Kayaking on the Alblas River, Netherlands

Wonderful weather conditions and a long weekend at our seasonal camping location next to the Alblas River (aka Graafstroom) made it perfect to test out the new kayak with the hubby.

We purchased a new (used) kayak back in March (read here) for the hubby.  This was the first opportunity to test it out.

The Alblas River runs through the South Holland delta region between the Waal and Lek Rivers and drains into the Noord River. The Alblas also provides access into Nederwaard River that leads past Kinderdijk the World UNESCO Heritage site.

We started out from our camping location on the river heading towards Kinderdijk (with no intentions of paddling the 16 km round trip route this weekend).  This was strictly a short paddle to explore the area around where we will be spending most of our free time this summer.

The camping has a small old dock (which isn’t really low enough for launching our older bodies into and out of the kayaks- but we did anyway!) that made it for easy access into the river.

launch into the river

Launch site into the Alblas River

We started out about 8:30 am.  This was the first time launching for the hubby and he didn’t dump the kayak.  I am thankful for that!  I wanted his first experience to be a good one and if it started out with flooding a kayak, am I sure, we would have had a nice yellow kayak for sale.

Safe on the water

Safe on the water

Then, I loaded my kayak and attached my camera to my new deck, carefully lowered myself off the dock into my kayak, and off we were paddling down the river.  Smooth as glass water and the river all to ourselves in the early morning. We were welcomed by sheep, chickens, and the few early souls drinking coffee on their back terraces overlooking the river.

New camera deck

My new camera deck ready for use.

Heading into the town of Oud-Alblas

Paddling into the town of Oud-Alblas

Watching the Hubby with his new equipment

Watching the Hubby with his new equipment.

We quickly learned that some of the new equipment was going to need some upgrades.  The paddle is heavy and shorter than it should be and the hard plastic seat needs some padding.  All things I noted when we purchased it but hearing it from the Hubby now means we need to make the investment.

We paddled to an oxbow in the river which had a reed field on one side and mostly vacation land parcels on the other.  The oxbow went past a old windmill from 1866.

start of the oxbow

Start of the oxbow in the river

windmill from 1866

Windmill from 1866 on the oxbow of the Alblas River

The reed fields were teaming with wildlife.  Nesting birds, birds singing, and even a beaver floated past us!

After a short break and some pictures we headed back to the campground.


Total for this trip was 4.2 KM.

Things we saw – sheep, ducks, geese, goats, cattle, a beaver, tons of wild birds, wonderful landscaped lawns, boats of every shape, size and kind, a windmill.

TIP:  Start early!!!  At around 11 am the river started getting crazy busy with motorized boat traffic. I am sure we would not have enjoyed the nature and wildlife as much if we had waited to be paddling later in the morning or mid day.

A Fuut

Fuut nesting