Crossing the Balkan mountain range in the early morning is plain beautiful – we stop at a gas station and are warmly welcomed by the locals. Though we have only one day for Bulgaria, we really enjoy the nature, peace, and the hearty people living in the country. The night is spent right before the border in a tiny village on a camping site that is run by a man from England who spends his summers there. So this night, we’re putting up the tents on finest English lawn…
Turkish border crossing is working quite without problems – the shock comes when stopping at the first parking area with the whole area being littered with all sorts of waste (from travellers and obviously from people just dumping whatever they have).
Getting closer to Bosporus, traffic is getting heavier and more chaotic. We manage to get a vignette with the help of a German-Turkish guy. The highway around Istanbul and over the river is a plain nightmare for us with it’s heat and chaotic stop-and-go traffic – we almost get run over several times. After more than two hours we finally made it and are completely exhausted. The view from the Bosporus bridge was beautiful, though didn’t make the experience much more pleasant.
Escaping the traffic we head up north towards Sile at the Black Sea. We expect a rather touristic area but find a pretty quite and remote camping site right on the beach. English is not widely known everywhere, so we get into first language difficulties – however, the manager at the place is fluent in Russian so we set with that. We really need a break from the whole week riding so decide to stay for full day before starting our second stage through Turkey to the Iranian border.