A Tortoise Or Slow Coach On Bulgarian Roads

A Tortoise Or Slow Coach On Bulgarian RoadsEvery since setting foot in Bulgaria I hear from lots of Bulgarians that there are lots of tortoises roaming around the country. Up unit this week the only ones I have see are pets that are kept by one of Galia's family. I haven't seen any 'wild tortoises' anywhere despite living in perfect tortoise country with vegetation abound for those slow but constant lawnmowers. Even in the village farmhouse tortoises have never nibbled my vegetables, but then they might have a preference for my neighbour’s superior vegetables.

So it came to pass that we were on our way to the village farmhouse in the Lada, a slowcoach itself today as I was freewheeling wherever I could to save on gas. We got about 8 kilometres for the Skalitsa village and I saw my first 'wild' tortoise in the middle of the road taking its time to cross dead casual like! It wasn’t exactly a screech of the brakes, I wasn't going fast enough for that, but we stopped and it was out of the car to investigate this 'wild' Bulgarian tortoise.

A Tortoise Or Slow Coach On Bulgarian RoadsAs I got to the tortoise it shelled up and remained in its home throughout our encounter, I don't blame it I'm an ugly and mean, perhaps it thought I was a gypsy and it was lunchtime. Anyway, the investigation went on as I picked it up and had a close look at it. Funny but for a wild tortoise it wasn’t wild' at all, it did nothing. I could see its head tucked away and its eye peering out at me and I knew it wouldn't budge with me holding it. It was put in the verge with some greenery, but still wouldn't come out even after a five-minute wait. Time to go home was the call from Galia waiting patiently in the Lada looking at this Englishman with a fascination for this creature. She of course is well used to tortoises in Bulgaria and found them quite boring as they didn’t do anything.

So it was a reluctant Martin who got back into the car after saying goodbye to this temporarily hibernated tortoise for what is was worth, I didn't even have a chance to say hello!

Well I got a picture or two of my first encounter with a wild Bulgarian tortoise, but I was wilder with excitement than anything else.
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