This was going to be our blog for today;
A Car stopped twice- told us to go on the path
On path - Another car on it! Beeped at us to move
Then path blocked. Big detour. Cars Allowed, bicycles not.
...but then I got off my lazy butt and wrote something.
We got up and everything was wet, we hung it up, and waited for it to dry.
It didn’t. So we packed it anyway.
Then, we cycled into the Netherlands, mostly via the cycle paths beside the roads.
We got lost several times, being forced to ride these paths, and I admit I thought this idea, cycle paths, would be fantastic before we came here, but it has been a real challenge. Not only is the surface bad, finding which way to go is also constantly challenging.
Maybe it’s just me and I need to adjust to another country’s way of doing things…
But, the Netherlands has incredibly well manicured lawns, actually the general appearance of cleanliness and strict order is pervasive, everything exudes regulation, classification, law, civility and rule, I haven’t seen anywhere like this before ever, every line is marked, every one seems to know the rules (and be happy to tell you them, although in a friendly way) and everyone rides a bicycle. Amazingly there are even a lot of road bicycles sporting carbon wheels, they must have to true them every day, unbelievable!
We find a campsite at 7:30pm, and feeling our dream of having a shower is about to be realized begin to become excited in anticipation… but it’s crazy here, dogs are barking, kids are screaming and it sounds like there is a party with an MC!
‘Wow, this is strange,’ I say to Shanna, ‘hundreds of people making a lot of noise in the middle of the countryside, not what I expected.’
All too much for these two tired old timers we leave, and shortly get lost again (we do have a GPS and a map, but there always seems to be more roads in real life).
An hour later, hope fading, we stumble upon a caravan park in the woods that is part of a farm. It’s quiet, ‘lots of old people, that’s great,’ we both say at the same time.
Walking through the park is a fascinating experience. Everyone is arranged perfectly into a circle around the edges of a huge field. It reminds me of church youth dances where everyone sits or stands around the outside of the room, looking across at each other, wondering who’ll make a move, looking at who’s with who, ‘hey they’ve got jeans on,’ you might say to the person sitting next to you, ‘are they even, like, you know allowed,’ they reply…
An hour later and we’ve set up the tent, we turn around to admire the horses standing next to us, curious and friendly amidst a darkening sunset, pinky reds glancing across the sky, and thunder strikes from somewhere behind us.
It begins to rain.
Jackets on we stumble to the shower block. Already wet, about to get more wet, but in a good way, no pun/ double entendre intended…
Half an hour later I stand there, thinking to myself that this is the best shower of my life, the air frigid and cold, the water hot washes away what might have been six days of accumulated dirt and grime.
‘Totally, fully rad and awesome, I’ve never felt so clean in my life, what a feeling…’ I say, smiling, grinning stupidly, to nobody in particular, or maybe it was just part of the constant running monologue in my head.
Crazy? Yeah probably, but admit it, I’m not the only one that talks to myself…
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia