72. Ode to the beach

by | Aug 29, 2013 | Bulgarian life, Travel & trips | 0 comments

I bloody love the beach, I do.

I love the way the wind troubles my hair.

(A too-short bob in summer is a bad choice,

what I wouldn’t give for a ponytail!)

The constant watering of my left eye.

Those little pimples I get

after days of sweating under factor 50 sun cream.

I love how sand gets everywhere,

in between the buttons on my blackberry 

inside the packet of wet wipes, 

right up in my….

No. Wait.

It’s the idea of the beach that I love. The reality gets on my wick after an hour. But the idea of laying on a beach with a fully loaded Kindle is heaven. It doesn’t matter that, in reality, I can never get comfortable enough to read for more than ten minutes. The idea, in the weeks running up to a holiday, is the thing to savour. This year I got carried away in anticipation of my little jaunt and bought fifteen books. Fifteen! Just daft. What am I, a Booker prize judge?

So yeah, we went to the beach last week!

In the UK I grew up about 4 miles from the sea and, I guess as a consequence of that, we never went on beach holidays. Maybe that’s why I get so excited about the beach holiday – too many childhood trips visiting National Trust houses and doing, like, cultural stuff. Last year we drove to Greece – which was ruddy excellent but a horrific drive. This year we went to Sinemorets in Bulgaria, right down near the Turkish border. Still a 700-mile round trip but on better roads. (Bulgaria recently completed its first ever motorway, and we drove the whole length of it. Amazing. I didn’t need a single cigarette, it was so smooth.)

And this is stunning place is Sinemorets.


Our favourite beach. Where the Veleka river meets the Black Sea.


More Veleka river. Strandzha nature reserve in the background.


Sinemorets has 3 sandy beaches. This one can only be reached on foot after climbing up and over a cliff (okay, some rocks).  I was a Very Brave Soldier about it all.


It’s a village that’s sort of evolved into a small-ish resort thanks to the lovely beaches and nearby nature reserve. Walking down a dirt track, you’ll see a big villa next to a tumble-down cottage with a baba pottering amongst the tomatoes. It’s mainly Bulgarian holidaymakers who go there (we heard maybe two British voices all week). There was that one chap with swastika tattoos on his face but it mainly seemed to attract a hippy, backpacking crowd. There were quite a few people wild camping on the beaches and nobody seemed to mind.

We were officially the whitest people on the beach. Rob avoided as much vitamin D as possible. I got my watery eye and bad skin. I managed, nay forced myself, to read one-and-a-half of those darn books. It was all very stoic.

Only 51 weeks to go until my next beach holiday!


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