On Friday we decided to ride on a road Nick had found and see how far it went. It was a dirt road past Şercăita that went up into the mountains by what seems to be an old logging road. We went as far as we could, but the road ended with a fallen tree and we had to come back. We saw some pretty sights on the way there and back though.
As we were coming down we saw a water buffalo grazing on the side of the road. I didn’t see any people around, so I wasn’t really sure how it got there. But then again, why wouldn’t you see a water buffalo grazing on the side of the road along in the woods, right?
Further down the road we ran into an actual herd of cows and water buffaloes. I had never seen so many water buffaloes so up close, so it was pretty cool. We talked to the herders and are planning to go back and spend a day seeing what it takes to be a cow and water buffalo herder.
From seeing the water buffaloes and such, we drove for about a mile and went to check out “World Peace Monastery” that is in near Bucium. We saw a few monks and a dog, but we did not go inside the church, since we didn’t know what the proper etiquette was. That being said, it was very pretty and would not mind visiting again some other time.
Maybe another mile mile down the next road from the Monastery we ran into a bunch of sheep. We also stopped, talked to the sheep herders too, and they invited us to hang out with them, maybe help milk the sheep if wen want to some day, so we are planning to do that as well and looking forward to it! Overall, it’s been a pretty social day.
When we were on our way back home, I happen to see a sign that says “Păstrăvărie,” which I thought meant Fish Farm. Since I was in a social mood and felt pretty good about our day so far, I figured why not try to check that out as well. It turned out to be a pretty great find. The farmer was very friendly, showed us around, talked about the process of how he started the farm, and it was pretty cool. The Farm is made up of several sections where the fish live throught the various stages of their life. There were 4 main areas where the fish slowly transitioned. In the picture below, on the left is where the big fish that are ready to sell go, on the left are the fish that are used for breeding.
Apparently, to get new fish at this farm they have to manually take the male and female fish eggs and manually move them to a place where they hatch. He showed us where the little fish that hatched back in November were. The “hatchery” is on the property inside a train car. The setup is pretty impressive in my opinion. Especially since he said his farm is less than 2 years old.
Since I’m interested in businesses and was generally curious to see what got him convinced to have a trout farm, I asked.. And he said he had never worked on a fish farm or knew anything about it, but he hard you can make money selling trout and figured it’s something he could do, so he just “googled it”. He never studied some other business that does the same thing, he just read books, googled things,
and within 1-2 years is now a successful trout farmer and he’s learning as he goes along. I think it’s pretty awesome and admire how he just saw an opportunity and had the guts to take action.
Some other interesting random fact that he said is that overall the government taxes people 24% on sales (and I thought Chicago’s 10.25% sales tax was steep!). There is also a 3% “water tax” on his farm, since in Romania the government owns everything that is 1/2 meter below ground, so people do not hold mineral (or water) rights to their land/properties.
Overall, he was a pleasure to talk to and one of the friendliest people I’ve met.. Even his animals are super-nice. His dogs were like putty in Nick’s hands and after petting the dogs for some time, even the cow came by to get petted and be part of the action. He also has a really nice lake where he has some other fish, that is used mainly to relax and grill by. I kind of invited ourselves to go back there again, and hope to spend more time at the fish farm. :)
That’s all for what I thought of as a pretty random and eventful day.