Some pictures of the Worlds most interesting caves were being circulated on the Internet and as soon as I saw the beauty of Bulgarias Devetashka cave, I knew that I had to go there.
Earlier in the year, friends of mine Dee and Mika moved to a small village in Bulgaria with their 4-year-old son Sky and it quickly transpired that they are only 30 miles away from the cave that I was so keen to see.
Two more friends Jinny and Liam were already heading out there so I booked a flight out and joined them for a week to see Dee and Mika and of course go for that cave!
The village that they live in is called Dobromirka, it was like going back in time watching men passing through with their horses and carts and the women herding goats and geese, the sound of cow bells tinkled accompanied by the barking of dogs, hundreds and hundreds of dogs in this and the surrounding villages.
Dogs are not treated well here, they are kept out in the yards on short chains and used purely as alarms for their owner’s property and of course as soon as you walk past it sets off not one dog but all of the dogs in the area, like an audio domino effect.
My friends Dee and Mika moved over to Bulgaria not only with their son Sky but also with a three-legged cat called Ziggy who has lived with Dee on a bus and travelled around by bike, moped, car, van, coach, bus, boat and aeroplane, quite extraordinary.
They have now adopted a young Doberman dog called Lola, a Horse called Zoran, a Foal yet to be named, a golden wolf dog called Zucho, a kitten called Sweetie and a three-legged puppy called James.
Being used to camping out such a lot and enjoying the night sounds of crickets, I decided to make myself a camp outside and slept out at night joined by Zucho the dog, James the Puppy and Sweetie the kitten, who all fought for a patch of warmth.
I also had a Praying Mantis that Liam and Mica found on a door that I moved to my camp so that I could observe it, I have always been fascinated by mantids and this one was great to watch as it stalked about looking for potential prey at night and by day became statue like.
I found the villagers to be very friendly as once they get to see you around and know your face they are very accepting and welcoming, taking a photograph of some elderly locals on a village corner, one of the men took off his hat in a sweeping gesture of politeness.