Bali

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In order to get to Raja Ampat, I flew to Bali, stayed there for two nights and took the flight to West Papua. On the way back, I stayed in Bali for another three weeks. I had made a mistake with my fight dates back to Bulgaria and had booked a date that was a month further in the future. I managed to arrange to change the date, but I still decided to give myself two weeks more than the initial week and a bit, that I was planning to stay there. I just wasn’t so keen in staying in a place that was so touristy and popular, like Bali. But after being there for a while, I decided to give it a chance and explore the island further.

Kuta and all of the Denpasar Area is very urbanized, with lots of traffic and tourism. When I saw it initially, I thought that I will never drive there. Ubud, where I stayed the second part of my visit to Bali, amazed me with it’s ancient architecture, lively traditions and amazing little shops. The streets we covered with rice and flower offerings every day and the air smelled of incense sticks. The local people were honoring their hinduist traditions very strictly and certainly not for tourist show.

Getting more used to the traffic in the South of Bali, I got braver and hired a scooter with which to explore the island. I quickly got used to riding amidst the craziest traffic and learned the local ways of behaving on the road. Almost every day, I would ride to a different place, but the island is quite big and I managed to see only a small part of it.

The people of Bali are quite positive, relaxed, friendly and helpful. I made some local friends and learned more about their life and culture. I happened to experience the Balinese New Year, where for a whole day, you switch off all lights and stay quietly at home. There are even special people patrolling the streets to make sure that no one goes out.

I also spent a few days filming the monkeys in the specially designated local park. These creatures are quite interesting and funny to watch and the little ones are just adorable. But make no mistake to think that they are friendly to humans. They are only interested in getting something to eat out of you and can be very aggressive. Once I was trying to shake off the monkey that got on top of my rucksack and tried opening the zipper. In an instant another monkey darted towards me and bit my leg. Fortunately, she didn’t manage to brake the fabric, but I still got a bleeding bruise and went to the medical station for them to disinfect it. They assured me that these monkeys are all healthy and don’t carry any diseases, but just bear in mind to be very careful when interacting with them. In the end, I collected quite a bit of footage of these monkeys, but the final video is still in the making, as some of the files got damaged.

After all, I was quite amazed by the colorful life of Bali, it’s diversity of landscapes, beautiful traditions and the lovely and welcoming locals. I will certainly want to go back and see and film more of it.

I am preparing a few videos with the footage, I managed to film on the island, but for the moment only one is ready and available: https://youtu.be/JdlTsEoJtLA

Some footage from Bali can also be seen in this one hour long collection of aerial shots, that I have filmed over the last few years: https://youtu.be/Wiw5kYi1TL0

Cows and Bells

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As I wrote in a previous post, on one of my trips to Pirin National Park, I discovered a heard of beautiful free-range cows with clear sounding bells and decided to go back there the year after in order to make a relaxing video with them. I organised myself next summer and went there, happy to find them where I was hoping them to be. Talking to the shepard, asking for permission to film the cows, I realised that I was there just on time, as they have just moved to these high pastures a few days ago. I spend two days moving with the herd and filming different moments of the cows peaceful mountain life. The shepard was a very friendly young guy from the nearby little town and we chatted a lot about our lives, Bulgaria and so on. We even shared our lunch packs and ate together. At some point he filled my bottle with fresh warm milk directly from one of cows and it was delicious. I was very happy to have been able to make this video. You can watch it here: https://youtu.be/QhLMlA3Wb8w

Mountain Meadows

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Another trip with a friend to my favourite Central Balkan National Park. This time to film the amazing diversity of wild flowers and record the sounds of crickets and grasshoppers around those mountain meadows. On the few days near the top of the mountain I collected a variety of meadow scenery and close-up footage of the flowers. You can watch my Mountain Meadows video here: https://youtu.be/L6JG_L-PWMA

I also filmed and recorded the trickling waters of a small brook surrounded by flowers and the majestic view of Bulgaria’s tallest waterfall in the background: https://youtu.be/LZPOYiXaRMU

Fields of White

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The winter was not over yet, so I decided to go to Rila National Park for some winter footage. The hut is only an hour away from where you can leave your car, but still sits around 2000m above the sea level. Along the clearly marked path, on the way to the hut and back, I managed to film some nice shots and record some good sounds with which I made a few long videos. These videos can be seen here: https://youtu.be/CUaybv1jdHw and here: https://youtu.be/0fHaQdacCmM

On the two days I spent up at the hut, I made long treks in the thick snow further up the mountain. I was lucky that on both days there have been other people that have walked up before me. I was walking over their steps, which made it much easier for me, as I still hadn’t bought myself some snowshoes. I filmed a lot of the pure raw mountain scenery covered in white snowy blanket. I tested my new drone’s abilities and was very happy with it’s stability, even in strong wind. In the end I made a short video of this incredible landscape, soundtracked by the amazing ambient music, so generously offered by Stellardrone: https://stellardrone.bandcamp.com/ The video can be seen here: https://youtu.be/2pmgu6Yfbb8