Itinerary: Eglisau (Rheinsfelden) power plant – Laufenburg
Distance: 41.9 km, all by kayak but 2 portages of about 200 m (Reckingen and Leibstadt power plants)
Time: 5 hours (plus 1 hour 10 minutes for stops)
Vertical distance: 30 m downhill
After a night in the small historic town of Kaiserstuhl, Sally and I drive a few kilometres upstream to the power plant in Rheinsfelden. Getting down to the river was a little tricky, over a very stony ramp, but in the end we are able to put the one-seater kayak in the water and I can set off. 4 km further down the river, Sally is waiting on the road bridge at Kaiserstuhl to take photos. Sally also met me at both portages with a snack and a drink, and again at the end of the day’s trip.
Cloudy at the beginning, the day, the weather became progressively sunnier. River descent without incident, the current varied between 2-3 km/h and a maximum of 12 km/h (measured with the GPS). Many small eddies where the water wells up to the surface, not dangerous, but making it more difficult to keep a straight course. At one point a notice board surprised me by announcing some rapids (which were not to be seen on the satellite photos) – well, there were some higher waves but all went well. For a few kilometres there was an unpleasant headwind, especially before Leibstadt. Otherwise it was a beautiful day that I really enjoyed.
At the Reckingen portage, there were 2 carts for transporting small boats, where we had to put a coin in a slot to release it, just like for supermarket trolleys. Very useful!
1. Setting off at Rheinsfelden
2. Bridge at Kaiserstuhl and Burg Rotwasserstelz (on German side)
3. Old WW2 bunker (on Swiss side, one of many)
4. Arriving at Laufenburg