So today we set off from the Romanian check point party on OHA beach bar in mamaia to go visit Bulgaria, a country not previously on our list, but as we'd heard there was a beautiful beach about an hour and a half away from where we were, with the added bonus of adding another country to our list. We figured we couldn't refuse!
However fate had other plans for us, as one of the cars in our convoy had a bit of a disaster. Their clutch cable broke, essentially putting an end to their days driving. Luckily though, a local knew a mechanic who lives above his garage and after seeing us standing outside, decided we were worth giving up his Sunday afternoon for, and so set to work temporarily repairing the cable so the cads could be mobile again.
One rather sad consequence of the clutch delay was losing some members of the convoy. First with shitting thunder driving off to find a topless beach in Bulgaria without noticing they'd lost the rest of us, and second having to say goodbye to the village idiots. They are going the southern route and have to make their Iranian visa dates so were forced to push ahead. Saying bye to them was especially hard, not knowing when we'd see them again on the road. Whether they would make the tough road ahead of them.
To cheer us up, the local mechanics son sent us off to another local beach where he said there was some fun to be had. He works the trampolines down there and said we could have a go later. So off we headed to the town of eforie for a bit of an adventure.
We could not have been less prepared for what we found. A beach town with a deserted fun fair on the corner (we later discovered it opens only at night), and the happiest, friendliest people we have ever met! They literally could not do enough to help us. We had street vendors coming over and giving us their merchandise, telling us what we were doing is such an amazing and positive thing to do these days. Image that, these goods are their livelihoods and they were giving them to us.
After that we headed up to a local restaurant they had suggested to us, to try a spot of local cuisine, again the staff couldn't help us enough!! They laughed and hated with us about all the dishes and what were their favourites. But then it got even better, the manager of the restaurant came over to chat with us, and after finding out we had nowhere to stay, offered to put us up for the night in her staff quarters! For a small donation of course.
We had promised our new vendor friends (Elvis, Elvis and Bogdan) that we'd go meet them on the beach, and so down we headed. We sat on the beach with these lads until the wee hours of the morning laughing, chatting, drinking and realising that some things transcend culture. To end the night we lit lanterns together and watched them float off into the sky above the Black Sea...
And so now here we are in our staff quarters hoping that tomorrow will bring a fixed clutch, the open road, and a few more countries on the list...