Blog26-Hills and a deep blue funk

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The funk, it happens, and when it does you just need to ride thru it. I got it bad about 5 days after leaving Montana, Bulgaria. I was so lonesome for someone to talk to, too complain to, that I dang near hugged and Athiest. Pretty sure it was a result of the terrible weather. This is evening of day six of rain. And I am not talking about a nice little fairy tale type spinkle. This is heavy fat black cloud and thunder rolling around all day, dense fog at times. This is pound the ground hard for hours then let off to just a steady back washing rain. So, for almost a godly week, I have been in a deep blue funk. But I got Jesus in my heart and a smile on my face today. JW has been able to ride around God’s creation, seeing some of the prettiest country that God has made.

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Got out of Montana without any problems or hitches, my nav skills using ups are improving immensely. Not that you would,nt be welcome back Pine should you decide to rejoin the journey. I am having a little trouble with the typing and tablet as I sit here in my tent this evening. My fingers are so cold the tablet is not responding for one thing. The other is, that I have wet clothes hanging across my tent, like theres is room for that or heat enuff. Butt hey they are hanging and dripping and I am stuffed into a corner to avoid even more water. Everything I own is soaked thru, or will be there tomorrow. Lets get back to leaving Montana by tiny backroads. This type of road avoids traffic, but you give up road surface and you get old road construction which means some nasty teenage numbered ascents. Matter of fact, on this route you get plenty.

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Within this are of Bulgaria, cant speak for the rest,  many little villages have nothing at all in them in the way of fuel or food type stuff. So in someways, it is more remote than say Mongolia where every yurt had items for sale. I noticed this within the first 2 or 3 villages, so when I seen what we call a “magazin” or store of sorts. I bought what I thought was needed for that day and next morning. Water was plentiful as it was running out from every seam on my riding gear, running thru my bag of sleep, and running across the road in waves. So if extra water was needed, I would pick it up near the end of the day. No real sense carrying that extra wieght up any more 15% grades than is needed. This is our 6th wet camp night, although tonite I changed my tactics since God brought an abandoned building my way for tonights camp. So, I am under what remains of the roof on this building. A slight reprieve.

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My route took me north basically parrallel to the Serbian border. Which is also a range of mountains. Not sure what happened, or what circumstances changed thru this “Poina Mares” region of Bulgaria, but there are a bunch of abandoned homes, and derelect buildings thru this region. Plenty of huge buildings and the proverbial Soviet smokestacks in place as an edifice to that era of Bulgarian history. These bigger buildings looked as though they may once have been a part of a collective farm operation, but nobody around to tell me so I just assume. I did see one sign read “Leper Colony”. But I knew that was bogus, cause all the Lepers are in central and southern Afrika. Gosh, all you gott,a do is read the web sometime to get caught up on that sort of stuff. Rode thru whole villages that were all but abandoned. Always one or two hardy souls that just hang in there so that it can never be called a ghost town by rights.

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No bathing this week, to tired, too wet already and the water was too darned cold to pour it over my head. The old tent is a ripe smellin motor scooter right now. As they say, its at a place only a man can take it, and its at a place that it could use a womens touch. Pretty much the whole west side of Bulgaria, is huge rolling ridges with plenty of trees, but also alot of small subsistance farmers out there as well. Didnt really see much in the way of livestock, except for sheep and goats, and those comprised very small herds. Without any doubt, this is an impoverished region in Bulgaria. As I was riding thru a village, it was pouring hard so spotting a place to have coffee I stopped and had a double. It was just 9am, and about 8 locals were hanging out already. Because of the rain I assume. While I had coffee, they were all onto the beer and Raki already. It was uphill, downhill, across a creek and repeat…..Pines favorite sort of ride. Every once in awhile the  road would give way to its graveled ancestry, just to make that 4 switchbach hill that much more fun.

