My method for dog dodging was not so successful. The farm dogs down the road were barking all night long. Once more I employed the use of my earplugs, though this meant I slept through my alarm. An additional hour of sleep was lost as I discovered I'd crossed another time zone – sweet! Before leaving I attempt to wash in the tiny sink and fill my water bottles. I made the school boy error of using my drinks bottle for a midnight wee container. Wee flavoured water, yum yum yum. An iodine wash soon sorts that out mind. On the road by 10.00am.
My increasingly smelly and spotty body tells me tonight would be a good night for a shower, this being my 5th day with only half a bottle wash. And I'm just not a “wet wipe” kinda guy. I'm chased all morning by a rather itchy arse, definitely time for a wash I think, whatever the cost. Through the course of the day the gently rolling hills increase in amplitude. The day is hazy and cloudless with perfect temperature. I make my usual garage stop for a cold drink. The lady shares her crisps with me as I guzzle a litre of peach juice. With my 5-a-day sorted I scream through the 10 kilometres to Bjala. Police have closed off the road, seemingly for no apparent reason. I ask them for directions to a hotel. The first one they point me to is closed, and appears to have been so for some time. I ask again and I'm sent down the closed road, which turns out to be my mapped route through town. It's nice not to have to worry about traffic and I weave across all three lanes.
The area seems full of development and there are several truck stops either side of the dual carriageway. A huge advertisement informs me that I'm near to a Formule 1 hotel. I've never stayed in one but have heard they're something like a European Travelodge. Absolute five star luxury to me then!! I decide to enquire about the price, fully expecting something ridiculous. Elated I am when told 18 Euros will get me an en-suite room. With my bike locked up in the car wash I haul my bags up to my room. Clothes, maps, digital gizmo's explode all over the room in a matter of seconds, I waste no time in showering off five days of grime. I spend some time flicking through Bulgarian TV channels. I manage to find and English version of "Wall Street" which keeps me entertained, having not heard so much English dialogue for some time. I wash all my clothes and get an early night, damn that's a rock and roll evening!