Dolno Panicherevo

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    • Day 12


      April 9, 2023 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☁️ 14 °C

      Was ist die letzten Tage so alles passiert?
      Strecke, Strecke, Strecke.
      Nachdem uns in Serbien nochmal der Winter überrascht hat, sind wir seit einigen Tagen in Bulgarien angekommen. In Sofia nach einigen Jahren einen alten (jung gebliebenen) Schulkameraden getroffen und jetzt verbringen wir Ostern an einem kleinen See in der Nähe von Panicherevo.
      Am Dienstag oder Mittwoch soll es dann in die Türkei gehen, ob das so funktioniert - wir schauen mal. Joshi ist jedenfalls nochmal "gecheckt" worden und für Gustav fehlt noch ein kleines Dokument, was wir am Dienstag bekommen sollten.

      Wir wünschen euch allen frohe Ostern!
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    • Day 37


      May 10, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 14 °C

      So the bed is slowly dying. Will put my bag on the bed and it collapsed so we swapped sides. We then swapped back because Will decided he would rather sleep on a slant than with a slat missing in the middle of his back.
      One dude snored so loudly -.-
      I was less itchy though because I've been using my own sleeping bag so that's good.
      We brushed our teeth and did the final morning pack then asked the volunteer worker to call us a taxi. Half way through her attempt we realized we had no money so we tried to make her cancel but she wouldn't hang up the phone. She kept saying just wait. We tried to Communicate we couldn't pay for it..
      Either way she failed to get one so no harm done.
      We went searching for a working ATM and on attempt 2 we found one. We then had breakfast and headed back to the hostel.
      The streets were more crowded with tourist groups this morning.
      We ate cereal and I played a game of rummi with Patrick and Tom (weird south Australian guy)
      I won. Thanks Noeline and Matt for the practice hehe.
      We then started walking the 1.6km journey to the station.
      Gah, my backpack is getting heavier I swear.
      Partly because I'm carrying the dirty laundry so I have lots of Wills clothes. -.-
      I've now put the sleeping bag on the outside of my bag and that makes it really uncomfortably difficult too because it's so uneven and hurts my back.
      Once we got to the park we had a 2 minute break for Will to take off his jumper and for me to attach my sleeping bag to his bag. He now has one on each side so his bag is more even too. I carried his jumper :)
      In the park there was this person - I had several looks and have concluded it was a man wearing a wig. Will thought it was an Ugly woman but I maintain it was a man - the beard was too bushy, the hair too straight and rigid (therefore probably a wig) and he/she had a uni-boob.
      Maybe he just likes sitting in the park and wants to feel pretty amongst the birds...

      I think I find the little bag more challenging because the big backpack straps take up all of my shoulders so I have nowhere to flatly lay the smaller straps. I have to put them on top of the big straps and they keep sliding off which is annoying.
      Will doesn't have this problem cause he is much bigger.
      Considering our packs are pretty much the same weight I'm doing really well because your pack is only suppose to be 15% of your body weight
      Mine is way over and his is way under.
      We made it to the station - it's the same one we arrived in.
      Will sat down with or bags while I tried to organize tickets.
      I tried 3 shops before I found the right one.
      After having the same convo serveral times..
      "Hi, do you speak English? "
      "Nova Zagora?"
      *points in different direction*
      But I found it! Woo!
      It was only 10 Lev each which is brilliant.
      That's one less stress. Only 3 more to go.
      1 - our bus station is not he final destination so we need to get off mid route which is causing me anxiety.
      2 - once we do successfully get off we will need to get our bags from underneath the bus - on our previous bus rides I haven't seen anyone who hasn't been on to the end open up the under compartments so hopefully we can.
      3 - actually finding our host.
      It's quite the adventure.

      We are currently watching the fat pigeon eating anything it can find.

      We went to gate 5 which is where we were told our bus would be. There was a bus there waiting but it was only 2:10.
      We weren't sure if it was the right bus or not so we asked. It wasn't the most friendliest of responses but it at least answered our question. No, it was not our bus.
      We waited for it to leave then Ours pulled in. Ours is much smaller. Our driver doesn't speak English but nodded so hears to hoping we go the right direction.
      It's been an hour and a half of the journey.
      I really need to wee.
      The country side is lovely and I've enjoyed some derelict villages along the way.
      There are big holes in the wall so it must be freezing but people definitely live there because there is washing hanging up.
      I naturally became tired along the way and had a quick snooze but the anxiety of missing our stop has helped me not go into a deep sleep.
      Will is sleeping too and doesn't fit in the seat. The photo I got of his is quite funny.
      Poor cotton.
      We are at what I think is the stop before ours and I'm THRILLED that we have pulled into a bus station rather than a bus stop on the side of the road. Hopefully we get dropped off at a terminal too.

      I have been trying to find shapes in the clouds. It's harder as an adult but is still consider it a success.

