A Blessing in Disguise in Tulcea,Romania

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June 13th 2013
Published: June 17th 2013
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Gretchen is always saying that her 'travel fairy' comes to the rescue when 'she' is needed and you could say today was one of those days but more about that a little later.

We didn't hear back from the guy who emailed to say he would be at the hotel at 8.30am to pick us up for a tour of the Delta so we will play it by ear when the time comes or head on down to the wharf area again and see what is available for other trip opportunities including the guy who said he could take us subject to him having other bookings or others turning up to make the trip worthwhile financially for him.

We were smart about having breakfast and 8.30am came and went without anyone turning up to take us to the Delta so we gave the guy a few more minutes and then headed off to the wharf area equipped with water and raincoats as the weather forecast did not sound promising from the afternoon onwards with thunderstorms predicted.

Like yesterday there weren't any sandwich boards out advertising trips although one guy did come up to us and offer a trip but his boat looked dodgy and we declined and carried on.

We found the boat we noticed the guy who offered us the trip yesterday but he didn't appear to be there.At the next pontoon another guy came forward and invited us to have a look at what he could offer.Unfortunately he had already sent one of his boats away with less paying numbers on board than he normally would but he could offer us a 6 hour trip with lunch for the equivalent of €50+ each.This was more than what we wanted to pay and said we would think about it but should give the guy who quoted us yesterday first.So we went back to his pontoon and found someone who telephoned him and said he would be here in a few minutes.

He duly arrived but it was clear straight away that he didn't have any other passengers to take and the price he quoted us yesterday went up to €50,the same as the guy next door.We looked at each other,dissapointed that the price had gone up and decided that we would just have to see the Delta from the road that follows one of the tributaries out of the city towards the Black Sea.The guy couldn't confirm whether we would see wildlife,which was fair enough as birds don't just arrive on cue.

Thinking that we might not be able to arrange a tour on the water we had done some research on the road of 40km to Murighiol and it seemed to have side roads that went down to the river in a few places so we opted for the road trip.

At Nufaru we got some good views of the river below and out into the Delta.We could have taken a ferry across onto one of the numerous islands that make up the delta but we decided we would carry onto our planned destination.

At the next small town we had a perfect view of a stork up on its nest on a pole.They are common in many of the small villages but this one didn't have black power lines spoiling the camera angle.The large birds look rather awkward standing upright on top of the pole.They make their nests from all sorts of bits and pieces including clothing and this one was no different with a large piece of material partly hanging out of the bottom of the nest.

We went down to the river a couple of times on side roads and were amazed just how fast the water was flowing despite how wide it was indicating the huge volume that passes through on its way to the Black Sea.An interesting fact is that the Black Sea takes one third of all river water from European Rivers with the Danube supplying the most.

As we got to Murighiol the sky started to cloud over and to the north east it was starting to look a bit more threatening.

We went to the end of the town and turned around to head back noticing a car stopped on the side of the road with three people out with their cameras focused on something in the sky.So we stopped too and searched the sky above the small hill and caught sight of a large flock of pelicans on the wing,slowly making their way in a V shape flight towards the river.Their flying was so slow we had time to get our cameras out and get them recorded.An amazing sight and one we didn't need to go on the water for.

We arrived back in Tulcea just after midday and as we were getting out of the car there were large drops of rain starting to fall from the darkened sky.By the time we were preparing lunch it was absolutely bucketing down and then came the thunder and lightening.

With bands of rain sweeping across the lake that the hotel is on we thanked the 'travel fairy' for not being able to arrange a boat trip as we would have been completely soaked by the heavy driving rain that fell for an hour before it finally let up had we been out on the delta.Even the resident shag that had been sitting on a pole on the lake near our room had to give up and find shelter somewhere else.

The weather remained changeable for the rest of the afternoon which for once kept us indoors and it wasn't until late afternoon that it finally cleared and we headed out for dinner.Having had more than enough chicken and pork to last us a lifetime we went back to our early days in Italy and had a pizza each pleasing the taste buds again!

Tomorrow its off to Bucharest,a city that has a reputation from guide books that is making Gretchen apprehensive.So we shall see what our short stay in the nations capital holds for us.It will be a tightening of the money belts(and that is not anything to do with meeting the budget!)and keeping our valuables close to hand.

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