DANUBE DELTA part II :Where’s the Pelicans?

 

We got up early for another long day of driving,  haven’t ridden the bikes, yet.  We are staying  4 nights in the Delta, hopefully a little bike riding too?  We’re earning our Romanian driving certificate, holy shit.   I feel like we’re on a Grand Prix race track.  I love all the road-side novelty shops.   I heard we would have to take a ferry, so here we go.

Our hosts contacted us several times as we got closer.  We arrived to a house full of guest.  They had us eat dinner the garage, which wasn’t very inviting.  But the fish dinner was good and plentiful.  We were also given a 1/2 liter of whiskey to go with out meal, somethings up?  Our room was right above the party table, the more they drank the louder it got. I felt like at was in the middle of a loud bar, not way out in the country we had driven 8 hours to get to.  By 10 I contacted my host and asked how long this will go on?  She stated they can legally make noise until 12 and it was basically my problem.  I thought why not move the party to the garage?  It was good enough for us to eat in.  I asked for a different room, they said they weren’t a hotel.  It’s not going well, so far.
The next day we take our bikes for a little spin, that soon turns into an 80 km tour.  Again the bikes show themselves to be the best tour guides.  We road down a brand new road, probably the nicest road in Romania, with very few cars.  We thought there was a swimming opportunity at the end, nope.  We sat outside a little market, in the middle of nowhere to rest and decide what to do next?   Inside the store they had Corona Beer, WTF, how did it get here?   Then the “illegally” caught fish were being sold across the street from us, he didn’t want his photo taken.  Heading back we tried to hitchhike for 5 minutes, with our bikes, that didn’t go well.   So we rode the same, new road back which was OK except for the headwind.  We passed several groups of road workers.  I never saw any of them working, just sitting in the shade of the trees.  Wind power is huge in Romania, who knew?  Romania has the 2nd highest wind energy potential in Europe.  The Italians, Hungary Swiss and Czech are all installing wind turbines.  They measure MegaWatts, not number of turbines, but there are literally hundreds of them.

We called out host and asked for dinner at around 6.  Earlier we said we would like a vegetarian meal.  They have a huge garden with tons of fresh veggies.  She said OK I’ll make you little fish, apparently she didn’t know that fish is meat?  Just roasted veggies and potatoes would be great, maybe takes 1/2 an hour?   Our hosts Mom (who is super), seemed a little drunk, she had trouble just setting our table.  We finally got a watered down soup just after 8. We biked 80 km we were starving.  And just before 8:30 we got 1/2 a potato, a couple slices of  pepper and the little fish.  When I look back at the 1/2 liter of whisky, it all started to make more sense and the role alcohol played in this particular AIR B&B..

We took a boat tour provided by our AIR B&B hosts, who just happens to be their uncle. It was cheaper than the “legitimate” tours offered around. Our boat captain spoke no English, couldn’t tell us any history of the area, names of the few birds. We did see a few birds as he sped his boat down the canal scaring away most of the birds and wildlife. I finally communicated to him to stop so we could just sit and watch for birds. He insisted on then rowing to the end and letting us swim in the Black Sea. I read later that you shouldn’t really swim in it, but I read that too late. We then sped back to the AIR B&B and that was that,  we did see a pair of small pelicans & some other misc. birds, so it wasn’t a total waste of time. Next time I will come in May when there are more birds to see and take an English speaking tour.  Driving all this way and saving a little money but not getting the full experience isn’t worth it.


After the last dinner experience at the AIR B&B, we opted to take our chances at the local restaurants.  We ordered, ate and got a bill that was more than what was stated on the menu..I don’t care how many places you’ve traveled to, you’re still a target for the scammers and must always be on your guard.
While on the boat trip I noticed this nice hotel, in the middle of nowhere, with swimming pool.  It seemed just 5 km from our place.  I usually give Natasa the view seat, it’s called courtesy.  At the pool I see several bikini clad swimmers and request the “view seat.”  She looks around “fine”,  The restaurant patio is 3 meters above the pool.  I look around and then down, there’s 3 150 kilo women smoking and talking on there cell phones.  Natasa starts laughing, I told her this doesn’t count as a view seat, nice try.  I Facetimed (camera phoned) my friend in America, and showed him the pool area, then showed him the bikini clad sun bathers, we laughed till we cried.


I was disappointed with our boat-bird trip, too much boat and not enough bird.  So we thought we would go to Tulcea, the center of the Delta Tourism.  We walked around town and visited the Eco-museum.  Everywhere we went in Romania, if you wanted to take photos, you had to buy an extra ticket   I wanted a picture of this stuffed Pelican, but refused to pay more, now I regret it.  Some Pelicans are quite large, and this one was huge. We thought we were reading the map like experts, wrong.  We took a car ferry over to, the “road” that leads you to various locations in the Delta.   What a mistake that was, we get to the end and the guy is trying to sell us an expensive boat tour.  He said the road is bad from here.  How bad could it be?  Natasa decided to be Miss Adventurer, they opened the gate of off we went.  It would have been difficult in a 4 wheel drive vehicle.  We turned around, but not before scratching the paint off the car and bottoming out several times.  I did see some infrastructure that was provided by the EU.  The EU is so important for some of the newest members of the EU.  We did buy some honey from some farmers, that was great.  I saw some guy washing his car by the ferry, I thought, good idea.


I received a not so great a review from my Air B & B hosts, but I chose to ignore it.  I didn’t write a review for her,  I too old to retaliate.   “If you have nothing nice to say to say anything?”  When we arrived Mom was super friendly and funny too.  The huge garden, location, the room, other guests were all great.  But all the alcohol put a damper on the place.  I hope they read this and see what I experienced.  Maybe they’ll offer you a glass of wine instead of a bottle of whiskey.
Thanks for reading
Jeff

NEXT:  BRASOV, TRANSYLVANIA  AND DRACULA

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