      Of course our stop wasn't a bus station but a stop on the side of the road. - Nova Zegora.
      We weren't sure whether to get off or not but thank heavens Johanna was at the door and collected us.
      The stress left my body immediately- we weren't stranded haha.
      I really hope mum and dad remember me saying I might not have wifi because I don't and I hope they don't think something's gone wrong. Especially when I can't upload this journal for 2 weeks. I might ask Johanna if I can send an email mid week just to be sure.
      In sure Wills parents will be less stressed lols
      She had parked in a supermarket car park so we walked to that - she lives about 20 km away. The drive was beautiful.
      She lives in a village. Like, a proper village with horse and carriages.
      I'm in love.
      We are set up in a tent in the backyard. Our mattress is on a diagonal so Will can fit..
      the toilet is an outhouse - Will had a nervous laugh. It's the same as Kenya except it smells better because they have sawdust stuff to throw into the toilet after your number 2.
      I'm going to have to get use to aiming better..
      Johanna took us on a tour to a few of her rose fields - because of the rain they are not ready to harvest yet but she still has some odd jobs for us to help with.
      Today I saw the biggest bee I've ever seen in my life. It was like part bird.
      I also watched a Different bee up really close pollinating a big beautiful purple flower. I took a video too.
      The main house is falling apart so they live in a side room that has a bedroom attached to an Empty room which will be a kitchen and a shower in the back.
      The main house only has one usable room and they use it for storage - that's where we have put our big bags.
      We spent some time sampling different teas and chatting.
      We were starving so when she mentioned dinner we were both relived. It was lentil soup. At first I was disappointed but still Hungry enough to eat anyway but it turned out to be delicious.
      There is an outside, old school cooking area with a fire stove and jar after jar of dried things and cooking condiments.
      I was so very cold.
      Even with my puffy jacket, rain coat, a blanket, Wills snow beanie and sitting next to a fire eating hot liquids I was crystallizing.
      After dinner we played cards for a few hours.
      It's a German game (Johanna is German) called wizard. It was really very confusing at first but we eventually got the hang of it. It goes for 20 rounds and the rounds get infer longer every time.
      On round 19 it was discovered that me and Will had been playing wrong. Though we were playing the same way so i think the lead I had on him was valid.
      Only a small thing we misunderstood but it probably effected the overall score.
      It was over a matter of HAVING to play a card of a certain colour if you had it - we both thought we could strategically skip.
      Overall score ended up being me and Johanna tied for first place.
      Danny, Johannas partner will be arriving on Monday next week.
      Will had a shower while I organized the tent.
      It's a tight fit but we will manage.
      I'm excited for what's to come!

      We also got an offer for English speaking in Poland that we want to have a look at once we have internet back.

      I may or may not have Dutch ovened the tent.
      It was not good.
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    • Day 38

      Work Away

      May 11, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 15 °C

      At about 3 am we both woke up to the noise of a humongous truck FLYING through the village streets.
      Apparently truckers use it from Turkey to Romania to avoids inspections but wow it was loud!
      We woke up at 6 to the sound of so many birds chirping. It was peaceful.
      We got out of the tent at 9.
      I needed to pee all night but I pushed through - I didnt want to go out in the wet.
      Breakfast was fancy. Well not overly but I thought so.
      It was fresh porridge with cooked cranberry and apple on top with a smashed banana underneath.
      For my first porridge experience I quite liked it. Will did not.
      The fruit and honey I added made it better.
      I also had a tea. I'm liking the tea variety I've had here. I'll definitely be hitting up T2 when home.
      There is a rooster and he doesn't shut up but you can also hear dogs barking and sheep.
      We got ready, meaning brushed our teeth in the garden, put on our sunscreen (turns out Will bought FOUNDATION with sunscreen in it -HAHAHAHAHAH he looked beautiful <3 hehehe)
      and I put on a pair of borrowed gum boots. Our first stop was to the local "hardware store" to see if hey had boots in Wills size. They didn't but they are going to order some in for him and they will be here tomorrow.
      We then went to the rose fields. We put on gloves and had a hoe each.
      Will was seriously impressive. Even Johanna said she had never seen anyone so quick.
      His head nearly exploded.
      Thank god he was there though or the 2 rows would have taken me all week.
      I was slow at first but did pick up the pace eventually once I got use to the blister feeling on my hand (which I hate) but I was still slow in comparison..
      I managed to kill 1.5 rose bushes..
      The first one may survive so that's good because I pulled out the whole plant but the root survived but the second time I felt horrible and wanted to go cry in the car.
      It's there favourite field because it's the only field with white roses so they are extra special....
      The second time I just wasn't concentrating because I was in a rhythm and chopped it in half then pulled out the rose with my hands while Johanna yelled "that's the rose"
      Oh god. It was not good.
      I knew she was upset/mad but she hid it well and pretended it was ok which I appreciated. I felt horrible. Will just laughed at me.
      *** (written by William) ***But after he had finished some of his row he can back and helped me with mine. Will is the best couldn't ask for a better boyfriend plus he's super good looking which is a bonus. All I ever do is sleep must be because I'm a big stupid head. *****

      I can't believe I ripped out a rose bush with my bare hands...
      Anyway I tried extra hard after that. Johanna went ahead and cleaned around the roses to make it obvious for me..
      My blisters felt fine once I stretched them a bit. I just hate the initial felling of tight skin. Neither popped so that's good.
      Thanks to Will we finished in under 3 hours woo!

