петък, 17 декември 2010 г.

Exile By Belitsa

A man’s heart may tear into pieces in front of such miserable view.
It’s not like the other place called Belitza, located close to Razlog, where the so called “bear dancers” have been sheltered. It’s a small nice village near the town of Laki, located in the western part of the Rhodope mountains, neighboring the reservation area called Kormissosh. On the way from Plovdiv to Smolyan after the Monastery of Bachkovo, at Yugov’s Han there is a left-side road junction heading the town of Laki. Following this direction just before entering the town there is a 6 km road junction leading to the village of Belitza. Belitza River is twisting along side the road and there are two tunnels dug in the rocks, which I’ve trespassed on my way to the village.

I pulled over and stopped before passing the first tunnel. Next to it the river has sculptured a natural bridge, similar to the bridge of Mosotvo village.

The bridge is called the Shapran hole.
Here came the village.

I drove through it and followed the asphalted narrow road (not marked on my travel map) down to the next village of Zagrajden. Around 6 km after the village of Belitza I turned off to go to the bears’ shelter that was supposed to be a sightseeing attraction for tourists.

There is a road sign that reads “KARAMUSH KALEEVY”. Karamush was the name of a Turkish village that had been located at the same place where the breeding farm for bears was established later. The bears were imported from the Carpathian Mountains 40 years ago with intention to increase the number of species within the population of Kormisosh game breeding farm – a famous place for hunting for brown bear, deer, fallow deer, roe, wolf, wild boar, etc.

I left the car and continued my way by walk. The distance to the game breeding farm is around 2 km. I walked through a reservation area – everything there looked so virgin. The woods are of mixed type and the river is like a friendly neighbor of theirs.

While walking through I thought over the evolution of human mind. If our predecessors would go hunting in order to survive, our contemporaries go for hunting for their own pleasure…
I approached a small hut and the owners gave me the following directions: “The bears are over there. Just push the red colored gate and enter.”
So, I followed their advice. It was silent, the sun was shining, I stepped inside timidly and…I felt a “hedge hock in my throat”.

I had had a different picture in my imagination about that place. I had supposed that the bears would live their own manner of life in a wide-space of area. On the contrary the bears were sitting bored in a men’s manner and begging for the visitors’ attention.

I took out a few biscuits and wafers from my backpack. Obviously the expectations had been huge.

I had given away all of my food although I didn’t feel better. Around 15 male bears had been stone-laid in the middle of the bear reservation area.
The mountain ranges had been spread on the opposite side and numerous insects were buzzing over their meadows of scent.
Although it had been planned to breed the bears there, only one young bear was born and transferred to the ZOO of Varna city. I was told that the same bear had already created his own offspring. Two other bears were sheltered there after the ZOO of Plovdiv city had been closed…

I took a farewell, returned to the road junction for the town of Lucky and resumed my travel to the village of Borovo. I’d been enjoying the view of the village high in the mountains being lighten by the beautiful sunset.

The distance from here to the Orthodox Church complex Krustova gora is about 7 km and lot of tourists may be seen passing by.

The God’s Ascension church had been raised above the village…

I walked up the road carrying my little hope about the future of those bears…