At the entrance of the Danube Delta

June 4, 2015 - 07:51 | author: Bálint F Gyula | translator: Herkely Dominica | photo: byF

Today we arrived to Tulcea. We are 70 kilometers away from the sea in direct distance, however, we have to take a bit more than this to get to our final destination.

Fishermen told us in the morning from a fisherman's ark passing to go out from the floodplain, because of rising the levels of the Danube we will not be able to leave later. I thanked to them and reassured them that we will not be here at eleven o’clock.

Indeed we were camping on a very low point of the embankment. The view was magnificent again, the puddle nearby was full with birds in the morning. A little later a flock of sheep marched through nearby.

We started our tour for the day. On this day, we had to paddle strictly on the right bank, because after a right turn after Görönd the coast on the left is already Ukraine. We would be able to cut the left turn at Görönd, but we did not want to provoke the border guards who patrolled in the area since morning. They also have a pier at Görönd, and they have been observed us with binoculars even when we already ahead of them. We met their ship slightly down on the river, they headed toward us, and with a short siren sound they had expressed their interest in us.

The situation was funny, because the two fishermen on the beach panicked at first, then they noticed with relief, and one said to the other, that the border guards are interested in the kayak.

We paddled to the ship. They were standing at the rear of the boat, I yelled to them in Romanian, to ask where the engine is where can we dock. They signaled to the back, we can hold onto there. When we seized on the boat, a man in a pink shirt said "Romanian border police". "We are Romanians" - I said. "Oh, shit, we did not see the flag" - came the reply. "My colleagues said that they saw a kayak moving with a Hungarian flag." We talked for a little more about our goal, then we could go on.

After Görönd, an island is located in the turn. It is large enough to cover the coast of the Republic of Moldova, and the Prut estuary. After that Ukraine came, which also served an interesting first impressions. The first thing I noticed was a train whose locomotive blown huge smoke. I immediately asked Gaspar if the Ukrainians still use steam locomotives. As a contrast, half kilometers below we found a solar-farm, that was about 0.7 - 0.8 square kilometers, weighted later on the map.

Reni was the first Ukrainian village, which we passed. Under the town a big tanker was docked, we do not know if it was filled or emptied. A little further down on the coast we ran into another patrol speedboat. They've asked for our papers, recorded our data. And unlike the guards in Galac they drew our attention to paddle on right the bank if we do not want to meet their Ukrainian colleagues. Then they said goodbye.

From here until we reached Isaccea, which is the only town on the bank, nothing has happened. Nothing could be really seen here, both shores are covered with bushes and trees. Sometimes a fishing boat passed next to us.

Not much later, where the Danube is becoming two branches, we saw another instance of the reckless construction. The owners of the Danube Hotel certainly wanted to build the hotel as close to the bank as possible because of the magnificent view. This close was too close, the terrace has crashed into the Danube and this fate awaits for the entire building soon.

Little before the branching, new border guards stopped us by their speedboat. They asked if we were going to Sulina, and if anyone has stopped us from the border guards before. They showed us where the St. George branch starts, and they moved on. Not long after we turned in at the corner.

We just spotted the buildings of Tulcea, when a marine ship appeared. We paddled to the shore, admired the monster, and then fought the largest waves so far. Waves did not want to stop even after the passage of the ship, since the face wind intensified and it whipped up the Danube. In essence, we paddled through the entire section of Tulcea in this twitchy water.

At the city the Danube, makes a tight 180 degrees turn, but because of the waves we decided not to cut off, so we stayed on the right bank. We passed next to the moored boats and friendly greeted Dnyeper Princessin, who we last saw at Fetesti. The people crowded on the shore, and from the small boats some people wanted to offer accommodation to us. But we did not need it, we have our small tent, a heated shower stall, and now warm water is flowing from the shower.

Route details on the Endomondo:
Day 38: