The Seventh Week of My Romanian Adventure


Helping the family in the Piatra Craiului again

Tuesday 20th September

My volunteering stay in the Piatra Craiului is over. Today is my last day here, now I have ahead only final 10 days of traveling. Tomorrow I’m heading south to Drobeta-Turnu Severin, Orșova, and along the border with Serbia I will try to get to the Czech village of Sfânta Elena (Svatá Helena), where I want to spend one night. Afterwards, I’m going to finish my two months of wandering by crossing the border to Serbia, visiting Belgrade, Novi Sad and Szeged, spending a few days in my beloved Budapest, and finally through Győr and Bratislava come back to the Czech Republic.

It feels good to be back and enjoy the beautiful landscape

Wednesday 14th September

It feels quite good to be back here, in the peaceful environment, surrounded by beautiful mountains. It’s the middle of September, but the weather here in Romania is still so nice. It gets quite cold in the evenings and at nights, but by day the temperature goes up to 28 °C even here in the mountains. And after the crazy 1.500 km of hitch-hiking, it also feels good to stay for a few days in one place, not having to care about the next day, and be coked nice food. 😊

Like every morning, after the stable of the cows is cleaned and the cows are milked, we let them out and walk them to the meadow where they can graze. All day long. That’s what basically their life is about. They have here lots of space and grass, but they are sneaky, they always try to escape somewhere, that’s why they need to be checked and guarded from time to time. And since the family is going to be gone for most of the day, it’s sort of my today’s task to keep an eye on them occasionally. So, I’ve been appointed a cow coach 😀

Of course, the family has just left and the cows are going back up, which are not allowed to do, even though there was a wire. I walk them by down the hill to the meadow where there are supposed to be today. I don’t know what’s wrong with them. I don’t know if it’s because they see an inexperienced stranger and so they think they can ignore me, but they just decide to run down the valley. I start to run after them, but of course, they are too fast. I chase them throughout the valley to get them back up, but they just keep running around and just won’t listen to me! Even worse, they make a point to go as deep as possible. I chase them around, but they just keep going back down until they reach the end of the wooden fence and jump over the creek to the other side as if nothing had happened. They don’t care that the hillside is super steep and just boldly walk up the hill. Now I’m getting mad, this is not our property, you’re allowed to be here! I’m trying to climb up around and get them back, but they just keep walking and turn up again. I climb up and down again, but they keep taking different paths. After a few minutes of walking up and down the hillside, I’m dead. They got me…this is worse then 20 km of a Spartan race. After almost one hour of running around, I give up, I can’t get them back from here by myself. They are obviously playing with me.

I go back up and see a person in our garden, chasing a cow as well 😀 Actually, it’s a calf, which is always restless and even more difficult to supple. It’s out neighbor. You, everybody has cows here. And other animals. So I help him to get it back to his garden. An attempt to explain the Romanian villager that I would sort of need the same kind of help with our cows is vain as he doesn’t understand a word in English. Well, I’ll have to wait for Joseph then.

Enforced break from everything – one day in bed

Saturday 16th September

I think my body just decided to tell me: Dude, you’ve taken a too big piece, it’s been too much of everything, you have to slow down. Or perhaps it’s some reaction to the antibiotics. Who knows. Either way, I got sick. I mean, really sick. I have a stomach ache and I feel like someone has sucked out all my energy overnight. I try to help with something easier, where I can sit, but I’m so damn weak that I can’t do anything and have to come back to bed. I feel really week and I think I’m getting a little fever. Well, this hasn’t happened in quite a while. It’s one of those wasted days, where even lying in bed is painful. But the body apparently has had to rest after all. Let’s hope tomorrow is better.

It’s a paradise. They are people living here, though.

As someone once told to Joseph when visiting this place. This is a real paradise, but unfortunately there are people living here. As harsh as it sounds, it’s very true. People ruin and damage everything. They cut, burn, litter, they kill animals, you know what I mean. But mainly, perhaps you wouldn’t even believe what problems they have between each other. When your come as a visitor, as an outsider, it really looks like a paradise here. You would think it’s a small village, a mountain village, so everybody knows each other, thus it must be safe. Well, I would never realize there may be these problems, actually. The neighborly relations are sometimes very boiling. They argue about their properties, about lands, above all. This small piece is my land, why your dog is walking through it. You walk your cows through my field and things like that. That’s what I also experienced myself here. We went with the cows to a meadow which is a bit farther from the house. Next day there was a car standing by the gate so we couldn’t go there and open it.

Naturally, they aren’t allowed to do it, you have the right to make them remove the barriers in your way, go to the police and even sue them, the problem is, however, that these neighborly problems are often solved behind the scenes. They know where you live, they know your dog, they know which animals are yours. It’s difficult….

My last day of cow coaching – my favorite activity

Tuesday 20th September

It’s my last day today. It’s not so sunny today, and also a bit colder, but I still try to stay outside and enjoy the place as much as possible. Because of the troubles with one of the neighbors in the village, we walk the cows to a different place. I’m going to be guarding them for a few hours again, and I guess this is what I enjoy most anyway. Just to sit, relax, watch the mountains and meditate. This is the best way to clean your mind. Well, at least for a couple of hours until you come back to PC. But this is what I’m surely going to miss. The beautiful views and peace and quiet all around. The pacifying sound of cow bells resounding through the valleys. I’m going to miss my cows, and especially then the groupie of mineContesa! 😀 And of course, I’m going to miss a lot the mornings with my cup of tea, enjoying in the sun and breathing fresh mountain, morning air.

I’ve had a really great time here in Romania, and enjoy both volunteering stays. It’s a cool thing and I already know that I’m going to do it soon again!

Night storm in the mountains

Speak to you again, for the last time, after my final trips….