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The final instalment

Home
Planning from home
First trip 18/9/2004
Finding other owners
The 2nd trip 22/June 2005
The 3rd trip 17/Sept 2005
The 3rd trip . 2nd week
The final instalment
The gallery

Well here we are on what is to be the conclusion of our sometimes rough & rocky ride whilst buying aroad.
However things have a habit of turning out ok and this has not been the exeption to that rule and have turned out very well indeed.
The security shutters and alarm system both got installed much to my amazement and a very good job was done by both installers

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A very bare apt prior to serious furniture shopping

We (the other owners and ourselves ) arranged to have a bit of a get together party in May of 2006 which would be the first time we had all met each other and would also be the first time we got a chance to try out our new kitchens.
What would everybody be like? (we had pics of some but not others) 
Would we all get on?
Would we love or hate our neighbours?
Well in our case we still dont know because the next door apt is still for sale.
I suppose potential buyers have all heard about the rowdy couple next door with all night parties and wild orgies. Dream on !!!!!!!!
So having arrived in the dead of night /very early morning we tried to sleep but in fact all we really wanted to do was give the apt a good clean then do the furniture shops for things we still needed like table/chairs,coffee table, tv cabinet, stereo and the all important stereo/drinks cabinet plus curtains or blinds, oh and of course we might just need cups plates pots and pans, in fact everything apart from what we already had there, which was not much. 
It turned out that we were able to source most of the furniture stuff from the same guy who fitted our kitchen and we got it all at a very reasonable price too.
The stereo and tv we got from Technomart and for all the cups plates pots pans in fact most everything else, well lets just say, Metro wasn't going to go bust that week.
We decided on vertical blinds after seeing somebody else's later that week but found out they could not be fitted for about a month.
This is where our kitchen guy came to our rescue because he knew the blinds man and got him to do the job on the last day of our hols, which just goes to prove it's who you know not what you know. It did however entail more sweeping up brick dust and cleaning........ oh well

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Ah more furniture and a picture. Thats better.

So after buying up half of Metro and walking up & down the aisles several times we had our utensils, cups, glasses, etc and even on the Bulgarian roads we managed to get them home without a single breakage. The only problem now was that although we had stuff to cook in we had nowt to cook and  I was desperate to cook some of the veg we had seen on passing through the villages so we stopped off at Ravda on the way back. No pesticides used here just pure organic fertilizer IE if you have goats then it's goat muck and if you have horses it's, well you get the picture I'm sure. Another problem was we had nothing yet to eat on so stopped and bought a patio table and 4 chairs en route home and stuffed it into an already bulging small hatchback..
On getting back to the apt it seems we were a bit of a peep show for the local kids who had obviously never seen foreigners setting up home in their village before and were probably all wondering how much more stuff could come out of this tardis we called a car.
The food we cooked that night was great and cost peanuts compared with prices back home .
Long peppers which Tesco call 'finest' were being sold by the sackfull literally and we bought both red and green varieties, potatoes,onions, garlic, beans, lots of fruit etc all for about 4 levs and there was loads of it as we bought enough to cook for the get together we were having a couple of days later.
We also found the beer & wine to be incredibly cheap and in fact on a later trip in September I was to find Stella Artois ( or as one of our neighbours called it ' Stella act a prat ( act a prat is the cleaned up version ) for 35 pence for 75cl. Now how cheap is that.
The next day we found a couple of our fellow owners who had flown in the day prior to us and we arranged a night at what has now become known as the Sianella saloon.  
 
 

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The now famous Sianella saloon.

We got to the Sianella saloon at about 7pm. It is basically a caravan with a few tables & chairs outside where the locals tend to congregate and they are only too happy to buy you a drink and even though the language barrier is a bit of a problem,  after a few we all seemed to talk the same language..........total rubbish.
We ended up with so many drinks on the table we had to take some away with us. The bar was one of those places where if they didn't sell what you wanted then you could bring your own and drink that and on a later pub crawl  in Sept everywhere we went they served us whitebait with every round and the round price only came to 12 levs for about 22 of us. (1 = 2.88 lev) approx. 
More people arrived the next day and within a couple of days everyone we knew was going to be there, was.
It was brilliant! Sort of like we had known them all for years because of our close involvment with each other on the net.
Some people couldn't make it to the party but made up for it later on when we ended up in one of the apts for another later party.
  

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some of the afternoon get together people

The holiday we had in May was the first time we could almost relax. I say almost because there were and still are a few things to sort out but most of the hard work has been done and we are all now owners of what we think are lovely apts in a village which has a bit of character and is also still rural and slightly rough around the edges.
We did however notice on our last trip in Sept that a lot of work has been and is still being done in the village, they now have street lighting and a lot of building work is going on both in the shape of new build and renovation of existing properties.
What I dont think any of us want to see is the village lose its rural feel but with so much building going on I think it is bound to lose a certain amount, but then again I think the villagers themelves will make sure it stays a bit of a community.

