I have been a bit off my schedule of blogging recently. I have been flat on my back with an old back injury. Usually it takes only a couple of days for me to recover but this time it only got worse as the days ticked by. Saturday came and I spent most of the day in the emergency room. What made it even worse was it was a beautiful day and we had planned to take the canoe for the first paddle of the season. Oh well… I seem to be on the mend now with pain killers. Hopefully I will be back to being active before the end of this week.
Last Monday, before my back decided to put me out of commission, I biked to our camping via train ride to Leiden then I did a short 3 km kayak paddle in the canals around the Spijkerboor Camping.
First the bike ride. I boarded the train with my bike in Nieuw Vennep and headed to Leiden Central Station. The train ride was extra because I had to pay six Euro for my bike in addition to my reduced train pass. If you click on the link below it will show you my route.
Leiden to Camping Spijkerboor is a paved bike path. Distance: 9.45 km (5 miles). It runs straight along the N445. I was careful to watch for the changes in the bike path as bike paths don’t always run straight in this country and inside cities that is even more true.
Once outside of Leiden, the bike path runs through the open farm fields. I was happy that it was sunny without much wind.
When I reached the camping I had to get my equipment all together. First, I went and looked at the lake. With no wind the lake was almost like glass. I decided that the work I needed to complete on our caravan would wait until I paddled.
Here is the 3 km route. There are three bridges that extend over the canal and are navigable by kayak without portage but in the canoe we would have to portage or open two of those bridges (#1 and #2).
The first bridge is a one lane low bridge. Larger boats have to have someone jump out and pull the bridge up to open the path through canal. With the kayak I was able to lean to the side and walk with my hands on the underside of the bridge to get past.
Once in the canal the water was protected from any wind and the reflections were like a mirror.
I did not capture an image of bridge #2 as I was trying to concentrate on how low I would have to duck in my kayak (kind of Limbo stick dance) to get past. It is a roll bridge and I will have to investigate how it works and get a picture for a future blog.
I then paddled to bridge number #3 and this is the tallest and largest of the three bridges but still only a one lane bridge. Notice the truck playing chicken with the car pulling a trailer. Who do you think will win?
Bigger is always better to rule the road!
After watching the local traffic drama, I paddled under the bridge and turned to the right. Right into the wind coming across the flat Dutch landscape. I was greeted by swallows flying around, sheep in the fields, warm sunny sky with small puffy clouds and groups of yellow iris along the canal.
It felt perfect!
I slowly paddled down the length of the canal and then headed back the way I came. Back under the three bridges and into the campground. It was a good memory to get me through the last week of back pain. Encouraging me to get well so I can complete some more exploration of this new paddle location.
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