A good end cannot sanctify evil means; nor must we ever do evil, that good may come of it... We are too ready to retaliate, rather than forgive... And yet we could hurt no man that we believe loves us. Let us try then what love will do: for if men did once see we love them, we should soon find they would not harm us. Force may subdue, but Love gains: and he that forgives first, wins the laurel.
William Penn

Be patterns, be examples in all countries, places, islands, nations wherever you come; that your carriage and life may preach among all sorts of people, and to them; then you will come to walk cheerfully over the world, answering that of God in everyone...
George Fox

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Into Bulgaria

After leaving Nis, we had another spontaneous host; a man named Ivan, a former motorcycle racer and Serbian champion found us a place to stay after treating us to a coffee and telling us he liked people who were as crazy as he was.
The following days were hard, as we were camping in the snow. Before reaching the city of Pirot we were interviewed by the side of the road by a Pirot television team which included a young, idealist journalist who thought stories like ours made a difference. He was interested in my peace walk, but equally interested in Inge's journey, which has become a journey to help abandoned animals by the side of the road and raise awareness about this kind of cruelty to animals.
From Pirot we crossed into Bulgaria, and the nights we spent berfore reaching Sofia we very hard, and we sought out shelter in abandoned houses. The last night we spent before reaching Sofia we spent in our tents in snow and weather well below freezing. The daytime high that day was minus 3 degrees Celsius.
On entering Sofia, as it got dark and the snow came down we were hosted by a friend of Milan's (from Nis), Peter, who gave us his apartment for the night. The following day we walked outside the city to a Couchsurfing host, Tanya, whose family has taken us in for the past two days.
Today Inge and I spent our last day together, as she has decided it is high time she actually cycled again. We took the metro back into Sofia to buy some things we needed; in her case new brakes for her bicycle, and in my case a new mat to put under my sleeping bag. We' ve had a good day, feeling both saddened and excited at the prospects of having our own, unique journeys to pursue once again.
Tomorrow night the high will be 10 degrees Farenheit, so we will both need the courage to continue through Bulgaria alone. When I have found shelter in an abandoned house with Bo, the dog I have inherited from Inge's animal rescue mission, I know I will be thinking of Inge in her abandoned house up ahead, with her puppy beside her.
For a more colorful account of these past two weeks, with photos, see Inge's blog at bikenomadism.wordpress.com

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