An after-work evening paddle with Evert and – partly – Jelke on an old branch of the river Leie in Astene. We put in around 6 pm, have a relaxed paddle and swim, and put out just after sunset at 9 pm. We much enjoy the laid back atmosphere and the fairly unusual warm late summer weather.
21 km of paddling on the river Leie, from Astene via Sint-Martens-Latem, Drongen and Sint-Denijs-Westrem to the marina at the other side of the Ringvaart. Departure at 9:30 am and arrival at 3:30 pm. No noticeable current but some waves and swell caused by the parade of pleasure yachts that typically starts around 11 am on any sunny Sunday during the summer season…
Fairly strenuous physical exercise, lots of greenery and many older and newer posh riverside dwellings.
A bit of a strange impromptu packrafting and hiking trip in the Leie region on Sunday, 30.2 km in all. I first paddle from the Astene drawbridge to the public jetty in Sint-Martens-Latem, subsequently hike home for lunch, hike back to the jetty, and finally hike all the way to where my car is parked in Astene.
On one of those great many tropical evenings of the summer of 2018 I make another after work packrafting trip on the Oude Leie in Astene (Deinze). As usual the atmosphere created by the sun setting over the placid water is mesmerizing, it is therefore with regret that I notice 3 empty bottles of wine floating around in the water. As a result of the gorgeous weather youngsters have been partying all summer long by the shores of the old river branch, which as such is perfectly fine since summer and youth indeed need to be celebrated. What is however not fine is that some apparently find joy in throwing empty bottles into the otherwise surprisingly clean water. My good deed of the day is therefore to collect those bottles and expedite them to the nearest waste bin once back ashore…
On a warm evening after work I head to the nearby Oude Leie in Astene (Deinze) for a “sundowner” packrafting cruise.
The Oude Leie is a 4.7 km meander that got separated from the main river in 1861/62. Since then it has remainded largely untouched and now offers a fine natural habitat with clean water and a good stock of fish.
One interesting feature is the small tow ferry named “Bathio” that allows people to get from Deinze to the outdoor swimming facilities at Vosselare Put.
Thanks to the fine weather that was upon us on Sunday afternoon, the Leie river looked very inviting for a paddle. I therefore made another trip by packraft, starting at the drawbridge in Astene and ending at the E40 highway bridge in Afsnee, passing the villages of Deurle and Sint-Martens-Latem in the process. Total distance was about 15 km, which is quite enough for an afternoon on a river without any noticeable current. A perfect exercise for the arm muscles…
Due to the unusually dry weather of the past 12 months or so, water levels are quite low, which has caused a number of small beaches to appear on the river banks. Perfect for a quick rest.