Testing the waters
At first he thought it must be some kind of jacuzzi for small people like him, and he would’ve jumped in were it not so very cold.
Later he discovered it is in fact a vâltoare – a cunning eco-washing machine, created by tapping off a stream from the river and channelling it into a large slatted basin.
It’s used by the women of the village to wash the rugs they have woven so as to fluff the tassles and tighten the weave. Each rug has a little coloured thread at the edge to identify its creator. The women of Săpânta are famous for their rugs, and have been using vâltoare to finish them off for decades, if not hundreds of years.
Being fluffy enough already, Barnaby opted to buy one of the lovely rugs rather than jump in the vâltoare with them.