Over the Hump! 20 August on the Danube, at last…

Written by Jack van Ommen on August 20th, 2010

I am in Kelheim and shall be in Regensburg this afternoon and plan stay there through Sunday. And I should be in Vienna by this weekend.

Right after I wrote the last blog, in Nuernberg, I had a boiwl of chicken soup in an Asian restaurant. Hoang, the Vietnamese waiter gave me a fortune cookie “Power Total, tolle Aussichten! Mit Ausdauer kommen Sie zum Zuge”  ” With your full energy you will have much to look forward to. if you persist you will reach your goal” I needed that chicken soup I felt sick and had a headache. The rain just was not going to stop and I had a couple major locks to get through yet and I wondered what I had begun in Amsterdam. I stayed another night in the Nuernberg Marina and slept 12 hours. In the first lock I was promised floating bollards but there was not enough room to attach to them with one large barge and another pleasure craft. I almost lost it because of the enormous force the water came in and then when the barge pulled out with his propeller wash I was unable to hold the bow line. Fortunately the power boat saw my predicament and straightened me out. Then they, Josef and Margiet, a very nice Austrian couple, agreed to let me to raft up in the next locks. And they were the largest and meanest of the entire trip but they did have the floating bollards. These locks were over 81 feet deep. My boat speed in the canal had gone up to 10 k.m. per hour and just enough to follow the barge and the Austrian couple into those last two uphill locks. Then we reached the highest point of this voyage 1375 feet above sea level and then the next three locks in the Main Danube canal are downstream which is a piece of cake and, with the exception of the last one, all have the floating bollards. So, what a relief! It is all downhill from now on and the Danube has only about 10 locks over its 2400 k.m. to the Black Sea.

The canal from the beginning till about k.m. 120 was not very interesting, mostly flat farm country. But the last 50 k.m. ran through the old Altmuehle river bed and the former Ludwig canal and it was more like the old villages and countryside along the Main. Here you run into the river cruise boats again and the camping places along the water´s edge. The weather has turned sunny at last and we are promised a few more and then back again to the same cloudy days.

In the last lock I follwed the Dutch barge “Wijkerzand” ?? turns out the skipper´s sister is married to Leendert Hoogendoorn, the older brother of Marinus of the “Glissando”, Leendert is ahead of me on the Danube on his barge.


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