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Kamping Kromidovo Bulgaria Reviewed!! PDF Printable Version E-mail


A Critical Review of Kamping Kromidovo

Margaret and Barry Williamson
December 2017

 

2871 Kromidovo Village, Petrich District, Blagoevgrad Province, Bulgaria. www.kampingkromidovo.com

 

N 41.454570  E 23.362955


In early November 2017, travelling south from Sofia to Greece, we visited Kromidovo after checking that the campsite was still open. We stayed two nights, which was more than enough!
 The owners, Sara and John, were there, as well as two voluntary helpers from the Workaway Scheme, though we saw little sign of any work being done. 

It may be only 3 miles from the main highway but the last mile through 'KrummyDovo' is extremely rough and potholed. It is very important to follow the home-made signs for the campsite – we heard that a French motorhome missed one and became stuck down a tight lane.

As one of the volunteers removed the rusty bicycle lock to let us through the narrow crudely-made gate, John appeared. 'There is a funny smell' he said, as we pointed to the large pile just deposited on the grass by a loose Doberman dog. A total of five dogs were living on site, barking and defecating around us. John excused them by saying only three belonged to him, with two more temporarily in residence. That's all right then. Perhaps that's what they mean by 'eco-friendly'.

The tiny site, with a teepee and a few unmarked pitches in the unkempt back garden of the house, has a few electrical hook-ups. There is also water, a scruffy and littered outside sink for washing up (no sign of a 'kitchen'), overflowing rubbish bins in the cluttered recycling and junk corner, and a non-chemical WC emptying point (tastefully decorated with a mosaic of broken glass and bottle tops). We were told not to empty our cassette there if it contained bog-blue and no alternative was offered. A total indifference which limited the length of our stay – not that we were tempted to linger.

The neglected and 'garden' contrasted sharply with the owners' house, which could be mistaken for a villa in an affluent English suburb. One would never suspect that it had arisen, phoenix-like, from the mud bricks of its previous Bulgarian peasant owners, now standing quite out of place amid the desperate poverty of all its neighbours!

Next day we escaped the dogs by walking around the village, to return even more disappointed! Perhaps it all looks better in summer when the swimming pool and café are open? In November it was more or less deserted, most of the houses crumbling and neglected. The only shop (open from 3 pm) sold basic provisions. There was nowhere to eat or drink.  

On the positive side, there is a washer available for laundry, the free WiFi worked well and the unisex showers and toilets, inside the house on the ground floor, are clean and modern – indeed, everyone was using them. To wash her hands, Margaret had to wait for the owner to finish cleaning his teeth at the open sink.

To summarise, we were seriously disappointed in the site, the access and the village. It was hard to credit the pretentiousness of the claims being made by the owners (see below), professing that this is an 'alternative lifestyle' with an 'eco-campsite' 
using 'permaculture' and 'recycling principles'. Certainly it is a complete alternative to a well-equipped site, or indeed any campsite that we would use or have ever used.

This is not culture-shock on our part: we know Bulgaria well, having been regular visitors since 1989 when we cycled from one end of the country to the other on a bicycle journey from the UK through the Iron Curtain countries to Istanbul. We have stayed several times on two other English-owned Bulgarian campsites (Veliko Tarnovo and Sakar Hills) since their very beginning: sites that just provide a genuine welcome and straightforwardly good facilities, of the kind that far-from-home motorhomers and caravanners really need. Like a place to empty the chemical toilet!

For a pleasant night halt along this route, we would recommend continuing to the Greek border and driving to the Elodia Taverna on Lake Kerkini in Greece (32 miles in all) at
N 41.211441  E 23.095873.  Here there is free overnight parking, WiFi, water and WC – and you can put the €16 camping fee you saved towards an excellent meal!

Kromi_Camp_(1).JPG
The Home-made Gate with a Rusty Bicycle Lock (code required)
Kromi_Camp_(6).JPG
One of the droppings near our motorhome from an eco-friendly Doberman
Kromi_Camp_(5).JPG
The 'Recycling Area' (also known as the 'Rubbish Dump')
Kromi_Camp_(7).JPG
This is about One Quarter of the Back Garden 'Eco-Campsite'.
Kromi_Camp_(4).JPG
The Non-Chemical WC that Could Not be Used (the Plastic Bottle is the Lid)!
Kromi_Camp_(2).JPG
A Nearby and Not Untypical House in the Village of Kromidovo
Kromi_Camp_(3).JPG
The Owners' House providing an Alternative Lifestyle??

See many more pictures of this unique campsite and the village in which it is located at:

 MagBazPictures KampingKromidovo

Absurdly Pretentious Claims by Owners of Camping Kromidovo

"Ideally situated if you plan to arrive/ leave Bulgaria via Greece or Macedonia. We are Sara and John, a British couple who, along with various friends (British and Bulgarian) and family when they are free are aiming to create an alternative lifestyle in the amazing Bulgarian countryside by setting up an eco-campsite, using permaculture and recycling principles whenever possible. 

Gardening
Building
Cooking / shopping
General Maintenance
Help with Eco project
Help in the house
Helping with Tourists
Charity work
Art project
Other
Help with Computers / internet

Since we opened in April 2016 we are now looking for responsible, friendly volunteers to help with the day to day running of the campsite and guest rooms. 

This will involve welcoming people and checking them in and answering any queries they may have. You will need to speak reasonable English since most of our guests communicate in this. Some days we are empty others we may have 5 or 6 groups of people- we never really know as most don't book in advance. Help required also involves keeping the place clean and tidy and generally being available if we are not and looking after the dogs and cats.

We also have various ongoing projects including building fences, developing the organic garden and compost system.

We will also have a couple of art projects for 2017, including painting a large wall in the garden and more mosaic work as well as making things (furniture) out of old wood so creative types very welcome.

You will helping alongside us and our friends and family if any of them are around. We like to eat fresh local produce and would hope that you would contribute to the cooking rota with your favourite dishes. We can cater for vegetarians and vegans."

https://www.workaway.info/639882897595-en.html