      Basically we had to get rid of he ridiculous amount of weeds strangling the roses.
      There were so many creepy crawlies in the soil.
      Heaps of awesomely camouflaged spiders and millipede type things - and worms. But if I saw a worm I moved it out of harms way of being chopped..
      probably why I took longer... hahahah
      Johanna took a video of us hoeing which I appreciated :)
      We then went back to the house and I had a lie down in the beautiful garden. It's full of insects but they leave you alone and I'm not worried cause there harmless in comparison to the potential garden friends of Australia.
      There was lady beetles, butterflies, bees of all sizes, ants and beetle types I didn't recognize.
      Johanna put down a picnic rug for me to lie in the sun on.
      After a small while Johanna made us lunch. We had shopska salad and Will had a ham and cheese sandwich. Despite what he may think, he is the fussy one.
      Afterwards we went for a quick walk around the village - or rather around the block.
      People were so suspicious. One lady took her baby inside and left the pram on the street. She had this look of alarm. Lol.
      As I've mentioned, I love villages.
      Will then had a siesta but I found the tent too hot so I had a shower in the dodgy tub then discovered I was out of clothes so I did 3 loads of washing. Apparently the washing machine will be functional in 3-4 days can't wait.
      It was difficult to do in the garden because the floor was muddy so the scrubba got muddy but I managed. I hung them on the line and they should dry quickly because it's very hot.
      I then had a sleep on the picnic rug. Wonderful.
      I then successfully used the outhouse woo!
      Me and Will were having a comp who would go first - #winner
      I emailed dad, Helen and Jess to say we would have no internet - I tapped into the wifi on Johanna's phone.
      Dinner time - it was spag bowl yessss!
      Sooo good.
      We then played cards - big 2.
      About 15 rounds and I didn't win once which was bullshit.
      During our game of cards one of Danny's distant relatives came for a visit - apparently she just lets herself in 3 times a day. lol
      She was so small. Will was sitting in a chair and was still taller than her. Might try get a photo next to her too. Hehe
      She came to offer cucumbers but Johanna planted some in the garden today so she went for a look. She is going to bring us some sheep milk for tomorrow. Didn't even realise that was thing.
      Hopefully we get to go to her house cause she has some animals I can play with. :D

      Time for another scheduled sleep.
      It's a sleep in tomorrow - we can get up at 9 :D..

      Wills toenails are ridiculous- he cut them today for the 5th time since we left.
      I am yet to cut mine.

      It's 10:46pm and there are birds chirping so loudly. What retards it's dark out.
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    • Day 39

      Work Away

      May 12, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☁️ 15 °C

      That damn bird.
      It tweeted for the entire night.
      I have never heard such a vocal bird, least of all at night.
      We didn't sleep well because of it at got up 9:45.
      Johanna had bought us *insert Bulgarian word* from the bakery which is essentially Pastry with feta in it.
      As promised the little old lady had brought over sheep milk.
      In theory there was nothing wrong with it. It had the same texture as cow milk and tasted similarly enough (it had a stronger kick) but something in my mind was rejecting the thought of drinking juice from a sheep. Illogical but eh.
      I did finish my glass like a boss though. Just don't want anymore thanks.
      I borrowed a pair of rain pains and we all got to work in the yard de-weeding with the hoes. My hands are much better today but still hurt when I stop.
      It was more challenging than yesterday because it required even more concentration. And the dirt had tiles littered underneath so it was harder.
      We cleared a Large section of the garden though. Will wandered off and started clearing the grass near our tent to make it easier to get in.
      One of the plants bled fluro orange which was weird.
      Next up was a supper crappy job.
      We got told that there was a path to the out house but it was hidden by inches of dirt.
      This took agesss and really hurt both of our backs. I think Will was so put out by the job because it could be done with a high pressure hose and would be 10 times faster but I tried to remind him that that is a privilege and not a norm.
      We did manage to clear the path though so I'm feeling pretty proud of our achievement. Looks good but once it rains and cleans it a bit it will look better.
      We then had a break and sat around for a bit which felt awesome haha. I was feeling quite cold because my sweat made me wet -.-
      We then went over to the little ladies house (Baba Penka) to return the sheep milk and see her animals.
      (Baba is Grandma in Bulgarian.) except she wasn't home. We popped up the road to see if Wills boots had been delivered but they hadn't..
      so we drove 7km to the next village to get some groceries. The next village is more established.

      I've been seeing random coffee machines in the middle of random streets which is bizarre considering the neighborhood.

      Some of the scenery on the way was beautiful.
      The black cat that Johanna claims isn't hers but lives at her house anyway was less scared of me today. :) I've named it Pedro :)
      I then had another nap in the yard while Will watched a movie in the tent.
      I tried to nap there but I couldn't stand the heat.
      I woke up to Johanna working in the garden. Not sure if she expected help so I felt awkward.
      We tried baba Penkas again and this time she was home. She had set the table for dinner for us so I'm so thankful we went over again because I hate thinking of the little old ladies broken heart when her guests don't show up :( even though we didn't know we had been invited to dinner... that got lost in the translation - Johanna isn't fluent in Bulgarian, she can get by though.
      Even though it didn't happen and we went, my heart hurts thinking of her sitting at the table alone with a big pile of food that she probably can't afford to give to us..
      She is too cute.
      She is missing all her teeth except 2 on the side.
      She had a heart attack a few years ago and has recently started talking about her death a lot which is awkward especially when her message gets translated to you.
      She is so funny, she looks you straight in the eye and talks and talks even though you have zero idea what she is saying.
      Her husband was at the lake with the sheep so we went down to visit.
      At first we could only see him sitting on a chair, asleep with no sign of the sheep.
      We thought he was going to have his ass handed to him.. hahaha but they were just grazing over a Hill.
      There were cows grazing too.
      We walked down to the lake and I felt the water. It was a little too cold to swim in but not Icey.
      The lake is artificial and was created in the 60's - there use to be a village there.
      It was stunning. I took so many photos.
      Lots of cow pats and random shells everywhere.
      It's unfortunate but a lot of people don't pick up their rubbish..
      A man was fishing too but he shouldn't have been. It's currently illegal because they have to let the supply replenish. You can in June I think.
      No one said anything to him though.
      I've noticed on every house there are signs that look like missing person posters - today we asked what they were and they are signs in remembrance to the dead and they say along the lines of "this person died 2 years ago, please pray" and they update them as time goes on.
      They have been everywhere in Bulgaria but more common in the village. It's Bulgarian tradition to do so.
      We walked back to Baba Penkas and looked at her animals. She has rabbits and I was horrified when she picked it up by the ears. It started kicking so I took it off her and held it properly.
      They all had the creepy red eyes and their cage was filthy because the son normally cleans it but he is away.
      She also has turkeys and chickens and they didn't look well cared for either. I'm hoping the bleeding bits on the rooster was from a fight and not from small scratches that have festered but I doubt it.
      She has a cat that she claims to not feed but fed it a lot when we were there. The weirdo ate bread and a tomato.
      The cat has 4 kittens which we saw also. I felt so bad for them :( I don't know how there life will turn out but it doesn't look promising and the mum cat didn't show them any interest.
      We were served chicken stew which was really salty and Baba kept apologizing but it tasted fine.
      I wasn't fussed by the actual chicken part.
      I fed the cat a little too.
      Baba kicked the cat once to get it away from food but I winced.
      I carried the cat to safety haha. It was a bit mangy but purred loudly when I scratched it.
      When eating, the trick is to leave your plate full or it gets refilled. She complained I didn't eat anything but refilled my bowl 5 times?!
      We then Walked back to the boot store - they had arrived and fitted so we carried them home.
      We made comment to Johanna after our walk the other day that people are suspicious of us and run into there homes. She commented that she now she's what we mean. Many people evacuated the area haha.
      We played big 2 again. I lost for a while again but then got on a winning streak :D
      We also taught Johanna go fish and while Will had a shower me and Johanna played a game similar to speed.
      We are now in the tent - I hate it. I'd rather sleep on a flat floor that on a mattress because because of the weight difference it doesn't accommodate for my movements well. It's like being double bounced on a trampoline.

