You know those moments when something annoying happens but after a while it turns out that it was actually for good? Like when you are awaken in the middle of the night by your uncompromising bladder and you have to crawl out of your warm sleeping bag into the cold dark night…Well, that sucks! But what if, when you finally crawl out, you see a night sky so magnificent that the memory of that sight sticks with you forever? Then it was worth it, I would say. And that’s exactly what happened to me tonight. I was so charmed by what I saw that I actually woke up Thomas as well and we both were just standing there in front of our tent, gazing at the biggest and the brightest stars we have ever seen. If it wasn’t for those annoying mosquitos, I would probably end up standing there until the very morning.

In the morning, I’m awaken by sun beating down on our tent for a change. Unless we want to be grilled alive, we better get out. We head to the hut to give another try to the „delicious“ breakfast. A Czech family joins our table at the breakfast. We chat for quite a while with them. It’s always nice to meet fellow Czech travellers (which is btw. not very difficult as Czechs love to travel all over the world). The guy who approached us is apparently a passionate hiker. His wife a little less passionate and the teenage children are naturaly disspationate by definition about everything but my guess would be that they actually enjoy hiking just like their dad.

We pack our stuff and depart in the direction of Strashnoto ezero („Awful lake“). The lake is not awful whatsoever but the journey to it very much so. Air is thin. Backpack is heavy. Muscles are burning. Thomas is far in front of me. And so I keep plodding forward at a snail’s pace, counting the steps, trying not to think of the pain and the sweat in my eyes.

Strashnoto ezero (2,445 m.n.m.) with shelter for ca. 20 people

At the lake I collapse to the ground. I think I’m sweating the second most in my entire life (the first most was the day before yesterday during the hike to Maljovica Hut).

After a short break by the lake we continue further to find out that the ascent is not over yet. What a nice surprise! I’m puffing like a beast of burden again. When we finally climb out of the fog, we find ourselves on a ridge from which we can enjoy some amazing views. The path continues on the ridge for a while and soon begins to descend. The desolate fields of rocks are gradually replaced by mesmerizing greenery.

We reach a “No-name lake” (No-name cause it’s not on our map)…Weird…Chances are we are somewhere else than we think we are 🙂

We rest a bit and observe the chamois chilling on the opposite hillside. It’s only 2.30 p.m. but we like the place so much that we decide to stay here for tonight and leave „Kobilino Branishte (the intended destination of today’s hike) for tomorrow.

The desperation of our own stickiness and stink is driving us crazy, therefore we embrace the idea of a bath in the lake. A desperate situation calls for a desperate solution…After the refreshing icy bath we spend the rest of the day just chilling around. Later we have enjoy a beautiful sunset. The minute the last sunrays sink below the horizon, we can feel the cold. We build the tent quickly and cook a dinner over a campfire.

2 thoughts on “BULHARSKO, DAY 5

  1. Hello, there,

    I would very much like to go to Rila this summer (or early autumn), but. it is a National Park, isn’t it? Did you have any trouble pitching tents and sleeping in them? Theoretically one should stay at the huts only, but in the new COVID reality own tent is even more welcome than before, so… Were there any problems?



    1. Hi Wojtek,
      Yes, you’re right, it is a National Park. We had no troubles with tent pitching back in 2018 but we mostly camped next to the huts. It is a safe option, they will charge you for this but it is still cheaper than booking a room in the hut itself 🙂 We also did some wild camping and it was also OK. We built the tent in the late afternoon/evening and packed early in the morning. We also did our best to follow “leave no trace” principles. Hope this helps! Enjoy your journey to Rila mountains. They are stunning.



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