It’s fair to say that Vidin (Bulgaria) isn’t going to win many beauty contests. In fact, it would struggle to win even if the only other contestants were Luton, Krivoy Rog and my brother. However, having cycled here through 70 km of rain, I’m happy to be here and warm and dry again.

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Today was the first day of rain that I’ve had to cycle in since the start of the trip, so I can’t really grumble too much, but it wasn’t a lot of fun. We left Negotin in Serbia in the morning, climbed some crazy hills on roads that looked as if they were made in Ukraine and then crossed into country number five – Bulgaria.

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Like Romania, Bulgaria looks and feels a lot poorer than Serbia both in terms of infrastructure and income and as a result many of the villages and towns are run-down and neglected.

Crossing the border into Bulgaria came with a 30 minute delay as the border guards conducted some kind of forensic examination of my passport, but having agreed I was legit, they let me in and onto their roads which, also like Romania, have no EuroVelo signs whatsoever. In fact, most had no road signs at all.

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Thankfully, we found our way OK using maps and phones and as we rolled into our first town, we pulled up next to a full blown Roma party with drums, trumpets, beer and dancing. The madness was taking place outside a small bar where the staff were tutting with disapproval but otherwise tolerating the noisy and booze-fueled show. I have no way of knowing, or even guessing what the guys were celebrating, but it was a noisy affair and showed little sign of ending as we left.

…and that’s about it. It was a short, wet and windy day and we arrived cold and wet to the bone.

Oh, I can also say that I’m starting to feel the pain of cycling massive distances each day (massive for me anyway). After dinner last night I felt like a horse had kicked my in each of my thighs and last night I woke up unable to move my leg – convinced that I had permanently broken my body.

Thankfully I hadn’t, but I’m starting to feel the strain.

More sun forecast for tomorrow