The next training for Kilimanjaro gathers five of us, Ivan, Stan, Dimitar, Petar and I, as all but Petar are going to climb the highest African mountain. I offered an unknown for all of us peak, the Osogovo Mountain's highest one, Ruen and the rest of the group accepted it. After some research we find out that the peak is 2,251 m/7,385 ft high and the border passes right through it. Also it is the highest border point in the European Union. The chosen route starts at the Tri buki hotel and should take us 3 hours and a half to get to the peak covering 13 km/8 mi or a total of about 26 km/16 mi. A great training, which equals to more than 1/3 of the ascent and descent in Africa. And that's for one day.
On the road, as it is Saturday, we get lots of drivers who move at about 20 km/h under the limit, hitting the brakes constantly, and the people of the county that we are passing through, Kyustendil, are famous for their reckless driving. Well, I guess, the racers are sleeping and only their grandparents are on the road. But let me mention something funny. We catch up a Honda CR-V, which like the above mentioned cars at times is going quite slow, then all of a sudden is speeding up. As we are waiting for a straight to overtake it, just before another bend, we note that the driver raises one of his/her hands up, most probably to the music he/she is listening. In the next moment, the second hand is being raised, but the car manages to go around the bend. All of us are speechless and stare in disbelief for some time, but next we get that the car is with a right steering wheel and start laughing. While we overtake the Honda we see that on the left, normally the driving seat in Bulgaria, a boy twists violently to the music, while an elder man imperturbably drives.
We reach the hotel and I go to the reception to collect a stamp in my booklet with the highest mountains in Bulgaria – Osogovo Mountain is the fifth highest with Ruen Peak. We shoulder our backpacks and take on the long road ahead of us. In the car, we heard on the radio that in the early afternoon rain is expected in the western parts of Bulgaria, especially in the mountain areas. And we couldn't be more to the west, that's why we set our expectations that most probably we'll gonna get wet.
A view of Ruen Peak
We think that one of these peaks should be Ruen, but it's not sure which one. (Well, neither of them is.)