Lovely peaceful canal

By now we had a good idea how the Belgian locks and bridges worked.

After consulting the maps and guides we came to the conclusion there was nowhere particularly exciting to stop at until Liege, some 130 kilometres away.

And we reckoned we could do it in 2 days.

Waiting at a lock

Friday was an early start.

The weather was good, and after 50 kms, 3 locks and 3 lift bridges along the Dessel Shoten and Bocholt-Heerentals canals, we made an over-nightstop at a free jetty in St-Huibrecht-Lille.

We rather enjoy these more deserted stops – no services but having the generator we are completely self-sufficient.

Unnamed low bridge

When we first started these trips I used to note every fixed bridge in the log book.

I have stopped doing that now, as they are so frequent, we pass easily under them with our radar arch and canopy down.

One of many bridges decorated with flowers

Many of them do not even have names, although some were beautiful decorated with flowers, while others had wall art on the concrete pillars.

Wall art at bridge

These  canals were crossed by a lot of foot-bridges.

Bridge for cyclists

Notable in this region is that they are geared to cyclists and have long cycle ramps leading up to them.

Sluis Neerharen – no mooring ropes in use

Next morning was an even earlier, 08.00 hrs start as we had 80 kms to do.

Only 2 locks (Neerharen and Lanaken)but these were both deep ones with rises of 8 metres.

As I have mentioned, we have been referring to the various guides, but quite a lot has change or improved since these were printed.

Sluis Lanaken – no mooring ropes in use

Both these locks were most unusual in that we did not use any ropes to tie up, and Shangri La floated gently in the locks while they were filling, with no turbulence and no bashing against the lock walls.

After clearing the latter we were back into the Albert Canal where we could make reasonable speed for the last 20 or so kms to Liege.
Unfortunately the forecast rain had started, and we arrived at the Port des Yachts in Liege at about 17.15 hrs, in a downpour! Not very welcoming at all.

Next – time out in Liege.

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