We leave Istanbul towards Black Sea on the first day of holiday, where we came the day before. But towards the west of Black Sea, to Kırklareli.
When we arrive Kıyıköy we see tens of tents in the pasture next to the sea. In holiday, this place is crowded too, not as much as Mediterranean coasts. But it’s free to camp as there is no facility. You can accommodate everywhere on this field, where cows, oxen and sheep feed all day long. If you want to spend your time in water, you can prefer to fight against the waves of Black Sea or take a trip on the river close to Aya Nikola Monastery by boat or canoe and enjoy the beauty of unique lilies. We prefer the second one.
When we move towards longos forest and reach Sivriler Village, we spend the night in a picnic place on the way to Demirköy. The only things that ruins this place, near a slow flowing river and a forest is the plastic rubbish around. We get rid of this bad view with a half hour labor. But this neither the first, nor the last time.
The next day, we arrive longos forest by following a stabilized road. İğneada Longos Forest is one of three examples of this special type of forest in the world. It is a national park but not under protection. There are buildings in the forest and it is allowed to enter from every corner. Inside the forest is like a jungle. Ivies on trees and buffaloes swimming in small lakes.
While going towards İğneada, we pass through a river on the road. There is the construction of a bridge, but until it’s over; the only way is the river. It is easy to pass by walking, any king of vehicle can pass too. For Murtaza; no problem.
We leave İğneada as soon as we arrive, as it is too crowded. And continue towards Beğendik. Beğendik is a small settlement at the border of Bulgaria. Just next to it, at the other side of the border, Rezovo stands. We can see the lights of the neighbor from where we camp at night.
In the morning, after an amazing dawn, we have a breakfast with cows coming close to us. And we sunbath with the same cows and swim afternoon. Some of them are watching the sea from top of the rocks. There is no plastic at the beach, just the shit of cows. Black Sea is calmer…
We liked Beğendik and spent two days there. Then we run into Dupnisa Cave System while driving in the forest and passing rivers of Yıldız Mountains. In the cave, it’s 10 degrees at the end of July. Amazing stalactites and freezing water. But we feel the pain of the cave, in which is lightened and concreted to “welcome” tourists. Bats are hiding in the last dark spots and the last stalactite is dried out. The cave is separated in two after the entrance. Just the wet cave is untouched. But walking in it needs resistance against cold water.
At night, we camp in a bean field close to the caves. Our dinner is of course fresh beans.
Finally we visit Edirne and come back to Istanbul again. We will be prepared for the second part of our journey until the end of August. Bureaucratic staff and the process of decision.
How will we continue on our way? Will we go through India and Pakistan with the fellowship of our caravan or just with our backpacks?