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Late night drinking session.

On our last trip in September when all of the furniture from our May expedition had been delivered, I had brought a cordless drill with me for when we found the bathroom fittings and light we wanted. It seemed somewhat strange to be spending part of my holiday drilling walls and attaching soap dishes and bathroom shelves, but then again why not as it was saving me money doing it myself and it felt like I should be doing it anyway. I wouldn't get anyone in to do that sort of thing at home, and this was another home. Our home. 
Again, there were quite a few of us out at the same time and it seemed like we had all engineered the situation so why not make the most of it and have another pub crawl. Thats when we found out how cheap it was for 22 people to drink in Bulgaria.
So off it was on another pub crawl to see how many of the bars we could get round, but as is usual on these things you never manage to do the lot and by the end of the evening we still had a few that were not visited, but then again it always leaves those for next time.
We met up with people who live permanently in the village and would never want to come back to the UK if you paid them, plus we also know other people near Varna who wouldn't give you a thank you for England and others near Yambol who also dont want to come back to the UK.
 
 

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September 2006 pub crawl

In Sept we also arranged to have a meeting with the management people in the morning to try and thrash out some things we felt were not quite right with the way the cleaning was being done, and the fact the gardens had not been landscaped, plus a few other points people were not too happy with. The outcome of that meeting will not really be known until we all start going back out there again in 2007 but hopefully our concerns will have been taken on board and will be acted upon. We had also arranged to have a curry evening with the other people that were there but unknown to me, the other people had been plotting to turn it into a birthday party for Julie whose birthday was not far away.
It was brilliant with everybody cooking some form of curry from chicken to meat to vegetarian and again the wine flowed freely as did the beer.
Normally you want to throw a curry down your neck after youv'e had a few beers but this one worked in reverse and we all threw a few beers down our necks after the curry!
And what normally happens after a few people have had a curry and a few beers?????  No not a punch up!!!!!  A Karaoke!!!!!!!!!!!
Now why is it that normally sensible people who normally wouldn't get up to sing seem to think that after a few they can? And to prove that I've even got the pics! 
Thats  me on the left. The diva on the right is Debs who also can't sing but as I said, after a few beers even she thought we could!!!!!!!!!!
Anyway whether we or anyone else could sing was somewhat irrelevant as the only thing that really mattered was the fact that we had met all these brilliant people and we were getting on so well.
We all had a sort of common interest and that was to buy abroad which we had all now done, and in fact some people had bought more than one property.
 
 
 
  

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The karaoke winners!!!

We knew prior to our arriving in September that there was a winery being built behind the apts and we just hoped it wouldn't spoil our view and in fact it has made very little difference to anyone as far as I can tell. The good point about being where we are is the fact that we are on the highest point in the village and everything else slopes away from us which whilst it makes it a little windy on the patio sometimes it affords brilliant views towards the other villages and the mountain range in the distance. Being high up also has it's advantages when it rains very heavily as it did in 2006 with the worst weather they had seen in the village for many years, with some of the roads being completely ripped up by the storms and when I say ripped up I mean it!   

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Tankovo after torrential rain July 2006

As you can see, when I say there was a severe storm affecting the roads, I really mean it. There were roads all round the village like this one, but most are now either renewed or being renewed, and with Bulgaria joining the EU all village roads have to be tarmaced anyway, apparently. Mind you, will they take the view as Greece has, and say .... 'Well we'll do what we can but dont hold your breath.' Unlike England, who take everything to the nth degree!
To finish with I'd like to say that we started out to buy a property purely as an investment because pensions in this country of ours, England were peforming so badly.
However, whilst I'm sure we've all made some money if we decided to sell, the investment part of it has become a bit secondary.
We have found a brilliant country, we've bought a property with some brilliant views, but most of all, we've met some really great people. Both those that own apartments in the village, and those we have met through Bulgarian internet forums, who either live permanently in Bg, or just holiday there as often as they can.  
 
     

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Baby Donkey and Mum.

One last picture.
This is our nearest neighbour who is always inviting himself round for a few carrots since we started feeding them to his mum.
To start with he didn't know how to eat them and it was quite funny watching him trying to cope with a whole one!
We had to cut them up into small pieces till he aquired the technique from his mum. Mum was always in the field next to the apts tethered up and without any apparent drinking water, so we tend to look after them a bit whilst wer'e there. The locals probably think I'm quite mad as the young one tends to follow me everywhere probably thinking I have an endless supply of carrots! Unfortunately we dont as we ran out 3/4 way through the hols and ended up buying more for him at Kableshkovo market. Just hope they're still there when we go this year.  

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