Bulgarian Black Sea coast by kayak – Day 5

Day 5 turned out to be our last day on this trip, but we didn’t know that at 8 in the morning when we broke camp and started paddling. The sea was quite agitated, 1-2 m high waves, with white crests even pretty far from the shore. Then the events of day 2 repeated again. Pali capsized after covering 3 km right in front of Kamchya beach, watched by 5 lifeguards keeping the empty beach in control. We were close to land so he just swam to the beach.  We received some scolding because swimming was prohibited and we had no life vests.

As a side note: the life vest makes me heat up while paddling to the point where I get sick, and it is just in the way if I fall in the water because it makes it more difficult to swim or get back into the kayak. Life vests are for people who fall in the water and wait until they are saved. We did not have this luxury of simply waiting to be saved, we had to save ourselves and the other one if we had an issue. The life vest would not really help with that.

Pali did not want to continue on the sea, and we agreed with his decision even if we had to cut our trip short. To our luck, we hit land 200 m from the mouth of Kamchya River. To finish our trip in style, we decided to paddle upstream to the main road leading back to Varna and finish our trip there. It was a very good decision.

Kamchya River emptying into the Black Sea.


There were some boats and huts for the first kilometer, but we were paddling in a wild forest from there on. There seemed to be no human activity on the river whatsoever, because there were trees leaning low over the water or even fallen into it, lots of branches and debris building up into banks.

It was gorgeous so we thanked Pali for capsizing and showing us the way into this green wilderness. After 4 km we met a guy on the shore all alone with his touring bicycle and playing his mandolin. He was Irish and was heading for India. He reached Bulgaria in close to two years because he was not in a hurry at all.


We had had a short intermezzo here because I found out that my drybag has fallen off my kayak from my back, so we raced back and found it already being washed by the waves. I kept the car keys, my ID card and everything of value in it, so I was pretty happy to find it.

The most honest moment of this trip was one of the last ones for me. When we heard the noise of the highway and got a glimpse of the bridge crossing the river all three of us stopped and we just sat there for a while in our yaks. There was no regret or anything else, we just enjoyed the last moment of our trip before getting back to roads-cars-deadlines and civilization.

The team.

We only covered 18 km on this day, but it was gorgeous.

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