I first arrived in the Danube Delta in 2016. Since then, I have fallen in love with this way of visiting the Delta.
The narrow canals and the paths made through the reed, where even the kayak barely penetrates, hide inaccessible places. We can say that it is a slow travel through the Delta.
The fluttering of wings, the chirping of birds, the song of frogs – all can be heard from the kayak gliding on the water without disturbing or being disturbed by the surrounding flora or fauna. I wouldn’t imagine exploring the Delta in any other way.
I admit, it’s a little more challenging to paddle and take photos, but on the other hand I have the opportunity to get closer to the subject without disturbing it.
The plan for this year is to leave the car in Tulcea and paddle to Sulina, returning by the big ship Navrom (https://www.navromdelta.ro/). We checked it up and it seems that they also take kayaks. Perfect!
The experience of the past years helps us to pack our bags as efficiently as possible, we take what is strictly necessary and we try to calculate the food so that it is enough until the next village. We pass through Mila 23, then Letea, after which the end of the trip will be to Sulina. Just couple of stops. We approximate 7 days of actual paddling, without taking into account the possible longer stops at Mila 23 and Letea or those for taking photos, which can last several hours a day if I see interesting places, which I have no doubt I’ll find. About 100 km, without deviations for exploring.
Without a guide, we are helped by a GPS program that is very good in the Danube Delta. I have used the View Ranger application for my phone before and I know that I can rely on it, of course it can happen that there is a clogged canal or reed that moves over time. But 99% of it is accurate.
When we start from Tulcea, on the Mila 35 canal, we are lucky to see more Kingfishers, which unfortunately can’t photograph.
The next day, however, we find a large flock of pelicans on a lake which can only be reached by kayak or a small boat and a very good helmsman.
We enjoy the show.
We don’t have a fixed route, which is perfect for a photographer. I stop or deviate where I think I will find something interesting.
Sony 100-400 is also excellent for close up photography, focusing from less than 1 m.
The water level is high from the recent rains, which allows us to enter canals and lakes that are inaccessible during the summer. Some days we don’t meet anyone, other days we see a boat or two.
We feel as we approach Mile 23, the number of boats increases and we enter larger canals. We decide not to stop and continue.
I finally catch the kingfisher, which I am fascinated by every time I see it. I managed to get close to it, leaving the kayak carried by the current and sitting still.
We meet a few houses on our way (or platforms as the locals call them).
The one in the picture is probably used during the fishing season and is a floating platform, but now it was empty.
Some days we find it difficult to go out on land, few hours or even after half a day of paddling. We adapt and stop at noon when the terrain allows us.
Danube Delta is a bird’s paradise, which allows me to take as many species as possible in pictures.
This year is the first time I see the otter. I’m lucky enough to pose for me.
On one of the many lakes we cross, we find nests of small terns but also some large terns. They have an interesting behavior, they prepare their nest and we stay to follow them for a longer time.
After 4 days of paddling, we are getting closer to Letea. We realize that we will arrive earlier than we initially thought, in 5 days.
Trying to avoid the lakes as much as possible, especially on strong winds, we took it on the Dovnica canal, intersecting quite a bit the Merhei lake, the one before the entrance on the Sidor and Letea canal.
Avoiding the classic path to Letea, we come across deserted and wild areas, this being my goal.
On the Letea canal, the well-known forest begins to be seen, as well as the fine sand dunes that make me think of the sea.
Arriving to Letea, I start exploring the village in search of good spots. I really like this village.
I walk towards Letea forest, along the canal, to a gate that marks the entrance in the forest.
The forest is quiet and deserted. Just us and few birds. We chose a route less popular, but easier to reach on foot from the village.
I leave the forest area and, to my surprise, a fox and horses from the Letea forest come out in front of me. The meeting was very nice, although I admired them from a distance.
After 2 days in Letea, we head to Sulina. The canal is quite narrow and crossed by numerous motor boats that bring tourists to Letea. After the deserted canals we are used to, here is something more noisy and disturbing. I don’t take too many pictures, especially since we are followed by a black cloud that we left behind at Letea.
Sulina is a nice little town, even though many buildings are abandoned. Some nice people from Letea recommended us a campsite and the only place where we can go ashore by kayak. We enjoy the day off until we go home.
Long way home.
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