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Muddy Volcanoes a lunar landscape - Berca Romania
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Best time to travel

 

From April till September / October, preferably avoid raining days (before April or after September) and winter. Best to be visited during sunny days.


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History - Legend

The legend would say that long time ago, on these places, some ogres lived here and in this region were the best and most pastures , grasslands and beautiful cattle. Having a place rich and corny like this, attracted people who drove the ogres away and they took their land and cattle. Ogres had no place on earth and its going now living under the earth, that's their world, the deep core of the volcano.


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But the ogres were not satisfied just staying under the ground and doing nothing, and they still seeking revenge for the evil that people did to them. Therefore ogres made mud holes, in which water and sludge sulking. Many of these holes, craters are kept with clear water and if any man or animal comes to drink, "the eye" opens and swallows man or animal, and no one escapes him as pull him down into the bowels of the earth, ogres, to eat. That's why is better to stay away of these wholes because people or animals cannot see the danger and they can be dragged deep down into the volcano to be eaten by ogres.

 

 

The elders are saying that actually there a part of truth in this story therefore the legend was even published into the monograph of the village.


 

Description

Volcanoes in Buzau county are not the volcanoes you would expect. They’re not the big, real volcanoes that scare off people and clog the European airspace with volcanic ash. Not by far. But they’re a pretty amazing place, hidden somewhere in the Buzau mountains.


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The entire area lays over several hectares of gray,dray and rifty land, with little plants and herbs. It’s almost the size of a football court and it pretty much resembles a lunar area. Large crevasses have been created in time by the water. Mud volcanoes were first noticed at Berca by French H. Cognand, who was searching for oil in the area in 1867.Torrential rains, extensive deforestation, landslides give the entire area a lunar appearance.

What is a mud volcano ? The term mud volcano or mud dome are used to refer to formations created by geo-excreted liquids and gases, although there are several different processes which may cause such activity. Hot water mixes with mud and surface deposits. Mud volcanoes are associated with subduction zones and about 700 have been identified. Their temperatures may be as low as the freezing point of the ejected materials, particularly when venting is associated with the creation of hydrocarbon clathrate hydrate deposits. Mud volcanoes are often associated with petroleum deposits and tectonic subduction zones and orogenic belts; hydrocarbon gases are often erupted.


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They are also often associated with lava volcanoes; in the case of such close proximity, mud volcanoes emit incombustible gases including helium, whereas lone mud volcanoes are more likely to emit methane. Approximately 1,100 mud volcanoes have been identified on land and in shallow water. It has been estimated that well over 10,000 may exist on continental slopes and abyssal plains.

Temperatures are much cooler in these processes than found at igneous volcanoes. The largest mud volcano structures are 10 kilometres (6 mi) in diameter and reach 700 metres (2,300 ft) in height. About 86% of the gas released from these structures is methane, with much less carbon dioxide and nitrogen emitted. Ejected materials are often a slurry of fine solids suspended in liquids which may include water, which is frequently acidic or salty, and hydrocarbon fluids.

Extremely rare in the world, the mud volcanoes give the area a lunar tone and form fantastic images in a scenery taken from another world like the ones from Berca - Buzau.

 
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The Berca Mud Volcanoes are a geological and botanical reservation located in the Berca commune in the Buzau County in Romania. Its most spectacular feature is the mud volcanoes, small volcano-shaped structures typically a few metres high caused by the eruption of mud and natural gases. As the gases erupt from 3000 metres deep towards the surface, through the underground layers of clay and water, they push up underground salty water and mud, so that they overflow through the mouths of the volcanoes, while the gas emerges as bubbles. 

 Mudd volcanoes Berca Buzau Romania

   The mud dries off at the surface, creating a relatively solid conical structure resembling a real volcano. The mud expelled by them is cold, as it comes from inside the Earth's continental crust layers, and not from the mantle. The reservation is unique in Romania. Elsewhere in Europe, similar phenomena can be observed in Italy (northern Apennines and Sicily), Ukraine (in the Kerch Peninsula), Russia (in the Taman Peninsula) as well as Azerbaijan. Flora.

