Day 20: mooooooove b!tc# get out the way, get out the way

2 Moose on the Loose Mongol Rally travel YOLO

Miles: 250
Countries: Bulgaria -> Turkey
Stops: Varna -> Border -> Istanbul-ish
Playlists: weekly discover (Spotify), Epic Songs of Epicness (Spotify)

It was still raining when we woke up, and with the car fully covered in a tarp, We had a slow start to the day and found ourselves on the road around 11:30.

It was a pretty fun drive. We were both in a good mood, cracking jokes, and just overall silly. We did crosswords as we drove through the back highways through the mountains. It was all good until we drove past 2 cop cars parked on the side of the road and we saw one starting to inch towards the road in our rear view mirror. Justin is good with the speeding - not that we could if we wanted to. But here we go, we thought this was going to be it... and nothing. We kept driving and he didn't fully pull out onto the road. Crisis averted.... until we saw the cop car show up in our mirror about 5 minutes later.

With our eyes dashing from the mirror to the road to the mirror to the road, we watched him come right up to our rear end, only to pass us. Again, a sigh of relief.... until his lights started flashing as in front of us, and he pulled over. We slowed down and stopped behind him thinking the Bulgarian way is to stop BEHIND the flashing lights but he waved us through.

Pleasantly surprised, we started moving around him only to figure out what the issue was. There was a herd of cows just chilling on the road, in the mountain, minding their own business and giving zero hoots. We followed a cow's behind until it stopped and turned around to look at us. Not going to lie, I got a little nervous. Last time I met a cow, it so happened to be in Scotland, and it chased us. They may be HUGE but they can move when they will it! Luckily, it just did its thing and we lost both the cows and the pigs far behind us.

We drove on reaching Burgas where we stopped for gas and realized we still needed to buy our Turkey eVisas. We spent an hour in the parking lot but our credit card would not go through. We called our bank, nothing. We called the embassy, nothing, but they did tell us we can buy it at the border as Canadians. Score. Saves us a stop trying to figure out where to print them! So on we drove.

2 or so hours later we reach the border. Now, we've heard stories: everything from 1.5-3 hours at the border but the line looked small and we got through within 45 minutes. Only then we realized that was the Bulgarian border and we still had to do the Turkish side. Again, the line seemed fairly small so we held on to hope that we're the lucky team.

LOL. But of course, that would've been too easy. While we wait in line, a fellow rally team saw us and gave us a heads up to go buy our green cards (car insurance since we're now out of the Europe jurisdiction) while the car is in line to save some time from having to line up again after. So I stay with the car, and Justin goes. He comes back all smug because the guy asked for €75 for the insurance but after hearing all the stories online, he said he didn't have enough. The guy waved at him saying, what we assume is "whatever" and took the 60. Probably could've gotten away with less, but let's not push our luck.

So he comes back to the car just in time for it to be our turn. We are waved around the back to go get visas, no one at the booth. We get waved through to a different booth where the old man clearly wanted to be anywhere but there. So so so miserable looking. He pulls out a book for visas and writes down 140USD. It was less online so we didn't have enough cash. Justin went to get cash but the MONEY EXCHANGE booth didn't take credit. The duty free STORE didn't take cash. The restaurant didn't take cash. We tried haggling, we tried begging, but the guy refused to budge and just threw our passports at us and waved us away. Completely torn we asked if the ralliers had a 20 on them. They had JUST spent the last of their cash so we all stood around trying to figure something out. They offered to try purchasing the eVisas online with their card - maybe there was an issue with ours? So we did, and it did work. And the currency exchange place was cool with printing them for us. Forever and a day later, visas in hand, we got back in line for customs, got our stamps, got our mandatory car "searched" (aka a light tap on the car while looking somewhere off in the distance)
- you carrying alcohol or narcotics?
- No
- Cool. Carry on.

All in all, the crossing took 3.5 hours at the border crossing and we are now on the road to Istanbul through the never ending sunflower fields!

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