Vilian Stefanov: The Guy who Crossed Bulgaria by Boat and on Foot

Written by on August 28, 2016 in Bulgaria, People - No comments

By our contributor Maya Nikolova.

Vilian Stefanov. Photo by Vilian Stefanov.
Vilian Stefanov. Photo by Vilian Stefanov.

The adventurer Vilian Stefanov managed to cross Bulgaria from south to north in 25 days. His means of travel: He walked. When he hit water, he used his inflatable kayak.

His adventure began on August 1st, 2016. In the following 25 days, he travelled 450 kilometers, from the Greek border, on the outskirts of the village of Mugla in the Rhodope mountains, to the town of Nikopol, situated on the bank of the Danube river. In order to reach his goal of crossing his home country, Vilian walked all by himself in the wilderness, he crossed rivers and and climbed mountains, including Botev Peak, 2,376 meters above the sea level, in the Stara Planina mountain range.

Vilian did not look for shelter. He spent each of the 25 nights either sleeping under a mosquito net, in his kayak, or in his hammock, hanging between the trees.

Vilian is 32 years old, and from Smolyan, a picturesque town in the Rhodope mountains. Until recently, he worked for an IT company in Sofia. Tired of the city life and his boring work, one day he quit his job and started planning his adventure. He wanted to put himself to the test. So he studied old Russian topographic maps, planned his route and then he got going.

He was all by himself for the duration of the trip, not counting the wild animals who came to say hi. During one of those encounters, he almost had his shoe stolen by a fox.

Contrary to what his fans believe, Vilian did not hunt for his food, but replenished his stocks when he passed by nearby villages. Also, his charme made charming locals offer him fresh veggies and other goodies. His biggest hardship? The weather conditions. Due to the latter, he spent more than one night sleeping out there in the open during storms. One of his last nights before reaching his final destination, he spent 5 hours in the pouring rain.

With the successful completion of his expedition “River Route Across Bulgaria “, Vilian proved everything is possible. All you need is a little luck and a lot of determination.

Currently, Vilian is writing a book about his experience and turning the footage from his journey into a movie that will show the most exciting moments of his adventures.

By crossing Bulgaria all by himself, on foot, on water, by climbing three mountains and crossing three of the largest rivers in Bulgaria, Vilian just got warmed up. He needs some rest, in order to restore his physical and mental strength, but he is already planning his next adventure. One thing is for sure: It will be happening in Bulgaria, because this country is so amazing that a life time is not enough to explore and experience it all.

Vilian came across the most beautiful rivers.
Vilian came across the most beautiful rivers.
He met this fellow hiker.
He met this fellow hiker.
This girl was pretty curious.
This girl was pretty curious.
Vilian's view while crossing Bulgaria in 25 days.
Vilian’s view while crossing Bulgaria in 25 days.
Ouch.
Ouch.
All pictures by Vilian Stefanov.
All pictures by Vilian Stefanov.

 

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