We spent the final two days of our time on the Masurian Lakes, cruising from Mikolajki to the south-westerly navigable extremity of the area, the twin villages of Ruciane-Nida, before returning to base at Mikolajki.
We were blessed with a wonderful sunny day on Thursday 15th October as we set out, initially south-eastwards along Lake Mikolajskie.
This is the view we had of Mikolajki, as we cruised away.
The wind was relatively light, but coming from a south-easterly direction, so we were cruising directly into it. Hence the small amount of spray on our windscreen! However, after about half an hour, we were able to turn right into the much narrower Lake Beldany where conditions were quite calm.
We had the whole lake to ourselves…..
……except for a small fishing boat, and the yacht in the photograph at the beginning of this post.
We also saw these wonderful Autumn colours.
At the southern end of Lake Beldany, is one of only two locks on the whole navigable system. You can see that the lock keeper had given us the green light to enter.
‘Lock’ in Polish is ‘Sluza’ 🙂
Before leaving the lock, we had to pay a toll. We didn’t catch the Polish first time, so the lock keeper repeated himself, this time saying, ‘Sieben zloty, dreißig groschen‘ – 7.30 zl 🙂
After leaving the lock, we cruised on for another hour to the Pod Debem Marina, at the far western end of Ruciane-Nida, where we moored. Beyond this point, there are a further series of lakes but these are only available to non-powered craft.
Overnight, we experienced the first rain of our Polish trip. By the time we got up next morning, it had stopped raining, but it was cloudy for the whole of our return journey on Friday 16th October, with the occasional few spots of rain from time to time.
We passed back under these two bridges in the centre of Ruciane – the higher one carries the railway, whilst the lower one is for the parallel road.
Then we had to pass back down through Sluza Guzianka. The photograph shows how the toll is collected 🙂 Upon payment, you receive a receipt which is also handed over in this same manner. I did get the impression that the lock keeper had posed for similar photographs to this, previously 😉
The lock is of a somewhat unusual construction with sloping sides at a 45° angle. There are a series of ropes which hang down the slope which you have to hold onto whilst the lock is in operation.After that, it was plain sailing, all the way back to Marina Miko at Mikolajki.