      We chatted to Johanna a lot more today. It's becoming easier.
      Danny will arrive tomorrow which I'm happy about - more conversation opportunities.

      Will finally went potty.
      What a big boy. :)

      We saw 3 Woodpeckers today which was kinda cool.

      That's fucking bird is back... it's 11:14
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    • Day 40

      Work Away

      May 13, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ☀️ 23 °C

      We slept better last night even though that bird came back -.-
      We got up at 9 and had cereal for breakfast. It was a new type we bought at the grocery store yesterday but it wasn't as good. It was only a small bag so we don't have to eat it again cause it's all gone lol.
      I was more conscious this morning and ready to go.
      It was stinking hot already though so we both opted for shorts.
      But I wore a long sleeve shirt because Johanna (pronounced Yo - Hana. I feel black when I say it)
      said the roses can scratch up your arms pretty bad.
      We drove out to one of the fields, parked then walked about 500 meters over sunflower seedlings before we actually got there.
      We took a pair of big scissors and took on a row each. I find it quite fun. The aim was to get rid of all the dead sticks attached to the bushes.
      It hurt my back after a while but cutting the big stems was really satisfying.
      I made a few boo boos and cut live stems so I hid them at the base 0.O hehehe oops.
      (While reading this back to Will he has admitted to the same crime.)
      I was the slowest but most efficient at first. Once I realized everyone else was not being as precise I caught up.
      The thorns went through my gloves a few times and it really hurt.
      One you cut the stick you had to throw it into the lane way but it was challenging. A few times I went to throw it but the thorns attached to my gloves so I ended up hitting myself In the face.
      It really hurt Wills back so he used the pitch fork to collect the sticks.
      I really did find it fun only it was so hot and I was dripping. Sweat was going everywhere and my eyes were stinging.
      I don't know when i last sweated that much.
      I think the sunscreen I put on was why it was so much. My pores were in protest.
      Johanna and I worked on row 4 together. She is much quicker than me but I'd be worried if she wasn't - it's her job.
      I had a try with the pitch fork and got cranky.
      It's so much easier using your hands to pick up the sticks - they just fall straight through the fork.
      There was one open rose and it smelt incredible, like the soap.
      We got some photos of us being farmers then headed home.
      We sat around the table for a while just relaxing.
      Danny then turned up. I like him. He is easy going and has made a few jokes too.
      He showed us underneath there unusable house. They have a boat and bikes which we hope to use.
      It's really cold under the house and is where previous owners would have stored food.
      There were some awesome big barrels there too.
      It was like a pickers dream. So much junk.
      We had lunch - Shopska salad, sandwiches and potato salad type thing except they called it a Russian salad?
      I then had a beautiful shower and cleaned the layers of crap out of my hair.
      The pair have now gone off to do something so I'm laying on the mat with intentions of reading while Will does his first load of washing. So proud.
      Will can't find the 2nd packet of Oreos we bought and is a little bummed.
      There are so many bees buzzing around my face but strangely it doesn't faze me. I don't normally feel overly comfortable around them.

      I had a splinter before and it really really hurt! I thought I had been bitten/stung by something at first.
      I had to almost cut a chunk out of my skin to get it out. Little bugger.

      No sign of Pedro today :(

      My book is so stressful I need to take regular breaks.

      Regarding the rose oil business -
      They stay in business because the biggest Rose companies can't harvest all their roses - Only a very small portion, because it's a job a machine can't do.
      No machine yet exists that can tell which roses should be picked and which should not. All must be hand picked.
      The little fields sell to the bigger companies and also have their own smaller businesses, like on Etsy.
      We are working on an organic farm.
      There are 2 distilleries in town.

      I want dinner. The sunset is so late here which is good and bad.
      2 more volunteers arrive tomorrow. The yard is going to be cramped with everyone's tents!

