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Netherlands Inland Waterway trip – Roermond and the Lakes

Roermond

7th to 9th September 2014

The last few days had been quite hectic from a boating point of view.

Time to slow down and relax a little.

Roermond, our next stop was only a short distance away, and with only one lock en route.

Back on the River Maas

After a late, leisurely start we headed back down the River Maas.

The whole area around Roermond is a boating paradise.

A huge amount of the sand and gravel for the land reclamation at the polders was dug out from this area, and in so doing, a whole lot of lakes were created.

 (Plassen in Dutch).

Zuidplas

And they were cleverly done, creating islands, marinas and even beaches.

Being a lovely sunny Sunday, the place was abuzz with all manner of boats and watercraft.

Also, being close to Germany and Belgium there were loads of German and Belgium flags to be seen.

Queues at Sluis Linne

Sluis Linne was busy and we did have a short wait here.

Once through the lock we passed more plassen and soon arrived at JH Rosslag.

This marina is just outside Roermond, but we had opted for this one as it had a very good write up in our trusty guide, and had washing machines wish we desperately needed to use.

Dutch style bikes for loan

They also had free loan bikes which was a bonus.

The wifi/internet was ridiculously expensive so we did not use it.

But Roermond turned out to be another place where there was free internet in the town centre, and, most cafes or restaurants offered free internet.

JH Rosslag – with campsite in background

As is often the case at these marinas, they have a campsite attached and being middle of holiday season, this was full of motor-homes.

Anyway it was a good marina, good facilities and ablutions all inclusive at 18 euro per night.

We were tied up by lunchtime, so got our laundry going and I finally got round to giving the boat a good wash down.

Shangri La at JH Rosslag near Roermond

We did grab a quick afternoon snooze before grabbing 2 loan bikes and heading up to the town.

These bikes were very good, but they were the typical Dutch style bikes with no brakes on the handlebars – you have to back-pedal to brake.
Not Karen’s favourite I am afraid.

We had been to Roermond 2 years ago, by car, while we were hunting for our ideal boat to buy, so it was quite fun to be back.

Alfa beers – from the Limburg region

We found a good sidewalk bar/cafe, ordered a couple of local beers – Alfa, and watched the world go by and caught up on emails with the free wifi.

I love the way beers in Netherlands are always served in particular glass for that beer.

We rode back to the boat as it was getting dark, with a full moon above us.

The next day, we borrowed the bikes again and rode into town. After a coffie and appelgebak we visited the VVV or tourist info and found out how to use the cycle routes.

The Netherlands has a whole network of cycle paths. with numbered ‘knooppunte’ all over the place.

Wild stop on the Zuidplas

At each knooppunt is a map board.
You then plan a route from one point to the next.
There are direction pointers to the next or other nearest point along the way, and we rode to the next town and back, following the cycle tracks and knooppunte.

On the way back we shopped up at an Eko Plaza and enjoyed our own home prepared meal on the back deck, with the usual beer and wine.

Even tiny rubber ducks go through the locks!

The next day a whole lot of things came together – we hadnt actually been on the plassen,
 – we wanted a ‘wild’overnight stop,
– the weather was perfect and
– Karen needed some boat driving practice.

So we left JH Rosslag with Karen doing all the boat handling, headed a short way back along the Maas and into Zuidplas where there were a whole lot of wild mooring places.

In the middle of the lake Karen slowed and stopped. I left her to do her own thing and play around with the boat to get the feel of manouevering.
Then she had several goes at putting Shangri La alongside one of the mooring places.
She did pretty well – but still needs a bit more practice.

After which she berthed us at a remote spot on the far side of the lake, and we spent a lovely relaxing afternoon and evening aboard.

Read Karen’s blog to hear her take on our boating travels.

Statistics: (for the 3 days)

Distance:             14 kms
Locks:                 1
Bridges:              1 fixed
Motoring time:    1.8 hrs

Next – onwards down the River Maas.

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