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Well, not my favourite countries to cycle across so far… I think it was mostly my fault in my choice of timing, routes, and having slightly deflated tyres as I struggled up the hills. I do plan before each country, but then the detail is added locally. And since returning from cycling across Iceland, I had left my bike at my mums (near Gatwick) and hadn’t done the usual servicing and my pump didn’t work.

I had chosen a main highway through Turkey which proved to be boring and hilly in very hot weather. The only shade was provided by bridges over the busy dual carriageway. I camped at the side of the noisy road which had continuous lorries booming past in the heat and the dust. There were also packs of wild dogs chasing me, including one who took a bite of my pannier. And the daylight hours were short and cycling was dangerous in the dark – even with my bright clothing and lights. So Turkey took much longer than anticipated which meant I got up at 0500 each morning to try and start cycling as the sun rose. It was cold at night too.

Crossing the border into Bulgaria was stressful – busy with lorries, dust, hot and dangerous.

I finally found a side road and eased myself away from the bustle, which was a relief, however I camped in a vineyard surrounded by howling wolves! The last day of Bulgaria was at least scenic with a 17km downhill run into Sofia!


TOTAL: 178.48

21 hours 33 minutes

Ave 8.4 mph

Ave miles per day 59.49 (averaging 7 hours 11 minutes each day. Starting in the dark and finishing in the dark)



TOTAL: 178.96

20 hours 33 minutes

Ave 8.7 mph

Ave miles per day 56.97

Paula Reid

Author Paula Reid

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