THE RIVEN MOUNTAINS. Fissures, gorges, canyons, valleys and ravines on display nowhere else. Deep earthen scars lead to vast green-white karst fields. Sultry southern breath of the Banat Mountains. Horned vipers in regal velvety purples sun themselves on baking limestone. Abounding rustyback ferns gleam silkily from rocky crevices. Deep crystalline waters flow through the Caraș River gorge, joined upstream by the Comarnik River. There is no sign of man or footpath here. Running between leaning white bluffs, the watery depths are so clear you can pierce their bottom. Aside from occasional wild cataracts, white water rapids or shallows through which our boats are towed, there is little else to do than float down this aquatic thoroughfare, sheer overgrown crags towering above. Deserted caves in the cliffs appear like a giant’s cooking pots. And when the sun’s rays illuminate the mossy greens of watery caverns, a thousand scintillating rainbows gleam amid great Hart’s-tongue ferns, caught in falling droplets.

Through the stunning Gârliște canyon, foul coal-black water pours; dry Serbian plains lie above it, the home of old men, ripening plums and hot summer nights.

The Nera River gorge is an astonishing place. Three days among bluffs and river currents, three nights on white sands and gravel islands kept company by mole crickets and black spiders. Its solitary meanders tear fiercely at pearly cliff walls which clutch at its path-carving currents. The river is wide, powerful, flowing. Its browny hues are washed to greens by the gorge. The river, cleansed, speaks, smelling of fish. Quiet pools. Nera, a river without bridges. Traces of great floods, fatal currents, hang in tree branches ten meters above the water’s surface. On early mornings, the river is cloaked in dusky chill, but high up on the sharp cliffs, linden trees shimmer in the sunlight like silver candles. Vines hang from trees and white hyacinths breathe their tropical fragrance: exuberant growth wherever the eye alights. Evil valleys: great craggy cauldrons. Travertine lakes and cataracts of the Beu River. A dragon lake lies clear and blue in a sunken cave, while hundreds of meters up a precipitous cliff, a grotto yawns. Nera – a breathtaking land from the Wild West.