Monday 22nd June 2015, started well enough and my prayer was answered for a dry pack. Unfortunately, it only stayed dry until 9.30am but by this time we were in a supermarket in Meppel.
From here we headed south west into a headwind most of the time and then its started to rain mixed with hail. We had our usual 2nd breakfast stop after 20 miles and setting off agaon got rained on again. By this time we were getting a bit fed up and decided to try Vrieden op de Fiets and organisation that offers very affordable overnight accommodation for cyclists and walkers. We had heard about this at the Cycle Festival in Clitheroe and decided to join it before we left.
Sitting in a bus shelter , we decided we could make it to Haderwijk so I started to ring addresses in the directory. Two no answers and the next one was full all week. Oh dear. Well try again. ” Do you speak English” – “a little” ” Can you take us tonight? Please” “well we are having a party at 5.00pm- but come anyway.”
At short notice Suzanne and Fritz were willing to accommodate us overnight. when we arrived we were invited to join them for dinner as their son had married that morning and they were hosting a family party!! Still in slightly damp cycle clothes we joined in the party and had a wonderful time. DH had been a bit reticent about trying this, staying in a strangers home but it was a lovely experience and cost 20E each for bed and breakfast. I can well recommend this organisation.
The next day started with a lovely Dutch breakfast and then it was out into the sunshine. It didn’t last 5 mins before we donned our watherproofs. We headed along the coastal track to Zeewolde and on a fine day it would have been heaving with people, Today it was deserted. We came across this large model bike – in fact there were 2.
We had passed through Benschoten-Sakenburg and weren’t sure where we actually where and a lady came out of a coffee shop to help us- in the pouring rain. We somehow ended up needing to cross some water at Eemdyk on a small ferry. DH asked me how much it cost. 80cents . He was horrified as he doesn’t do money and though I mean 80E . hehe! heart attack time.
We carried along across polders in sleet and rain driving into our faces and when nearly in Huizen, I called a halt and we had a café stop. Huge smoked salmon and salad sandwiches , apple pie and hot chocolate just what a girl needs when she is cold and wet. From Huizen, we got help to find the way to Naarden and along the coast to Muiderburg where wind and kite surfers were loving the strong winds. What is one man’s meat etc.
We carried on along to Weesp ad then a kind man stopped to guide us along to a campsite on the outskirts of Amsterdam. What was I thinking? I wasn’t , it was dumb brain time. Camping at Am Zeeburg was like being in a pop festival with tents pitched everywhere , full of young people of every nationality. My idea of Hell but it was only for one night thankfully.