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New Website, New Blog, but the Old Blog Archive remains: September 28, 2023

After many years of wanting a real website, this month I finally have a website designed by the very knowledgeable Rey Rey Rodriguez ( TheMindOfReyRey ). My old blog,  Vacation-Travel-Adventure  continues with the same address but it is located in the "Archives" tab on my new website . The new blog which is a continuation but with much better resolution for 4K screens, it is now at .

Weekend Adventure - Boating in South Moldova: May 11, 2014

Today, Sunday, was our boating day. We boated on the Prut River and Lake Beleu in the Lower Prut Floodplain. Because there had been so much rain in the surrounding countryside, the floodplain was indeed flooded. However, first I visited with my hosts at the rural pension and had breakfast.

I discovered that I was staying with Moldovan, and perhaps world, celebrities. My hosts, Tudor and Lidia, more famously known as Boonikul (grandfather) and Boonika (grandmother) participated in the 2005 Eurovision contest. The group, Zdob si Zdub, got to the semifinals placing 5th or 6th in the competition that year. The musicians are/were Tudor's students.  Lidia showed me photos of many of the celebrities who have made the pilgrimage south to visit them: Michael Palin, a former president of Moldova, and other faces/names I do not know.

After getting dressed, I watched Lidia (Boonika) make and cook plançinte (pastry rolled thin, filled with egg and cheese) and prepare extra for my bag lunch. Next, Tudor (Boonikul) showed me some short videos of their performances and Zdob si Zdub's Eurovision Song "Boonika bate toba" (Grandma beats the drum) featuring Boonika.  It is hilarious and so much fun!

Tudor (Boonikul) makes and repairs drums, and he continues to teach music.

It is duckling season and everywhere we walked yesterday we saw ducklings with their mothers and also human duck sitters to make sure the ducklings and ducks stay safe.  Lidia and Tudor cleverly tied the leg of the mother duck to a pole because the ducklings will stay wherever she is.

At breakfast, Tudor opened a bottle of cognac and poured Lidia a small glass.  She drank it with one go and then he poured me some which I also drank in one gulp.  Good thing I was riding in a boat today instead of hiking!

With breakfast finished Nelea arrived to transport me to the Lower Prut Floodplain. Nelea and I got into one of the wooden boats with our boatman and Leonid rowed the other boat with local guide Veonika. Veonika is the Chief of Scientists at the Lower Prut Floodplain Reservation.

In some areas along the Prut River we were able to take short walks on the exposed land, but mostly I sat on the boat's bow and enjoyed the ride, scenery, and sun. The Prut River serves as the border between Romania and Moldova.  

We stopped for lunch under the willow trees.  Interestingly, the willows were weeping drops of water from their leaves--shedding the excess water they had absorbed.  All around us insects, birds, and frogs were chirping, trilling, whistling, singing in unison with the sound level matching that of a not too distant jet engine. There were bird soloists like the cuckoo and others whose voices rose above the chorus. We saw swans, pelicans swirling overhead, egrets, seagulls, herons. As we boated, frogs jumped from their grassy carpets into the river, and I could see them swimming below the water's surface.

Almost six hours later we returned to our starting point and the day on the water was over. Back at Tudor and Lidia's rural pension, they played music and sang for us, we had an early dinner, and then drove back to Chisinau.
Grandma Beats the Drum

It was a magical weekend adventure--fabulous!


  1. Looks like you had my kind of adventure here, both the hike and the boating! Nice! My brother met this famous couple, too. :-) And the weather was great for photography. (Not good for Nelea, but I really think it was your great luck to have the others in the tour drop out.)


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