Filip H.A. Claeys

Trekking in Mountainous and Subarctic Regions


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Packrafting Leie

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.

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Parkbos Gent: Section Rosdambeek

It doesn’t often snow here in the Flemish lowlands, so when it does, we have to enjoy it while it lasts. During a recent wintry episode I therefore have no problem sacrificing my lunch break to a 1 hour hike through nearby Parkbos Gent, more specifically the section that is known as “Vallei van de Rosdambeek” (valley of the Rosdam brook), in the community of Sint-Martens-Latem.

Pictures > Belgium 2019-01-23: Parkbos Gent – Section Rosdambeek

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Packrafting & Hiking the Leie Region

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.

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Knipsel


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Packrafting Leie and Ringvaart

On an absolutely gorgeous Sunday in May I make an 18 km packrafting trip on the river Leie. I start at the public jetty in Sint-Martens-Latem and paddle downstream to the 3 Leien. Here I take the old branch of the river that leads to the monumental historic abbey of Drongen. Subsequently follows a stretch over the Ringvaart canal in order to rejoin the actual Leie at Krommeham. Finally, it goes via Afsnee and its early medieval church back to the 3 Leien and Sint-Martens-Latem.

I do the first 15 km in the morning (starting at 9:30 and returning at 13:30) and meet my family for a picnic at the picturesque site around the Latem jetty and 17th / 18th century Tempelhof. In the afternoon I do the remaining 3 km with no real purpose except for enjoying the gentle waters and posh pleasure yachts…

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Knipsel


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Another packrafting trip on the river Leie

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.

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Paddling the Ghent Rivièra

On a sunny summer day, it can be quite fun to paddle the meandering section of the river Leie between Ghent and Deinze. The steady parade of pleasure yachts not only creates the atmosphere of a southern rivièra, but also generates enough waves to add a tad of excitement to the paddling.

Below are a video and some pictures taken on Assumption Day 2016.


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Further exploration of the Leie by packraft

Another packrafting trip on the river Leie: 17 km back and forth from the public jetty in Sint-Martens-Latem to the “Drie Leien”, Drongen, Afsnee and Sint-Denijs-Westrem. In all about 4:30 hours of paddling, including a lunch break.

I must say that 17 km downstream and upstream on the river Leie is about as physically strenuous as 32 km on the Ardèche. Technically it is evidently a piece of cake. Only excitement are the waves caused by pleasure yachts passing by at close distance, especially on a Sunday afternoon.

I have now explored the entire stretch between Astene and the Ringvaart. Next on the agenda will probably be the old river branch at Deinze / Vosselare Put.
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