      When it's cold and you pee in the hole ... because your wee is hot and the stone is cold it makes steam :)
      Science is cool. Lol

      I finished reading a few chapters of my book and went to sit over with Will who was just about finished watch Logan - he said it's good.
      Danny asked us if we were bored and wanted to see a bit of the village. We said yes :)
      He drove us through a lot of fields. Grapes, sunflowers, lavender and roses. The grapes are the prettiest.
      We got out of the car to look at lavender. It hasn't started yet but if you rub the leaves you can smell it.
      We saw some wild rabbits - apparently jackals eat them.
      I didn't realise they had Jackals in Europe.
      The views were beautiful.
      We drove around for about 30 mins.
      When we got back in was dinner time.
      It was sausage and lentils - :S but I ate it like a polite guest.
      Danny is a tour guide in Sofia so he has a lot of random knowledge and he gave us a big history of yogurt because Bulgarians are upset.
      He put yogurt on his sausage. Who does that?

      I tried it with lentils and it wasn't half bad. There yogurt is better than ours. It has a different texture. It's more watery.
      We then played big 2 all together. Danny is very funny.

      This whole time I thought the wood shavings were scented when it's actually the toilet paper. Fancy.

      It's about to storm we think. There is lots of lightening so far but no rain.
      I would love to fall asleep to the sound of rain than that damn bird.

      Storm has started :D

      Never mind it didn't last long :(
      I kept on needing to wee and Will was getting fed up with me climbing over him to the door so tried to go out the back way. As I pulled the zipper down my hand was in immediate pain. So many nettle stings. My hand developed some small hives pretty quickly :( it was itchy :(
      It was fine by morning though.
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    • Day 41

      Work Away

      May 14, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 22 °C

      Woke up about 5 times during the night for no obvious reason but I didn't mind because each time I still had so long to sleep which is the best feeling when you see the clock and have 5 hours to go.
      Once awake we had Frosties for breakfast. I'm not sure if I've ever had them before but I liked them.
      I put shorts on again cause it was roasting and our first job was to work in the garden again, getting space ready for 2 more tents.
      Being the most inexperienced gardener I know, I was a little concerned when I had to handle their precious crops, but I did good :)
      I had to use a shovel to dig up lettuces and replant them and then water.
      I had to move some onions too.
      Another job was for me to go over a section of soil and remove old rose tree sticks Baba Penka had planted in the hope of growing rose bushes (it didn't work out)
      Will de weeded the yard while this was happening.

      They own a lavender field but haven't maintained it. While we were gardening Danny went to look at it and came back with the news that he think it might be workable so off we went.

      While this big tracker did something and Danny took soil samples Will, Johanna and I cut out the trees and wild berries bushes that had taken up residence there.
      I started out with a little hoe but ended up stealing the scissors cause it's funner and easier.
      Me and Will stuck together and we were on fire. #Ateam.
      I cut then he hacked.
      My legs and arms got covered in scratches though. The wild berries bushes were assholes to get rid of.
      Will had to use all his muscles to dig up some of the roots - they were massive!
      At the end we had to go back over the field and find all the tree parts because we were silly and didn't make obvious piles as we went along.
      The field looks much better but still looks like shit. It's very patchy, and overgrown. There is more wild grass than there is lavender.
      The views were spectacular though. I'm starting to think everywhere is here.
      I think I've mentioned it everyday.

      On the way home Danny stopped into some field so say hi to some people. There soil looked far softer and easier to move.
      We then went to the store where Danny bought 4 different chocolate bar varieties for me and Will to sample. ( 8 chocolates in total :D)
      We tried one when we got home And it tasted like a picnic. The others are all wafer varieties. Apparently Bulgarians are big on wafers lol.
      Danny also bought heaps of juice including a sour cherry flavored juice which tasted better than expected.
      It was essentially watered down cough medicine though.
      Near the store we saw another horse and carriage and the same dog I've seen for the past few days which breaks my heart. Every time I've seen it it's been desperately running around searching bins. It has big tits as well so probably has a litter hidden somewhere. :,(

      We went home and had some lunch. Then Had some time off. Will set himself up on a lawn chair and I tried in the garden again but it was too hot. I ended up in a new spot on the balcony which was a little too windy :/

      Once we woke up we put up 2 more tents. The first one required no effort. You just throw it and it pops open.
      The second one was your standard design but looked quite small.
      Our next house chore was to pump up the tires on the bikes (well, Danny did it not us lol) and then me and Will went for a quick bike ride.
      It took me a little while to get the hang of riding again. It wasn't the balancing aspect but more the push off and understanding the gears. I prefer bikes who have the pedal backwards break function like my little girl bike lol.
      We went for a ride down to the lake and the then back up past Baba Penkas house. Riding uphill burnt the thighs haha.

