The coastal road is narrow, only a lane each way, and if you drive like everyone else, you might miss it. The turn is badly signposted, and appears suddenly behind a bend. The first impressions are disappointing: another hotel, another stretch of scrub land turned into parking, dusty and fenced off. But if you take the wooden walkway, soon you might think the parking lot was a false display put there to dissuade the unworthy. Once the dunes surround you, the traffic rumble disappears, the air heats up, and your eyes fill with quiet and beauty.
The Arkutino natural reserve is a dry bowl in the skirts of the Sakar, rich in birds, small reptiles, insects, and protected sand lilies. As we walk, the noon sun beats down, and it looks deserted and motionless. Then suddenly there is the beach, with smells, and noises, and parasols. The restaurant is busy, and the frappucino is cold, but the sounds are still somehow hushed, and the hills are hazy. Did we swim or walk to get here? Might have been either.
Shot on 35mm Kodak film, scanned by Colourstream.
It is where the Banner of Peace, an ambitious project for gifted children by Liyudmila Zhivkova never happened.