|While in Plovdiv, we got a recommendation from a fellow traveller for a restaurant (not so good) and a town to visit for hiking. So off we ventured to Karlovo, 150 km north of Plovdiv, and about a 1000 km off the tourist track. We find our way to the tourist information, and they speak no english, but clearly this is hiking central so we are very pleased. Manage to get a recommendation for a hotel and go look - amazing! Brand new, cheap and they speak Spanish! OK, so it's not english, but at least it's a language we have lot's of practice with!
Julia has a rest day with her satellite TV and Tomas checks out the trails, with an easy hike. The next day, Tomas suggests we head out to the "adrenaline trail". We have no idea, but if ever a trail should be named adrenaline, it would be this. A short (5 minute) uphill hike to the section that gives the trail it's name. Rapidly moving water below, steep rock cliffs along it's edge, and ribar (steel rods) bent into shape and cemented in the rock for handholds and footholds, for almost the entire length! Not for the faint of heart. At a good pace, this would be a 45 minute "trail" to the end. Now I don't know if it was the rushing water, the rock face, or trusting ribar to support you, but Julia had some concerns. With some gentle coaxing from Tomas (the is the "G" rated family version), we made it to the end and had a spectacular view of the river and valley below.
A tough hike back ( same river, rock face and ribar as going out) was rewarded with a cool swim in the river at the bottom of a waterfall. And if there was a T-shirt that said "I hiked the adrenaline trail", Julia (who is actually quite an accomplished hiker) would be one proud wearer of it!..