      Will has been complaining non stop about wanting a hair cut so we borrowed Danny's electric shaver.
      Oh dear.
      My bad.
      I did not do a good job.
      The shaver was so inconsistent. His head is extremely patchy.
      I did a miraculous fix up job with a pair of scissors though so it did improve a lot but it couldn't all be saved...
      My shirt is really itchy cause it has spiked hair in it.
      Because dinner was going to be late because we had to pick up someone in town I ate a chocolate bar on the road. Yum!
      We drove to Nova Zagora (on the way stopping in at one of the rose fields by the lake to see if it was blossoming) and collected Matthew (he is from Canada) from his previous work away hosts at some random round about.
      It probably looked like a hostage exchange.
      He is weird as fuck.
      He doesn't speak loudly and has mannerisms similar to serial killers on SVU.
      People tried to make conversation but it failed and a lot of the car ride was silent.
      We stopped in at a grocery store to stock up on food - I bought some wild berry tea :)
      We ate dinner when home and then played cards.
      Danny didn't play though because he was inside getting paperwork ready for their inspection tomorrow.
      They get inspected once a year to get certified as organic.
      Once again, Matthew is weird. I kept talking to myself in my head saying "stop judging" and yet he gives me the creeps.
      Hopefully he becomes more comfortable but from what he has said about disliking human interactions.. I doubt it.
      Read more

    • Day 42

      Work Away

      May 15, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ ⛅ 19 °C

      Soooo it's 6am and I don't know if I've slept.
      I hate the mattress.
      I hate it.
      I want to sleep on the floor because every time Will moved it's like a tidal wave.
      The same problem when I need to wee - I wake him up every time.
      It takes up so much room in the tent. Gah.
      I'll regret it later but I'm trying to stay awake rather than have 2 hours of sleep outside on the mat.
      I hope our chores aren't too extreme today.
      At least we have Matthew - another set of helping hands.

      Ok I gave up. I had a sleep on the deck in the freezing cold but still better than the tent.
      I woke Will up at 9 and hurried him up by threatening to eat the last of the frosties if he didn't get up.
      I ate a really big breakfast.
      I hate putting on sunscreen - especially on my face. Well, I hate putting anything on my face really.
      There were a few open rose buds in the yard so in preparation for the fields we learnt the proper technique of how to pick them.
      Everyone was hesitant so I went first. It makes a popping sound if you do it right. It snaps from just below the base. The pink ones smell better than the white - the white ones nearly went extinct for that reason except then they became such a rarity they have become a novelty. They have a more lemon smell.
      We drove out to a field we hadn't been to yet - it was a bit off track.
      Our job was to cut down trees/weeds/bushes then apply salt to the stumps then wrap them in plastic bags to suffocate them.
      Apparently the salt also attracts deer who come and eat the stumps :) hehe
      So, we made a few mistakes and chopped a few rose stems but we hid the evidence quickly. It was really difficult because you couldn't differentiate between the weed and roses. I got a lot more spikes into my fingers today and one really bad one behind my knee that Will says I sounded like a crow cawing when it happened.
      I have a splinter from it :/
      I like cutting but doing the salt and bagging was annoying. I think I was wasteful- I need to work on my technique.
      We worked for over 4 hours and hardly made a dent in the field.
      I hated having to drag the branches to the end of the rows. The soil is so annoying to walk in it's like sand so it takes extra effort and there are so many thorns to try avoid.
      Some of the stumps were ridiculous and had old bags attached which clearly hadn't worked. Me and Will are both of the opinion that they should sacrifice a few roses to get rid of some of these ridiculous stumps. Some had 30 odd shrubs coming out of it but was too close to a singular rose stem to hack out -.-
      My good deed today was saving a family of caterpillars. There was 30 or so so I carried their tree branch to safety. We might have dropped a few aunts and uncles on the way but most of them made it :)
      There are soooo many insect types in the soil but especially spiders and jumping cockroach looking things.
      It's interesting to observe the creatures though because they are so different.
      A horse and cart went by. Apparently the Romani people illegally chop down trees for wood then sell it.
      We were so hungry but we had to wait for Danny to come and collect us because he was with the inspector.

      We then drove back with Danny and the inspector behind us. It was so casual. Danny was helping us get the stuff out of the truck and making the inspector wait. If I was the inspector I would have marked him down for making me wait and doing irrelevant things/wasting my time. Different culture I guess.

      So hungry my tummy hurt. We were offered chocolate bars because they needed the table for the paperwork side of the inspection.
      But I was too hungry so I ate it, chips and chocolate biscuits which was really bad but there was no other available food :(
      I then crashed in my balcony spot and woke up in time for dinner lol.
      I wasn't really hungry but it was a barbecue so I pushed on haha
      Such a chubby bunny - lucky for my big coats! :P
      The neighbours brought over lettuce and eggs so then we went to their house to see some pigs. They are only babies and will eventually get eaten but for now they have a good life.
      They were terrified though because they only just got therebso they are still adjusting to the space.
      There was also chickens and a dog but the lady hit the dog cause it was barking :( it then escaped the lead and ran away lol.
      I held a baby chicken.
      The new guy arrived. I haven't clarified his name yet though. He is from Kazakhstan. I like him. Will thinks is a loser. He started up some great conversations. We talked a lot about different countries.
      We learnt that in Germany there is a tax for owning a tv because it's considered a luxury. AND that they take money out of your pay check if you are religious. I know the Bible says to donate money but it needs to be by choice..
      You would think Germany would stop meddling with peoples religions.......
      I then had a shower. I hate it. As soon as you step out your feet are filthy again -.-
      I'm super stoked though, While I was showering Will changed the mattress in our tent to a single so now I can sleep on the floor.
      Genuinely so pleased.
      Matthew is slowly opening up but still is a huge question mark.

      Omg the bird is back.
      Will tried to get the splinter out of my leg but couldn't. We will have to try tomorrow in better light.
      We get to sleep in again until 9 tomorrow because they think the fields need one more day before we start picking.
      Keen to pick really but not walk up and down the rows with the stupid sand soil.

      Danny looks like Liam hemsworth (no one know who he is??)
      Yohanna is what Jessica Roberts will look like. It's creepy.

