2914m above Bulgaria

Bansko is a major ski resort in Bulgaria, and the mountains around it are part of Pirin National Park. We hated the town as soon as we arrived, it was over developed and ski villages look crap without snow. We managed to find a road that led up the mountain, to nearly 2000m at the Vihren Hut. From there we decided to hike nearly 1000m up to the summit of Vihren.

The weather was a variety of high and low clouds, which meant no views. But we’d driven up so far, it seemed silly not to do a hike. It only took us 2.5 hours to reach the summit. The last section was steep with small stoney rubble and an indistinct trail.

As we reached the top, we were surrounded by thick fog. Well, that was worth the climb!! We ate lunch there anyway, shivering away as it was bitterly cold. But within 10 minutes the fog all lifted from one side, then the other. Slowly but surely the sun burnt all the fog away. From the summit, at 2914m, we were above the lower cotton ball clouds. Sharpe ridge lines appeared, big rocky bowl shape valleys, the ski hill with deep gullies down it like a volcano with lava flows. The other side had a few mountain lakes, all a different colour, blue, green and brown.

The walk back was gruelling on our tired legs. But this is why I love living in a campervan. We got back to Pablo, sat inside the sun heated warmth, put a brew on, and enjoyed a cup of tea and a chocolate muffin with a view of the mountain we’d just climbed.

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