I write from a shared room in Batumi, Georgia after crossing through 4 countries in 4 days with our new recruit – Sam. After veering north into Romania, a slight diversion to our projected route to Australia but well worth the detour, stacking functions with DJ sets at the festival in Bulgaria and our first permaculture teaching experience, we are back on track and more east than we have been so far.
I think we proved that travel can be cheap(ish). I’m not sure what it would have cost to fly from Romania to Georgia but we certainly managed it on a shoe string; Beclean to Bucharest on the overnight train (no bed) for £15. We killed a few hours in Bucharest then hopped on an overnight bus to Istanbul for £28.60. Not much sleep on that one and a strange sense of being persecuted for being smelly! Enough time in Istanbul to stock up on dried fruit and lukumi before departing to Ankara on a five hour bus ride – £8.50. We learnt a good lesson in Ankara and made our train by a matter of minutes. We boarded the Dogu Express for a 22 hour journey along the Euphrates river at 7pm two days ago – £16.00. Our last night in Turkey welcomed a full on slap up meal – tastey – before bus, bus, minibuses all the way to Georgia!!! £13.70.
So all in all our 4 day, 2538km journey cost a total of £71.70. Not sure if a flight would be cheaper but we have had a great time so far. Georgia has been kind on entry and the food is fantastic…
Posted in Diploma, Environment, Food, Health, Permaculture, Travel
Tagged Bucharest, Bulgaria, Bus, Georgia, Istanbul, Romania, Shoe String, Train, travel, Turkey
Live set recorded on Saturday night at Beglika Fest, Bulgaria… Enjoy.
And a few pictures from the festival…
Posted in Appropriate Technology, Environment, Food, Music, Permaculture, Random, Travel
Tagged BalkanEP, Beglika, Breaks, Bulgaria, Dub, Festival, Folk, Gypsy, Melodica, Music, Psy, Reggae, Richie Secret, Rodopi Mountains, Seed Swap
Our second stop in Bulgaria, and after a couple of days in the lovely city of Plovdiv, was with Dimo and his worms. We had arranged a couch surf with another guy in the area but when he had to go the Beglika festival as a helper we were told Dimo would take us in and probably show us a thing or two. We were grateful for the opportunity to understand a low impact livelihood and help Dimo out on the worm farm for a few days.
He kindly picked us up from Kazanlak and we went for a family visit, an off road adventure and a swim before cooking up a late dinner and sampling the stupidly cheap but very tasty Bulgarian beer.
We spent the next few days at the worm farm. Dimo collects fresh cow poo, mixes it with straw, moistens it and sets the worms to work. It takes a few months for them to eat their way through the feast but the end result is weed free, high water retentive, humus rich soil, perfect for growing annual veg and seedlings. He bags the castings and sells them to customers around Bulgaria. During the process the worms also double in mass and he receives an additional income from them.
Dimo also doubles up his worm heap as a plant nursery, stacking functions and making best use of his space. He grows tomatoes and paulownia, a fast growing lightweight timber perfect for tool handles. He uses no chemicals and keep his mole population in check using castor plant which exudes chemicals that the moles dislike.
Dimo also produces his own biofuel from waste vegetable oil in a processor that he built himself. He powers his truck and his tractor from the fuel, true to his business name WastNoMo.
We loved our time with Dimo. We saw some great places, Thracian tombs, old communist monuments and natural beauty. The day before we left he took us to visit Paul of the Balkan Ecology Project who was happy to show us around his permaculture inspired garden. We were to see them both again at their BalkanEP venue at Beglika Festival.
Posted in Appropriate Technology, Building, Environment, Food, Health, Music, Permaculture, Travel, Wwoofing
Tagged Balkan Ecology Project, BalkanEP, Beer, Beglika, Biofuel, Bulgaria, Caster, Castor, Couchsurfing, Dimo, Kazanlak, Kran, Manure, Organic, Paulownia, Permaculture, Polvdiv, Straw, Thracian, Tomatoes, travel, WasteNoMo, WorkX, Worms
To all friends, family, fellow travellers, nomads, gypsies and festival freaks. We have just got news that I will be playing the main stage, saturday night at the Beglika Festival in Bulgaria. 17-19 August. If you just happen to be around (ha ha) then come join us for a right good old knees up…
Posted in Music, Travel
Tagged Arabica, August, Beglika, Bulgaria, Dub, Festival, Folk, Fusion, Gypsy, Richie Secret, travel, World