Last packraft overnighters of this winter

Biesbosch 201203

Biesbosch 201203

Biesbosch 201203

20°c and nothing like burning sunshine from dawn till dusk. The first light green leaves are already appearing on the branches. Water levels are dropping to unusually low values for the time of the year. Winter is long forgotten.

Biesbosch 201203

How fast can nature show its other face? During the last two weeks I’ve made two packraft overnighters when the weather was yet cold and dull, one solo in Biesbosch NP and a 44km run on the Warsche and Amblève river in the Ardennes with Willem last weekend. Water levels were just high enough for relaxed paddling. Today we would get stuck.

Biesbosch 201203

The Biesbosch looked dead and quiet on a grey winter day, but after paddling for some time it just seemed the wildlife is just most abundant this time of the year. Among them I saw a lot of buzzards, a deer trapped on a reed island and a few beavers. I made camp with the trailstar on the tip of a narrow peninsula. Reading a book till deep in the night next to the campfire was very enjoyable with curious rats visiting the bivouac spot and beavers regularly splashing loud in the nearby water. It was difficult to catch a sleep when you have a beaver family as your neighbor. But that made this short overnighter just so much more special.

Biesbosch 201203

River delta packraft trip – Biesbosch national park

The Biesbosch is a river delta area with freshwater tides, fed by the rivers Rhine and Maas in The Netherlands. It consists of a network of river channels, from wide and deep to very narrow and shallow with swamps and willow forests in between. Today it is protected as a national park. At the end of October I went discovering the area with my packraft on an overnight trip. A canoe is the most famous water vessel to paddle through the area but I found that a packraft actually looks more ideal to go through the most narrow creeks when the tidal water drops. But still I got stuck in a small creek at low tide. I met a lot of wildlife, mainly water birds and raptors but also one big beaver. The Biesbosch is famous for its many beaver colonies. I’ll definitely return here as now I only paddled through a small part of the area. The Biesbosch is really recommended for those who love quiet nature and wildlife.