Though adjusting to cycle touring has been so much easier this round, the last few days have still found me feeling reluctance about what we’re doing. I get tired of never being able to order anything or ask anyone a question without playing charades or looking like a complete idiot because I don’t speak the local language. It gets exhausting to pack up every single day and move to a new place, not ever knowing exactly where we’ll end up until we get there. I get frustrated by my cycling abilities and how long it takes me to pedal my monstrosity of a bicycle and by how much I have to struggle to climb up and down the hilly terrain when Ben makes it look so easy. It gets exhausting to live in a temporary shelter, worrying about whether the wind gusts will get so strong the whole thing will blow away. (I acknowledge that my fear of wind is irrational, but I still really hate it). I’m still unsure every day about how much pain to push through and about when to give up and take a break. And though the process is sometimes wonderfully rewarding, I sometimes get tired of sitting down at the computer to write these experiences for the wide internet to anonymously consume. I miss sharing my life with real people in meaningful conversations instead of creating endless self-indulgent travelogues, leaving me wondering what is new with my loved ones at home. Even though I know that all of this will come and go as we spend our summer on the road, today I’m feeling the stress of coordinating our day to day survival.
All of this was on my mind when I woke up in a stiflingly hot tent this morning, the rain having apparently been run out of town before dawn. The day was actually really beautiful, and the bugs hadn’t yet come crawling out of hiding after the rain, so we soaked up the morning sitting on the river bank.
Though the rain fly of the tent was still dripping wet, the sun was out with a force while we packed up slowly, waiting for the sun to dry all of the pieces of our gear. Then, we shared tea with the campground hosts before heading into Veliko Tărnovo, back to another branch of Hostel Mostel, allowing Ben to work and letting us make a firm route plan before we hit the road to Ruse on the border of Romania.
Though we only covered about 10 miles, the route took us nearly an hour with a couple of nerve wracking tunnels toward the end. Then, we crashed in the common room at the hostel to work, with our tent set up on the back lawn.
By dinnertime, we’d met up with another American couple, Eyal and Shani, here on holiday for a couple of weeks. We ate together and chatted through the rest of the evening light away before we set out hoping to see the light show at the nearby fortress. The light show never came to fruition, so instead we meandered the town in the dark, laughing and talking and eventually making our way to a cafe where we shared pancakes filled with jam and honey.
All of this hosteling is new for us and though we generally can’t keep up with the late nights and endless party, we have really loved the opportunity to meet so many new people as we travel. It was a pleasure to meet you guys, travel safe!