As many of the topics are about problems with visitors, I decided to share with you the lovely experience we had last week.
We received 5 requests for more or less the same dates. As our town has only a handful of hosts (even less in the rest of the country), we checked their profiles and saw that many of them have not logged in for weeks or months - so we were afraid that if we refuse, the cyclists won't be able to find an alternative place to stay. So we just messaged everyone saying that they might coincide with other visitors, and if they don't mind a crowded place, we'll be happy to host them. As were going to move to a new place right after, we thought that this was a perfect way to say goodbye to the old house.
Four of the couples came, so we had a total of eight guests during one week. Moreover - for one evening three of the couples were here together. I have to say that the conditions we could offer were not very good - we love to share a meal with our guests and are happy to guide them around or let them use whatever they need around the house when we are able to. But the house had old furniture and small dark rooms. Two of our guests had to sleep in a very uncomfortable bed, other two - in the living room I have to pass through a few times during night (being a mother-to-be) and the last two - in a tent in the yard with all their belongings and bikes locked inside the house for safety (sadly, this is necessary in our town).
Our guests and the time spent with them turned out to be amazing. We had dinner together every evening and they all contributed with pleasure - cooking, bringing a salad, a drink or a desert, washing the dishes. Some of them were traveling from east to west and some - from west to east, so they were able to share tips and experiences, compare routes, give advices to each other. And we had the pleasure to meet lovely people from four different nations, listen to their stories and be a humble part of their adventures. We are so happy we did it. And we were left with the impression that our guests also liked it.
Even though it is not easy to have little or no privacy, always someone in the bathroom and a bunch of people in the kitchen at all times, we were lucky to have great guests who more than compensated for the inconveniences. During this week the kitchen was cleaner than ever before and I even realized that someone had washed dishes I had left next to sink... Thank you all guys for coming to us and for being so awesome!
To be honest, I think that the reason we never had problems with visitors is that Bulgaria is not a desired tourist destination itself - it's rather a stop on the way to and from Istanbul (though we can show you amazing places in the country...). So I guess that we get only the "tough" cyclists who are not afraid of inconveniences and difficulties, compared to, say, Paris or Rome where everyone would like to go. And difficulties on the way when you ride a bike make all the differences from Couchsurfing - you learn to enjoy the nice moments and to ignore the bad ones. As soon as we are able to, we'll keep accepting guests... (in more comfortable conditions, I hope ;)
This post became longer than planned, so to finish it: concentrate on the positive moments and I'm sure you'll get more and more of them :)
With wishes for the best cycling/visiting/hosting experiences to everyone!