The week we spent in the Weerribben was relaxing and we completed two long (for us) canoe paddles through this large Dutch National Park. The first was a 12km canoe paddle (read about it here) the first day we were on our vacation. This 10 km canoe paddle was on the last day of our vacation and a nice ending to the Dutch Open Canoe Festival which we attended.
The weather had been a bit of a mix of wind and rain during the week so we didn’t get a good opportunity to paddle this distance until our last day. We started out just before Dutch coffee time (always right at 10 am). Our plan was to make and have coffee at one of the canoe points with my perk coffee maker. I know that my regular blog followers have seen a number of my perking coffee pictures and here is another one for your mental archives.
As we started paddling we could feel the light breeze and coolness in the air that now signals fall is here. After a few minutes of paddling I was asking to stop and take off one of the layers of clothes I had just added when I had walked out the cabin door. The sight of the morning sun hitting the water of the marshland and the wind whistling through the reeds was relaxing as we resumed our paddle towards our morning stop point of canoe point 17.
It was only about 1.5 km paddle to the canoe point 17 where we had our planned coffee stop. It was located in a freshly cut reed field where the wind was constantly blowing. We set up our coffee system with our bags acting as windscreens. We each took turns of watching the coffee and exploring the marsh. I found a cute mushroom I was determined to protect from the large feet of my Hubby.
We could really feel the remoteness of the area standing alone on the marsh and feeling the wind rolling across the flat land. With that statement I must remind you that nothing is remote here in the Netherlands, even here we could see a house less than a 1/4 mile away.
I don’t usually like the pictures the Hubby takes of me… but I do like this one.
After our short coffee break we headed back out and into the forest area of the Weerribben. We had already explored this route on our other trip so we altered it a bit to explore a different canal as we headed towards Kalenberg.
In Kalenberg we stopped at a local restaurant ‘t Lokaal located next to Pieter Jongschaap boat rentals. The t’ Lokaal has a wonderful canoe and boat dock right at the restaurant making perfect for those who paddle in to have lunch or a coffee break. Located next to the only lift bridge in town it was a great place to have coffee (yes, another coffee) and watch the large boats as they waited and then passed through the bridge. The bridge operator collected the required fees from the boats using a wooden shoe attached to a long rope. He would swing the shoe over the boat’s bow so the owners could deposit the money. It was great entertainment for a Sunday morning coffee break.
What we didn’t know would happen is that an entire group of canoe paddlers from the Open Canoe Festival would also pass through Kalenberg as we were sitting having our coffee. It was great to listen to my Hubby explain to the table next to us all about the canoe festival and about our paddle experiences. It couldn’t have been a better public relations opportunity even if it had been planned.
Our trip back along the Kalenberger Canal was windy. We didn’t get many pictures of the return trip due to the wind and we also had to watch for the large boats that were also traveling this part of the route. As we got closer to the Open Canoe Festival area we started to see more of the canoes taking classes.
We enjoyed our trip to the Weerribben and the canoe paddles we were able to have together. This year has been strange and challenging for us and we are so glad we are still able to get away and just live in the moment together.
Our Stats this trip:
- Two cups of coffee
- 10 km RT to Kalenberg
- Average speed 4.5km/hr
- Max speed (maybe trying to get away from the boat traffic ) 7km/hr
- Total canoe paddle time 2 hrs 15 mins
Things we saw this trip:
- Very tiny red mushrooms
- large boats
- about 30 canoe paddlers
- A family having a party at one of the canoe points
- A man in a flat bottom motorized boat
© The Cedar Journal, 2018, all rights reserved.