The Netherlands

EUROPE 24

06/07/2011

THE NETHERLANDS

It had rained again overnight, but by the time I’d packed up an got going, the sun was shining for the first time in days. I had to ride for nearly an hour to find somewhere for breakfast but it was worth the wait: I found a brilliant bakery in a small town, and enjoyed freshly baked pastries and coffee. Fuelled I set off again, heading south-west.

The mornings cycling was easy, flat ground and better bike paths than I’d had in the rest of Germany. I had the wind against me, but it wasn’t too bad, and nothing compared with what Norway’s worst. The afternoon was a different matter: as the day went on, navigation became harder as I had to change road every couple o miles. The farmland gave way to large built-up, industrial areas, and I hopped from city to city. This made for slow going – navigating through an unknown city is hard work, made harder by the traffic – for the first time I was glad to have the bike lanes! Although towards the end of the day I was knocked off by another cyclist, as I turned right at a junction – I’d slowed down to make the turn, and he tried to overtake on the wrong side, fortunately both me and the bike were fine.

I crossed into The Netherlands after 90 miles, and entered the fourth county this trip. Shortly after making it to Holland, I saw a sign for a campsite not marked on the map and seized the opportunity – it had started to rain and I didn’t fancy putting on wet year tomorrow. I ended up at a ‘mini-campsite’ on a farm, pitching the tent just in time to get out of the worst of the rain. It didn’t last long, and I managed to cook my dinner in the sun – a nice change from grey skies.

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