 

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The Berca Muddy Volcanoes are rarely visited by local villagers – as they believe the place is cursed by evil and malefic spirits. The Muddy Volcanoes are also called “the gates of hell”. Sure the fear of unexplained leaves room for many odd beliefs. Tourists are also rare, but not because the place is “haunted.” The relatively low number of tourists has more to do with the roads’ accessibility – you’ll need a Jeep or something similar to drive there. Other cars will probably give you a hard time.

 

  

Other touristic attractions around

After the visit to the Mud Volcanoes you can visit the Amber Museum from  Colti, the only amber museum in south east Europe. The building looks like a peasant’s house and has remained unaltered for over three decades.It is the image of Romanian tradition. The museum shelters a vast collection of stones, iconographic material, charming traditional clothes, sewing objects and jewelry from different eras. Don't miss as well another touristic attraction - at 20 km from Buzau in Sarata Monteoru which attracts lots of tourists because of its thermal mud treatments and mineral springs.

 

Interesting Facts

The craters of up to five meters high mutter frail, spitting bubbles and streams of mud. Landscape changes depending on the season and rainfall. When it rains, everything looks like a take down, and the area is a big swamp, gurgling and change their appearance. During drought, however, the Earth is crossed by dry cracked veins. Whatever the weather, however, craters are the only ones that seem alive, breathing continuously.

 

How to get there

 

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Please take into consideration that the following route calculation is made having the starting point Buzau City and  following the route to Brasov City on DN10 road City.



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From Buzau City, go 17 km on National Road DN 17 till the small village "Satuc".From here the road split and continue on right side towards "Berca" village.

After crossing the river Buzau, pay attention because the road split again and this time you should continue on left side following the road indicator to "Chiliile". On the first crossroad you should see a road indicator displaying : 5.5 km till Muddy Volcano - "Vulcanii Noroiosi"

Right before the Volcanoes - 2.2 km you can see the final road indicator on a crossroad who shows 2 directions : "Paclele Mici" or "Paclele Mari" Take the left road to "Paclele Mari" , cross the bridge and you will arrive to your destination.

 

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Step by step guideline Google Maps

Starting from Razboieni Street from Buzau

1.Head southwest on Strada Războieni toward Strada Păcii / Pass by Rompiele Com S R L (on the right) 2.Turn right onto Strada Colonel Ion Buzoianu / Pass by Medinvest (on the right in 0.2 mi)
3.Turn right at Agenția de Furnizare a Energiei Electrice Buzău- Casierii Electrica onto Bulevardul Unirii / Pass by MEDICERBIOS (on the right)
4.Slight left at Sensiblu PCT. 4 to stay on Bulevardul Unirii / Pass by Perfect Tour Buzau (on the left)
5.Turn left onto Bulevardul Nicolae Bălcescu / Pass by Casa Căsătoriilor (on the left)
6.Turn right at CENTRUL MEDICAL SAPIENTEK onto Bulevardul Nicolae Titulescu / Pass by Policlinica Buzău (on the right)
7.Turn left onto Strada Transilvaniei / Pass by AUTO TOTAL (on the right)
8.At the roundabout, take the 1st exit onto DN10 / Pass by Petrom (on the right in 1.2 mi)
9.Turn right onto DJ102F
10.Slight right onto DJ203L
11.Turn left onto DC195
12.Slight left to stay on DC195
13.Take the 1st right to stay on DC195
14.Turn left toward DC108
15.Continue straight onto DC108

Arriving at DC108

 

Total: 30.5 km - about 45 mins

 

 

 

Useful travel info's

GPS: 45.359443,26.712728

Where you can stay :
http://www.pensiunibuzau.ro/zona-berca-magura-ciolanu/113-hanul-moara-veche.html
http://www.pensiunibuzau.ro/zona-berca-magura-ciolanu/107-pensiunea-stejarul.html
http://www.pensiunibuzau.ro/zona-berca-magura-ciolanu/28-pensiunea-foisor.html

 

 

 



             

 

 

Sources :
http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons
http://www.turismbuzau.ro/ghid-atractii-obiective-turistice-traseu-vulcanii-noroiosi-berca-buzau.html

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