Fog. It is nothing else as fog in the Delta. It is so thick and wet that is piercing any protection you may imagine.We left in the morning with a boat to Caraorman, a place in the middle of the delta that has a set of very tall sand dunes.
After going by boat on the Sulina canal we took a left and stated to delve deep in the Delta canal. The fog was making everything around mysterious, shapes of trees piercing its veil and spooked birds flying out of the marshes. The smalls canals were interconnecting and crossing ending up in large lakes that is deep fog they looked like shoreless oceans of mist. Even for our boatman , a very experienced local, the fog represented a challenge and we lost our ways many times in the lakes, turning around and sometimes in circles till finally we were able to find the narrow connection to the next lake or canal. We felt many times lost in a huge milk pail, finding a way out like in a dream. maybe because the entire Danube Delta is like a dream. Meanwhile the wetness and the air humidity penetrated us all over and when we finally got of the boat we were barely able to move. We did a short stop to a fishing collection station, kerkhana, as they call it locally, where some boats stopped to drop a meager day crop of fish. The fish is depleted in the Delta, and the reasons are diverse, finger pointing flying around like thunderbolds, but the bottom line was an over fishing done in the last 20 years. As a result, at least now off season, is almost impossible to get a fish soup in a restaurant.
We finally arrive and got off the boat close to Caraorman, where a horse drawn carriage was supposed to wait for us but we just found out that the horses left and were lost in the fog to the despair of the owner who was frantically on the verge of losing the horses and our fare. So we got a lift in the back of a pickup truck to downtown Caraorman, a one street community with a store selling everything and pension closed off season. To get there we crossed the ruins of a glass factory. Only the beams remained of the large halls of this factory that was supposed to be inaugurated soon after January 1990. But the events of December 1989, the killing of Ceausescu combined with the incompetence and greed of the new leaders stalled all the existing projects, so the factory that was completely finished almost to the command and controls was sold as scrap metal. Like all the Romanian industry that was replaced by imports of LED TVs, fancy cars and luxury goods.
After we took a walk on the main street in the end the horses were located and we were taken to the famous dunes in Caraorman Forest, about 30 minutes away from the village. The sand dunes are tall and they were supposed to the prime source of material for the glass factory built by Ceausescu. Because the factory was scraped we were still able to see the dunes. With the fog that was persistent the forest around was even more mysterious.
Without too much time because of the short day of late December we did not make a detour to see the fountain, around a large 400 year old oak tree but we went directly to the boat. The return was easier but still we did some dance on the lake to find the entrance of the canals, in a day light that was visible dimming and we finally arrive completely wet frozen in the hotel for a well deserved dinner. It looks like tomorrow will be again fog…….