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Morning 4 I think it was, the fog was so thick I simply rode by feel. Not sure what the villages or countryside looked like…….couldn,t see it. Finally hit that intersection that I had been lookin for, as I knew then we would be within a few miles of Serbia. Turned west, rode up the gentle tree lined slope to the border crossing. The Bulgarian guard was real chatty, telling me that Mexico, US, Canada all the same…..one big country thats why we are all so rich. You,d be happy with me sweat-hart…….for once JW didn,t argue. Now the Serbian guard was a different story. He was a little ticked when I handed him my Pass-Port and he said something to me in an unfriendly tone. I shrugged and said ENGLISH? He actually called a guy over to translate. his complaint was, that I had allowed my passport to get to wet. It was like a dishrag. I assured him that it was humidity not rain, and I had’nt licked it for over an hour. I carry the passport in  small case with other needed things, like credit card, monkey chow, extra eyes for Mr.Potatoe Head etc.. Anyways, we roll out with about 15km to go to Sujecar, Serbia.

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Pulled in about 5pm. By chance I stopped at restaurant Meda…….just riding by and figured i could warm up, dry out and eat all at one place. Without any doubt, the best meal I have had since we left our fine friends in China. Spent too long I know, still had to find some place to camp in the dark. We done alright using a small road that pulled off into a farm field just west of town. Good night all, and may God bless you richly as he has myself and my family.

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About Jeremiah Watt-saddlemaker

Jeremiah is a saddle maker, a silversmith. He runs a small company manufacturing bits and spurs as well as the manufacture of saddle hardware. An avid cyclist, especially the loaded solo tour type cycling.
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5 Responses to Blog26-Hills and a deep blue funk

  1. Morning Erin, and thanks. Lonesome is a bitter mental enemy. At least for now it iis behind me, we have made it to Croatia finally and not for lack of considerable effort I must say. I can once again work on the blog and get it up to date. Will see my darling wife in but a few days,, great. Then we will hit the Dalmation coast, Montenegro and Albania and back up to Zadar thru Bosnia. Be well, be blessed and pray.

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  2. Hello Delwyne and Colleen, thanks for the kind words and prayers. Not sure if the folks at National Geo would agree, but I can say that I try my hardest to captufe that which I see. If and when they come out good…..I am as amazed as anybody. We have just made it to Croatia and can now catch the blog up again. BOSNIA -WOW, beautiful place

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  3. Howdy Jeremiah, Colleen and I are sure having fun following your incredible journey! I suppose we’ve heard of folks riding thier bikes around the world before, but never imagined we’d ever actually know one of those types. Your writing is delightful and your photographs are very, very nice. Fact is, I suggested to Colleen that some of them look as if they may have been lifted out of the National Geographic. Have fun, be safe. Great work!

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  4. Erin says:

    Good Morning Uncle Jim,
    Hope you are doing well and that the skies have cleared up for you. I have been enjoying the blog so much and have shared it with many others. They are enjoying hearing/reading about my crazy family and how they are making this epic journey across some of the most obscure places in the world.
    Romania was so much more than I expected, so much so that I have put it on the bucket list! Glad that everything is going well, that you are healthy and that you are leaving the funk behind! Sure was special that you and Pine were able to ride together – what a wonderful experience for you both! But will miss his scruffy face in your pictures…. 😦
    You are doing great! Cant wait to hear more stories and see more of this wonderful world through your lense!
    Love you,
    Erin

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  5. Natasha Hunt says:

    sorry you had a blue funk, but this is funny; when the announcement for this blog came up on my facebook feed it said …a blue funk came on 5 days after leaving Montana. . I thought woah wait a minute, I haven’t been following too closely but I thought you were somewhere in eastern Europe. How in the heck had you been in Montana, the one I was thinking of, and gone from there 5 days 🙂 You must have sonic bicycle! Oh Montana Bulgaria, now I see, thanks for the geography lesson, we don’t get much contact with montana bulgaria from here in the canyon. 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your trip!

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