Vratsa 

Probably the most famous and extensive climbing area in Bulgaria. Our well researched plans came somewhat unstuck as the campsite we’d been hoping to use as a base turned out to have closed for the year at the end of August. We couldn’t drive past without a visit, so arriving late we managed to find a fabulous overnight parking spot high above the main gorge with great views down to the crags.

A slightly chilly morning, but we weren’t alone in wanting to get some cragging done. We were a bit restricted in not wanting to abandon the van, but there are a couple of roadside sectors where at least we could sample the climbing.

“The Layback” was an outstanding 6a up a discontinuous line of flakes and pockets… 

Whilst The Diedre provided Helen with a sportingly bolted lead that would have been much more amenable with half a dozen wires….

We’ll need to come up with another logistical plan to sample the multi-pitch adventures (up to 400m) that the area is more famous for. 

Another couple of hours drive south (much of it on excellent motorway with a 140 kph limit!) and we were in the spa town of  Saparayva Banya enjoying beers and dinner for just over a tenner 

Followed by a wander past its very own geyser. 

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