      I'm worried regarding more people coming and the toilet. At the moment I've been going with the door half open because there is no light or window so it becomes pitch black so you can't see the hole - but with more people the chance of being walked in on increases greatly :/
      Read more

    • Day 43

      Work Away

      May 16, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ 🌬 20 °C

      Slept so much better. The bird woke me up a few times but it was easy to get back to sleep. Will didn't sleep as good but still acceptable.
      I had a big big bowl of Nesquick even though it backfired on me yesterday and I ended up being so hungry.
      THIS SUNSCREEN SUCKS. I swear it's greasier than normal. Yuck yuck yuck.
      Before we left for the morning Will got the splinter out of my leg. He treated It like a full medical procedure.
      Every ant Will sees he calls Antony and talks to it. Be has made the same joke over 50 times and still chuckles about it...
      Will is a really annoying name to write out all the time because it doesn't autocorrect it to having a big W because it's also a word...
      Team Canada and Kazakhstan weren't really prepared for battle this morning. They were both in jumpers and Kazakhstan (I think him name Darni) could not have looked more Asian if he tried. He was in like a gold sweater that had purple and white patterns. Long beige trousers, old sneakers and this huge weaved sun vision that really emphasized his sticky out ears and glasses.
      Johanna stayed behind today.
      We went in different car to the fields. It has really comfy seats but it's a bit of a bomb. Lucky Will always gets to sit in the front seat and I have to sit next to 2 boys who I felt were both uncomfortable about my close proximity and even more so about the fact I was in shorts. I presume neither have ever held a girls hand.
      Both socially odd.
      We saw either a fox or jackal on the way. It was like a combo of both.
      Today's duty was the same as yesterday - continue trying to save the fields from weeds and trees.
      Though today I didn't really bother with salting and bagging as much because I don't think it works (half the crap I cut down had old bags underneath..)
      Will got out HUGE stump out though. it took ages. Maybe an hour?
      The other 3 barely moved all day working on big roots. The others didn't manage to get their stump out which naturally Will kept bringing up all day. Lol
      I just went up and down rows chipping away :)
      We has a banana break which really did help me get through to lunch.
      On the drive back I either saw a falcon or eagle. Ether way it was a kickass bird.
      We had a delicious omelette for lunch with salami stuff and onion mixed in.
      I then did 2 loads of washing because I'm out of clothes then me and Will went for a walk around the lake.
      It felt like we walked for ever. We had to walk the wrong way for a long while just to find a bit of the stream narrow enough for us to cross to the other side. There was a goad herder there and the dog was so suspicious of us lol. He had to be called off from barking/attacking.
      I hate walking on sand it hurts my back.
      Unfortunately, there is so much rubbish. People are so stupid. I'd understand if there were no bins but the bins are big and everywhere. The Romani people actually drive away from bins to dump their rubbish in the forest? What logic is that?
      On the walk there was so many burs and because my socks were extra fluffy they kept on attaching.
      Will took a shit In the woods. He is happy he didn't have to use the hole.
      We found a beautiful spot to sit around the cove and took some photos and have a lie down on the picnic rug we brought :)
      Once we got sick of the ants crawling on the mat and the annoying rocks underneath we walked up a bit further and took turns throwing rocks into the lake and having comps on who's rock made the bigger splash. We also did some discus throws. I loved doing little athletics. I want to do it with my kids like dad did with me :)
      We walked back - a different way to avoids the poo hahahah and once back in the village ran into Baba Benka. The woman can talk. She yapped on and we had zero idea what she was going on about. She didn't care. She kissed us goodbye. I love her. I'm going to adopt her as my spare grandparent. I have learnt how to ask her to be my grandma.
      It sounds like "Moleia buddy moyata Baba." I will ask her soon. She visited the house later in the day to bring us sheep yogurt and to invite us to dinner soon.
      We were looking at Johannas keyboard but it's weird. She said that German keyboards are different - the Y and Z are swapped? That ruins the whole 'typewriter' can be written on the top row, fun fact.

      A South Korean cyclist couple have just arrived .the crazy duo have been traveling by bike for 2.5 years all over the world.
      We will be picking roses today so I avoided napping.
      Kazakhstan and Canada hadn't seen the lake so they went on a tour while i prepared the shopska for dinner.
      Their capsicums are weird, like a huge chilly.
      We ate left overs for the barbecue, played cards, drank teas and are now in bed.
      Excited to finally pick tomorrow.
      I'm tired.
      It's 10pm - alarm set for 5:20.
      P.s Will is so pleased. He found the other Oreo packet.
      Read more

