Saturday, 21 June 2014

Friday 20th June 2014 Appingedam to Garrelsweer. 7.69kms no locks

New route through Appingedam. Damsterdiep
12.1°C Grey skies, wet and windy until we tied up, then the sun came out! Mike and I went in the Co-op for a few odds and ends, mainly bread. The rain had stopped when we got back on the boat so we set off at 9.50 am, winding (just about enough width in the canal) then turned sharp left before the last liftbridge to go through the town on the old route, as advised by the bridge keeper. He was right, lots of old houses and boats, overhanging balconies (kitchens), many different types of low bridges as we passed behind the shops and cafés. There
Start of old route through Appingedam. Damsterdiep
was also a long line of houseboats all the way to the junction with the new route by an old bottle kiln, where we’d been before. The next bridge, Tjamsweersterbrug, was worked by the keeper. Moored by the wooden posts and I went up the steps to the road deck to find the box with a slot for the key (turn it then take it out and close the box and the keeper is summoned!) It was hidden in the ivy alongside a house by the bridge. Mike gave the keeper a pot of baby Amaryllises to say thank you. He beamed – the Dutch love their plants and
Backs of houses, old route through Appingedam. Damsterdiep
he said he knew Amaryllis. Made a cuppa as we carried on “up” river – well we’re going away from the sea lock at Delfzijl, but there is rarely a flow one way or the other. The first DIY bridge was a modern swingbridge in Wirdum, Eekweerderbrug, with just two buttons – open and close – all worked by pressing and holding the buttons. Wirdumerdraaibrug was the next, a Llangollen-style liftbridge and the box had just two buttons, but the barriers were manually operated. I
New houses on old route through Appingedam. Damsterdiep
couldn’t get the far one to slot into the hole, so I swung it back to let the traffic go then had another go with it and leaned, heavily, on it – then it locked and I could press the buttons to work the bridge. Mike got off on the far side to help unlock the far barrier. He walked up the bridge deck (like we used to on the Welsh canal to help the bridge go down) much to the amusement of several young ladies on bikes! On up the twisting course of the river, with reed fringed banks edged with white and yellow water lilies, to the next swingbridge at Garrelsweer, called Loppersumerbrug, and I got off on to a wooden landing covered in duck pooh to swing the bridge. Auto again with just two buttons to press. Mike came to help close the barriers and said hurry as the wind was blowing the bows across the canal (the stern was tied to one of the stumps. We went around the next bend and saw a fine quay alongside a minor road and moored there at 12.15 pm. Glad to be out of the wind. Typical – the sun came out! Note: we've still seen no other boats moving on the little canals!

Have made all the pictures smaller as there are lots of them today - left click on a picture to get a bigger image, then click the back button to get back to the blog.

Beautiful old house in Appingedam
Old bottle kiln in Appingedam
Don't need to work this one
we can get underneath it!
Tjamsweersterbrug. Find the box, turn the key
and the keeper will come to work the bridge.
What is that in the ivy by the house?
There's the box!
Eekwerderbrug swingbridge.
Just two buttons to work this one
This shows how short the landings are.
getting back on at Loppersum liftbridge
Moored at Garrelsweer. Damsterdiep

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