26Jan, 19 January 26, 2019Blog

Part 1 – The travel

This is a trip with Hyundai Kona from Sofia to Pamporovo or “how not to travel with an electric vehicle”!

This is the story behind one of my trips that went viral. It was with a car that generally is very hard to get stuck with:

THE Hyundai Kona!

One of the leaders in this class, but unfortunately unable to save me from my ignorance.

I had travelled only once before and I knew I needed a real situation for a proper test drive. That’s how I decided to reach mine and the car’s full capacity. Experience is the best teacher and I was curious.

“Wonder is the desire of knowledge.” – Thomas Aquinas..

I woke up one Saturday with a hot coffee and the morning news, with that I immediately knew the weather report for the Rodopi mountain. Total disaster, a snowstorm that closed all the routes to Pamporovo ski resort. Multiple TV reporters describing apocalyptic pictures and all that.

It all began with the weather report…

In spite of that I found it a great idea to test the car with a trip to Pamorovo and stay there for the night. Not only were the locals struggling with power cuts over the whole area but they also had no water supplies! That was the situation I was looking for.

With a blink of an eye the decision was made. I had to know how to deal with an electric vehicle, in case something like that happens. It is a real situation after all.

“All you need is an urge for adventure!” – I said to myself and I packed my bags!

I had my adventure mood on while exiting Sofia city. It was raining on the highway and I stopped at a gas station near Plovdiv to charge. My first mistake was that on the DC station I put an AC plug and for an hour I charged nothing…

Of course I could have used the other nozzle, but that would have made the story far more humdrum…

An hour later I was tired of waiting and I left. I went through Plovdiv city to buy water and car chains (sometimes it’s important to have them in such a weather conditions). While shopping at METRO I plugged the car there again on AC charger but again with no major success.

I left for Pamporovo with 50% battery charge…

It was very cold and wet on the road, but it was beautiful. I love bad weather, there is something very special about it. It leads you deep inside yourself, makes you thoughtful and sensitive. You see only what lies before you. The rest vanishes in a mist. As if it is of no importance.

I couldn’t believe the morning news, it was so peaceful on the road.

It was a nice travel! The road was clear and there was, however no evidence that the apocalypse from the news is real, but not for long…

Right before the turn-off for Pamporovo there was a line of vehicles waiting for the road to be opened. I spent around 2 hours in the car with working air-conditioning and listening to good music. Nice and cozy, at sunset… it was great!

When the Police released the traffic, we started going up the road and everything changed…

Impassable roads, confused drivers, international tourists with unprepared vehicles remained blocked causing terrible traffic. Such was the situation all the way up to the resort.

There was heavy wet snow on the ground and the cars were constantly getting stuck. You could see fallen trees everywhere and, huge piles of snow like a 3-story building. That made overtaking impossible. For 2 hours we got only 8 km ahead.

By the time I got to the resort it was chaos!

Snow-ploughs, excavators, cars, police, people were walking on the road, no sign of the sidewalks. The car was doing great despite my experiment and I felt more prepared than the others.

That was very wrong but I had no clue yet…

The HOTEL!

My only issue was electricity. I knew I wasn’t going to make it to the charging station. The only solution was to somehow reach a domestic plug at the hotel.

Realizing how serious the situation is I started looking for hotels on my phone though Booking.com. This is how I managed to find the best place. That turned out to be a genius idea, because all the hotels had stopped providing accommodation for the new tourists earlier that day, due to the water issues. The whole resort smelled like a sewer…

My hotel was near the main road and I parked right in front. Unfortunately, I missed an extension and I couldn’t reach the plug which was inside the lobby. That was my second big mistake after the charging station on the highway and I was going to learn something very, very important…

If I had my own extension cable that night, my journey would have been completed without any complications, unfortunately  right then I didn’t know that. I fell asleep peacefully, thinking that “I’ve made it” but the real adventure was about to begin!

To be continued…

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