понеделник, 15 юли 2013 г.

Kayaking weekend: Yakoruda - Golyam Beglik

Fantastic weekend in one of the most beautiful area in the country: Western Rhodopes. The trip developed not quite as planned but never mind. The adventure was superb. As a start, we couldn't find a place to stay for the first night. We intended to camp but it was pouring rain so this wasn't very smart. Looked around and no opportunities existed in the area of Youndola where we first wanted to stay. Then my girlfriend realised that there is a splendid hotel about 25 km away next to the town Yakoruda. It was a bit aside of our way but the distance was not great and it was getting late so I decided that we try it.

We struggled a bit finding the hotel but then we saw a big sign on the main road saying HOTEL HELIER. The road to the place is a bit dodgy but once you are there, you realised what it is all about. I am quite confident putting the whole name of the hotel because I deeply recommend the place. It is at bottom of a lovely valley on one of the hill sides there. The owners are producing a great deal of the food themselves. Mmmm the food. Gosh! I really loved the food. As my girlfriend said, "I do not remember the last time when I last ate this delicious food" Superb home made blueberry jam, lovely mushrooms (Penny bun Boletus edulis), trout, eggy bread and what not. Everything was fantastic. It even has a small pool with mineral water and a sauna which we couldn't try but look great. The rooms were a bit old but the owners have started renovating the place. They have changed great deal of the furniture and do the rooms one by one. The owner is quite a warm hearted cheerful person. You will really like him. Here is a link to the hotel website: http://www.helierhotel.com/

After this lovely place we had to depart. Asking for local products, we had to stop at Yakoruda. It was THE market day. All the people not only from the town but also from the area have gathered to meet, chat and ... eat :) Traditions looked quite interesting. Mеn were sitting around a table with a board in the middle full with all kinds of meat and some spices on the side of it :) Women were nicely dressed. It was a bit of a travelling to the past. We struggled finding place in any of the local caffees especially the ones on the square.

We bought a few vegies and and off we go the our initially intended stop: Beglig reservoir. This diversion of the road was rather romantic and fully recommendable with no doubts.

We finally arrived to the reservoirs in a couple of hours joyable drive along the scenic roads of Western Rhodopes with stops here and there. The place was just as expected. Quite a few people have started their weekend quite early. Actually people do come here for fishing or canoeing for more than a weekend. A camper or a caravan would make your holiday quite comfortable. We didn't miss the comfort though. My girlfriend has thought about everything. A tent with a nice and soft duvet with sheets... :) don't what to say. it was quite comfy :)

We had a little drive by the time we find our place to put up a tent but we finally succeeded. A lovely location by water with a few flat spots to choose for the tent. The forest there was about 80 years old. One of my favourite type of habitats. Superb for Pygmy Owls. Couldn't find any though. Will have to come back again. Lots of dead wood which I hope the people camping here will not collect.

The evening fire was a must. After a brief chat it was was time to retreat and enjoy the cool mountain air from the soft duvet ;)


The morning was a bit difficult.. but an early morning wake up at about 5.00 am showed superb evaporation mist above the water. What a scene! The camera was somewhere away, so no photos. Sorry :))) We got up at 12.00 :) and then the water was ours. Finally kayaking time.

It was a long time ago when I last got on a kayak. The contact with the water is something that can make your day. The sun was a bit strong but we couldn't miss this experience. We only had a few hours. A slow and synchronous rowing took us along the bays and around the islands of the reservoir. It was really calm. You only hear the sounds from the waves. I had the feeling it was somewhere in a Scandinavian country with all these 'fjords' and bays. The time spent on the water raises some philosophical questions which everyone can have. Well, it was time to go back. Slowly though :)


We dried up the kayak and off we went. We made use of the whole day and left the place pretty much at the end of the day. It was really quiet. All the people were gone. We leave with the idea to come again for more than a weekend. Perhaps next time we shall also take our bikes.