindly dragged him like a lamb to the slaughter across many of the lakes, leaving Steve to concentrate on keeping his wallet and mouth above water. He also found he required assistance climbing an easy slope, thus using me as a ladder (he is fecking heavy).
A superb trip, bat guano was ingested by all and hurriedly neutralised by drinking copious quantities of local vino and devouring several hundred-weight of locally produced spunk-cake.
(Apologies for the writing. This shitty Bulgarian Airlines is cramped, smoky and descending roughly towards either a crash landing or certain death!)
Dan and I were amused when Tzvetan was about to fall down a 30-foot drop. His call for help went something like this. "My English companions, please render some assistance to me, I am moving in a downwards direction." Luckily he didn't weigh much and Dan and I, holding onto his collar, swung him back into the passage. Mad.
Visited some tufa waterfalls with rickety bridges on the way to the house of the owner of the crofting company of dubious nature known as Odyessia-Out. No wine for tea and soup with deep fried bollocks in it.
Adventures in Bulgarian caves !