We headed out to the Biesbosch after a year of disappointing four planned and then cancelled canoe trips, this time it really happened. Our destination was the Biesboschhoeve (the Biesbosch dairy farm) located on an island called de Vischplaat.
We had heard about the wonderful location from Petra when we purchased our beautiful Cedar the year earlier. She told me the story of the wonderful farm camping that mostly only had like minded canoe people. She told me it was the only place she had camped in The Netherlands where you could really see the stars. It captured my imagination from the start. The one thing I miss while spending my time in the Netherlands is looking into a clear sky at the cosmos. The sky of my Minnesota childhood was filled with a billion zillion stars and the Milky Way.
We started from our campsite in Oud Alblas and headed early to the canoe launch site we had found earlier this Spring. (Read Here)
The steep berm into the canoe launch and the lack of shoulder on the roadway made for a quick and tricky unload from the car and careful handling of gear to launch site.
We were only heading out for an overnight camping trip but had to pack like we were heading out for a week. Tent, BBQ, sleep bags, sleeping mats, and the canoe gear. Notice the separation of my gear and his gear. We have different ways of packing and we like to keep it that way to avoid issues later of “why didn’t you pack that?”. Hubby works off a list and I work off my own list and then we compare prior to going out just to make sure that nothing gets missed. But, there is always something we think we could or should have brought once we get to our destination and that gets added to the list for next time.
Once we were loaded it was already 0930 and starting to get pretty warm quickly.
As we paddled toward the 6km destination we saw small fish jumping out of the water all around the boat. The Fuut (a type of water bird) was busy picking the fish out and having a good breakfast as we floated past.
The sun was starting to burn the back of my neck as we paddled. I had on my normal neck wrap but it left a small gap between my shirt, PFD, and the wrap. The one small place where I had not placed any sunscreen. So we stopped at the 3.2 KM point and had a small break under the shade of some trees.
At this point we had just passed over the waterway Gat van den Kleinen Hill and were heading on a smaller waterway towards the Gat van de Buisjes that skirts the large water holding area Petrusplaat.
The Petrusplaat is a manmade holding area along with two other holding areas located inside the Biesbosch that provide fresh drinking water to South Holland, Zeeland and Brabant areas. There is a film (in Dutch) that shows how these wonderful manmade structures were made in the early 1970’s. You can follow this link( Spaarbekkens ) to read more about the structures and to watch the film.
This part of the paddle seemed longer than the first half as we weaved through and crossed several very busy boat channels. I was glad that the hubby had the gps and map and steered us in the right direction. To me everything was looking about the same. The feeling I always have when I am in the BWCA of Northern Minnesota.
Here is a link ( Biesbosch ) that is in English, to the information booklet on the Biesbosch National Park. It has a wonderful map outlining the area we just paddled through to get to our camping location.
How were those stats?
We traveled 5.91KM and it took us 1hr 37mins.
Our top speed 6.6 KM/hr (with wind at our backs).
Things we saw along the way.
Small fish jumping out of the water.
The Petrusplaat water holding area.
Fuut water birds catching fish.
Swans with off spring starting to get their white feathers.
Lots of motor boats either trolling along or moored overnight and the owners were preparing for a day on the water. Some casually watched us go by while drinking coffee and waving to us.
In the last area of our paddle the water was shallow and there were a number of gulls, terns, and egrets. The name of this area is Gat van Den Binnennieuwensteek. (try to say that name three times if you are not Dutch! I have issues even saying it once…)
Thanks for stopping by our blog and hope you look forward reading about our adventures on island camping in our next blog.
© The Cedar Journal, 2018, all rights reserved.
I like your post on your canoe trip very much. As always I am impressed with your photos, which give a very good idea about the Netherlands being an ideal place to do this kind of sport. For our camping trips I also use a list, which is very helpful to keep things organized. When we come home, I modify the list of items by either adding new items or by deleting items no longer needed. I am looking forward to read about your next adventure. Best wishes! Peter
Thanks Peter for your comments. Also for the one on my sheep blog. I have been busy and haven’t been as attentive to my responses. Really, trying to keep my plants from becoming dead from the heat.
Anyway, lists are a must! We are always modifying and adding things and taking things out due to the conditions. Sometimes there are discussions about our separate lists – in the BWCA last year it was over me bringing an axe. I won the discussion and in the end the hubby agreed that it was the best thing to bring. LOL
What is your most used item you pack?
LikeLiked by 1 person
The axe is the number #1 item, then the propane stove, coffee maker, coffee and matches. Without coffee our camping trip would almost be meaningless for my wife. Haha!
I have to agree with the coffee! I love my camp coffee perker I have many pictures and video of the day early mornings at campsites with the perk and my small stove. I have to forgive my hubby about the axe, he is a city boy from Rotterdam. The concept of being in the wilderness was really not in his reality, even after watching videos he didn’t understand until he was there. We have a joke between the two of us that I am the guy in the relationship. LOL
LikeLiked by 1 person
That was funny. Yet, as a city boy your husband had a lot to learn getting ready for your kinds of adventures. Minnesota wilderness could be a real challenge for him. Haha!
It is the best thing mostly. He has never seen one and I told him I hardly ever see them. But the things they have on the internet are always a bit over the top. Like the mother bear showing the babies how to get food barrels down. Even if all our food was eaten…we had only paddled 4miles into the BWCA. Not going to starve before we paddled out.
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] last blog left off as we reached the Biesbosch Hoeve after paddling our Cedar canoe 6km (read here) to reach this unique camping experience. This will detail the time we spent at this remote camping […]
[…] my first two posts about this trip Paddle to the Biesboschhoeve and the Biesboschhoeve Camping Experience I wrote about the adventure of paddling to this unique […]
Sounds like plenty of bird sightings! Do you know what kind of Swan that was? From some quick research, looks like you have a few of there we have – the Mute (generally not a big fan of those non-native birds here, and the Tundra. However it looks like you also have Black and a Whooper which we do not have and are pretty cool looking. – Thanks for sharing!
I am unsure. I will take some pictures for you. I know they are cool when they fly over. Also they are pretty territorial when you get close to them in a kayak or canoe. Mute – maybe as I haven’t ever heard one. They stay here all winter. This year they had large hatches too. Mostly one or two but this year I saw several with 6-8 hatchlings that gave survive.
LikeLiked by 1 person
[…] situation. You can read about our other past adventures at this beautiful Dutch National Park here, here , and […]