    • Day 44

      Work Away

      May 17, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ 🌬 19 °C

      5:20 came all too soon.
      We got up and we're the only ones to eat breakfast because we didn't think we would last until 8. We left by 6. Today was a late start because they weren't expecting lots of roses. It's bloody cold. We went to the field by the lake. We were all given a rose picking bag - To all the men's delight they were fluro pink :) we worked In pairs and picked row by row. So many of the roses had an insect in them - A lot of the time it was dead though. After we had picked we went to the white rose field. I like the pop sound it makes when you snap it. We went to a third field but didn't bother getting out of the car, there wasn't enough roses in bloom.
      We went back to the house and weighed in. For day one I collected .37 of a kilo. Will had a similar weight. He needs it to be known he had .39.
      Everyone else then ate breakfast while I slowly died in the corner.
      We then got ready to go to the same field as the last 2 days only today we were taking a tractor to help pull out stumps.
      They couldn't get the tractor to start and in that short time I had like 4 micro sleeps where my head fell into the door. I hate the sensation of falling.
      Will went on the back of the tractor with Danny so we could get away with only taking one car. It was squishy in the back though. Luckily for those Asian bottoms.
      Once we got there I have no idea what everyone else did. I stayed on the same side of the field as I have been working on and worked alone. I had an S club Party :)
      I actually did so much work. It's like I went into overtired SuperDrive.
      The Koreans brought with them a drone and filmed us working - hopefully I can get a copy of the video.
      Will eventually came to my side of the field because there was no available tool so he helped move the branches I had cut to the sides of the field, out of the way.
      We dance to Timomatic - Parachute. Great song :)
      We worked for about 3 hours then tried to leave only the tractor wouldn't work again..
      They connected it to the car to try and give it momentum to start which worked once so Danny and Will successfully made it to the road ( after 30 minutes of trying and everyone pushing the tractor..I took no part in this and sat in the car like a lazy shit. )
      We were halfway home when they called us to say that had stalled. We had to turn around.
      It was friggen ridiculous so eventually Will drove everyone home and towed the tractor with Danny and Johanna on it steering.
      Naturally the first policeman I have seen in a week was behind us. That kicked in the adrenaline.
      "Oh they will just check your license"
      "Yep... don't have one..."
      Either way we made it home and all had to push the tractor out of the way.
      We did rip the chain though cause stupid Kazakhstan told Will to drive when he shouldn't have.
      It worked out fine because it was the last bit of the journey which was downhill so they just rolled home.
      The Korean dude - Johnny - is such a helpful man. He has had such great initiative to do helpful things. Very well trained :P
      We then had lunch. Soft drink everyday is terrible yet fantastic.
      I got an email and I'm so cranky about it.
      Travelpod - the site im currently using to write my journal will be closing down permanently on June 19th... -.-
      I'll have to transfer everything into a Microsoft document then maybe onto a Tumblr or a new blog system I'll have to find. So much unnecessary effort :/

      We had a 4 hour nap. It's now 7pm.

      Wills haircut makes him look like the last airbender.

      Someone had done a really bad job at aiming into the toilet..

      There is a cherry tree in the yard and it's delicious. They aren't as big as the ones I'm use to.
      The Korean couple showed us some videos from their 2.5 year travels. They were amazing! They got filmed by a Korean tv station too I think.
      They are cute.
      We had Rakia with dinner. I had 2 shots. Still gross but it gives this tickley warmth in your chest for 5 minutes lol.
      It was a hand made bottle given as a gift to Danny because he refused to take money for dragging a mans car to the next town when he had run out of gas.

      I listened to Harry Potter while Will watched a movie.
      7 hours til wake up time -.-
      Read more

    • Day 45

      Work Away

      May 18, 2017 in Bulgaria ⋅ 🌬 17 °C

      I slept pretty good. Will didn't.
      We didn't eat breakfast before we left this morning. But I was quickly woken up by the poo I found on the floor in the toilet. I know it was
      Kazakhstan - Why can't asians use a toilet? It was also on the wrong side of the hole so he has been using it wrong the whole time.. I really needed to pee though so Johanna went and cleaned it up hahahahahaha it was really funny.
      She was like "I don't know what to do, this has never happened before"
      We Left at 5:30
      Me, Will and Danny worked as a team of 3 and the others as a team of 5. Paid workers might have shown up for our team - it was unsure if the message would reach them - it did not. It was just us -.-
      The 3 of us worked on a massive field while the other group did 2.
      Our bushes were quite small so after bending so often our backs started to hurt and our fingers became covered in sticky crap.
      The drone made another appearance while we were working because the others had to wait for us.
      Then we all worked on same field - the one we have been cutting - my old friend. Kazakhstan misunderstood the instructions were given and was not collecting from the correct row - silly billy I semi scolded him in my head then realised Will was doing it wrong too lol
      We did 3 rows each (technically 6 sides)
      The first half of the field didn't have a single rose then the other half was littered with them which was strange.
      Overall we collected about 15kgs today.
      The car smells great with them all in the back.
      Afterwards team 3, went to the white rose fields to pick them too then to the other village to get gas. We came home had breakfast then went back to bed at 9:30.
      I woke up at 11:30 because the tent was too hot but to the best surprise.
      A KITTEN. We played together and had lots of cuddles. The Koreans found it on their walk. It must have been hungry because it got in the compost bin and ate a banana skin. I went and got it cat food but it nearly showed on one - I banged it on the head and it was fine lol.
      From the on I soaked the biscuits in milk first before I fed it. It was so eager it bit my finger hehe
      I then continued my nap in the shade and woke up later to learn Kazakhstan had returned it to the school were 2 other kittens were - I hope the mum comes back.
      It had such a cute meow and blue eyes.

      We ventured down to the shops to buy sprite for lunch.
      Lunch was delicious vegetarian patty ball things with this yogurt stuff yummm!!

      More sleep..

      A girl from the Netherlands has shown up. We've deduced from her appearance that she is probably gay.
      Short hair with unshaven legs.
      She is nice though.

      We had dinner.
      The Koreans have really made them selves known.
      While at the table first one lady barged in uninvited demanding they print out a picture of her son like they had done for someone else in the village
      Then 10 minutes later and old man came by with songs on a USB for them because he had heard them playing Bulgarian folk songs on their violins by the lake. At least he knocked.
      We were just waiting for the 3rd visited to be the police arresting them for the drone haha.

      After dinner Kazakhstan (whose name is Damir not Darni) tried to teach us a new card game called fool but failed miserably. I couldn't stop laughing at my own confusion.
      He leaves tomorrow.

      My brain is shutting down. I'll try add more detail tomorrow.

      We finally got internet and a working washing machine - woo!
      Read more

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    Dolno Panicherevo, Долно Паничерево

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