The Belgian packraft scene is ever growing. Steve & Katrijn and me agreed upon packrafting the Grensmaas from the Borgharen dam to the village of Maaseik at the last weekend of June. Then came Yves, telling us he had just bought a packraft. And then Michael Jackson could join us too at the last end (no this one is still alive). That would make 5 packrafters in 4 boats! Wait! Does that mean that one of the team had to swim? No! Steve & Katrijn like the honeymoon style.
We started Friday evening. Calm weather and so was the water. We reached the mouth of the river Geul at sunset where we met a perfect spot to put our tarps and shelters. An intimate camping night around a campfire with numerous beavers that circled around splashing on the water nearby. The water level of the river rose for 70cm overnight, enough to swallow our campfire, luckily not enough to invade into our shelters. Upstream dams always cause a source of concern when camping low to the water line. The next morning the water had well retreated.
On Saturday we had a welcome 4 Beaufort in our back. The water was warm so I even made a few swims with the packraft lined in my hand. The rapids were a good school for the less experienced among us. At the ferry crossing passed halfway we couldn’t resist the local Belgian “frituur” to fill our stomachs with a meal of delicious Belgian fries that made our last stretch to Maaseik pass effortless. Such a big river is always more fun to paddle with congenial companions. Certainly something we should repeat in the future.