Snow and Decisions Made At The Weekend

It was Friday 5:00 and the weekend had just begun, we were due to travel to Skalitsa for a weekend retreat after grafting for five solid days on the trot. Just as I left to pick up Galia from the factory, the snow started falling, well I say falling it was horizontal with the wind that blew it in. Falling snow isn't a problem, drifting snow is as we weighed up where we should risk the trip to Skalitsa at this point.

We got to a junction where we had to decide whether a left or a right turn was to be made, depending on what our destination was going to be. Galia being a Bulgarian women always expects the man to make the decisions. I in my previous life I found it very hard to make decisions, it was a fear of being torn to shreds with the blame if the decision is wrong. So faced with having to make a decision I suggested we stay in Yambol. Getting caught in snowdrifts is not my idea of winding down at the weekend and certainly Galia wouldn't take kindly to the cold sub zero temperatures. Galia didn't react to that decision so I assumed she didn't really want to stay in Yambol, so I change my mind and opted for the left turn for Skalitsa.

Like I said, the trouble with me making decisions is that I get the blame, getting shouted at and never made to forget my errors. This was always the case in the UK with both my previous English partners. (Yes, yes, I've been married twice before if you were wondering.) This thought hung over me throughout the journey that was now running the risk with the weather, which Galia had heard on the news was quite serious. As we sped out way and reached the outskirts of Yambol the snowfall and winds had picked up and the road now was cover with waves of drifting snow. Every so often there would be a gap in the hedgerows and a major wedge of snow was being forced through it. this was worrying, we could see ahead that the sky was darker and this would get worse as we knocked up each kilometre.

By the time we had got to the first village the road was totally covered with snow and it kept falling and drifting in many if not most parts int open flat countryside. Every so often a bus would come the other way speeding like a bat out of hell along these slippery roads. What possesses drivers like this to use such speed with passengers aboard is beyond me, Galia didn't seem surprised with this and she looked a bit nervous regarding this choice of destination now as we still have 20 kilometres to go and the weather was closing in even more.

I'd driven in snow packed roads here before in a Lada, the trouble is you don't know where the road is, there weren't any other vehicle tracks to guide you - We seemed to be the only vehicle on the road on a Friday at rush hour as the thought of that decision at the junction was beginning to feel like the wrong decision. I wasn't too worried about anything else other than the repercussions of a woman's tongue and scorn during the saga and even more the end of it.

Taking it very slowly, and without using brakes which just caused us to skid, we managed to slide our way to Skalitsa, it was a roller coast of a ride, I loved every moment. It was easier than expected especially in view of the severe weather we encountered.

Snow and Decisions Made At The WeekendA bigger problem was the final 200 metres in the the village road that leads to the farmhouse. Another decision had to be made; try and get to the farmhouse garage or leave the car on the main road next to the bar/shop. Again, it was left for me to make the decision as it was made instantaneously and the brave Lada when head first in the drifted snow up the small hill to the farmhouse. It only just made it, but the big problem was yet o come, the actual crossing the verge which had a dip in it to get into the garage.

We had spoken to our neighbour who was outside gathering winter fuel just before attempting the final run. He informed us that the whole village had no electricity as the power lines had been blown over in the wind. He was actually amazed we were here as the whole of Bulgaria had come to a halt due to drifting snow and his intended guest this weekend had cancelled their trip.

He had caught up with us as just as we had given up any hope of having the car undercover in the garage overnight. It was entrenched in the middle of the road in half a metre of snow and going was going nowhere. But this is Bulgaria, this is a village and there is always help at hand in these locations. Our neighbour had caught up with us and was with his wife this time. We had three people now (Galia being the third) who could help push the Lada out of trouble and into the garage. The only stressed out person was me, I knew that it was near impossible to get the car in the garage an the efforts that were being made by these Bulgarians would be fruitless. The car only had to travel some 10 metres, but in snow that had drifted to nearly a metre against the garage door look like a mission impossible, and without electric with the dark of the night looming just half an hour away, the original decision looked even more or a wrong one. What penalty will I have to pay for making that choice.

To cut a long story short, the car eventually got in the garage, it took 30 to 40 minutes to achieve this as no one gave up except me. The car in was in the garage and suddenly the electricity came back on and lit up the darkness that was now surrounding us in this almost isolated spot. There was no no rush as we spent the next twenty minutes talking and catching up on the news locally.

We finally got indoors, the wood burner started up and not food prepared as the snow carried on outside. This was the best kind of evening you could ever have having finally got here. Was it the wrong decision after all? Only Sunday will tell us that as we have to get back to Yambol for work the next day. Did I get shouted at for making the wrong decisions? No, even though there were times when it was deemed wrong, Galia seems understands that making decisions is always a risk and sometimes wrong decisions are made. Why should she get angry with me and use that against me for the rest of my life? Why I put up with that in the UK I'll never know, perhaps I thought that was normal then.