Rambling Robert's Travels

This blog chronicals the travels of myself, Rambling Robert, on my next adventure to South America.

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I am a world traveller. I do not work as such. I have been homeless and unemployed since 1October 2003. I worked as a chef for 30 years in America.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

travel update from Bucovina

Greetings from Suceava
Captains log stardate 5.10.2006

Today is the fifth day of my 4th year of being un-employed and homeless. The adventures of Rambling Robert World Traveler continue.After five days in Sanfu Gheorghe (Saint George) and two days in Iasi (Pronounced Yosh) I am now in Bucovina Romania on the outskirts of a small city Called Suceava (pronounced Soo-chava).

The Danube Delta was very interesting place and very nice. The Danube is the second longest river in Europe behind the Volga and the only major European river to flow from West to East. It takes its source in the Black Forest Mountains of Germany, and empties after 2850 km (1770 mi) in the Black Sea on the Romanian coast. The Delta is not like the Mississippi Delta where I lived in New Orleans for 3 years but It was beautiful in its own way. We arrived on a dark rainy night in Tulcea and left the next day on a river boat to Sanfu Gheorghe.

There are no roads to Sanfu Gheorghe you must come by boat.It takes 5 hours, and costs 20 lei (about 3 euros or 4 US dollars). The ride down the river
is beautiful. I have had the good fortune to have taken quite a few trips down quite a few rivers in the last 3 years, This was really nice. lovely scenery and greenery, lots of tents and small anchored boats with guys fishing for pike, carp and river sturgeon along the way. The boat was smooth and fast and it was sunny and warm except in the wind where it was sunny and cool. Drinking cheap Romanian beer and eating sunflower seeds on deck very nice ride. Lots of birds mostly cormorants and egrets and pelicans and swans and ducks and geese and herons and gulls.

In Sanfu Gheorghe we met Mikhaila on the dock where the boat stops. Let me backtrack a minute. In Tulcea we met Mikhailas daughter on the dock. She said her mother took boarders and called ahead. So her mom was waiting for a bald American guy and blond Austrian woman. She took us to her home in the village of S.G.

We had a nice bedroom with our own bathroom and shower. She served us 3 ENORMOUS meals each day and charged us 50 lei each (13 euro 18 US dollar)She threw in a bottel of her home-made vodka and a big pitcher of very fresh home-made red wine (last week vintage!) The vodka was good. I think it was more like a schnapps or a slivovitz or brandy made of grapes or plums or apples but she spoke no english, only Romanian and Russian, and she SAID VODKA and when we tried to ask about it she pounded her chest and cried "buena buena" and some other un-intelligable words and started laughing!! Well okaaayyy then...and so it was,so it was...

The village of S.G. has about 1000 people in it, mostly fisherman and their kin. There is one hotel, and no restaurant. Well one restaurant in the hotel...There are no paved roads and no cars, although everyone seems to have a boat. There are a couple of Magazins which are like little 7-eleven kind of shops, and uhhh thats it.

It is one kilometer west of the Black Sea. We came there to skinny dip and float our tootsies in the black sea and to do some bird watching, and maybe a rowboat tour of the marshes and wildlife and we did all these things.

Life in this sleepy little village is slow. The main entertainment seems to be fishing for fun and profit and drinking alcohol. Wild marijuana grows literally everywhere in and around the town...It looks like dope, smells like dope,rolls and burns like dope but it dont get you high. I havent gotten high since I left USA in July. One thing I miss about USA is the ready availability of good quality Marijuana. Oh and tootsie roll pops of course!

So 5 days in SG and we got back on the boat to Tulcea on 1 October the first day of my fourth year. The only disapointment there was we were a couple of weeks too soon for the red breasted Geese to migrate. I was really looking forward to them but alas it was not to be. But what good luck! no one charged us for tickets back and so we saved 40 lei on my 4 year anniversary it was a gift of course from the God of Travel.

Grueling travel day. 5 hours on the boat, then 2 hours on maxi taxi mini bus, then 30 minutes on another boat. Then taxi to the next bus, then 3 hours in very crowded bus. Then 1 hour walking around looking for a cheap hotel in Iasi. Began travel at 7 am and ended at 8:30pm. I love my life and wouldnt trade it for anything.

Iasi was nice city very friendly people nice architecture loud and hustling bustling lots of universitys yadda yadda yadda...Stayed for two nights and took a 3 hour train to Suceava.

Suceava is where you go if you want to visit the famous Painted monasteries of Bucovina. The monasteries (there are over 2000 monasteries in Romania) are mostly from the 1400s and early 1500s and are still in use for monks and nuns of the orthodox christian faith. The paintings are interesting to see. Many of the monasteries are color themed so Humor is all in Blue, Vatra Moldovitcea is yellow etc.

Many graphic depictions of Religisly inspired torture.I am really tired of this. Why dont they ever paint the fish and loaves thing? Its always the guy with the beard being crucified or flogged or stabbed with a spear. In Vatra Moldavitcea there must be paintings of at least 200 martyrs getting their heads cut off, blood spurting everywhere... The christians and muslims seem to put tremendous emphasis on martyrdom. This is the way to be a saint or get into heaven. Where are all the mother Teresa saints? So anyways...

I head back to Bucurest in a few days and then I will check out the sites of the big city of Romania. I fly to Egypt in one week. Soon enuf because the wheather is starting to turn and its getting a little chilly for this world traveler and adventurer. Time to switch hemi-spheres I reckon... Next update from the land of the Pharoas and Pyramids.
here are some parting quotes:

"Let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day either speak good or keep silent, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his neighbour, and let him who believes in Allah and the Last Day be generous to his guest." HADITH 15- Abu Hurairah quoting Muhammad(uhbpb)Messengerof Allah

"In the dominant Western religious system, the love of God is essentially the same as the belief in God, in God's existence, God's justice, God's love. The love of God is essentially a thought experience. In the Eastern religions and in mysticism, the love of God is an intense feeling experience of oneness, inseparably linked with the expression of this love in every act of living."-
Erich Fromm

"Beware of any endeavor that necessitates the purchase of new clothes" Henry David Thoreau

Love and Peace,


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