Tuesday 21st June 2016 – this was midsummer!!
It was not the sort of weather we would expect for midsummer – more rain. Even the Dutch were saying how uncharacteristic the weather has been. Although we heard the rain hammering down through the night, I was fooled into thinking had stopped, as we couldn’t hear it. It was that very fine , fretty ( Yorkshire word) stuff that falls so gently you don’t know until you are soaked.
So we had wet pack and joined the commuter cyclists on their way to school and work and were very soon out into the countryside and passed by some waterways too. We also had to content with paths being relaid and needed to find a way through and around. No one even attempted to stop us going through. How like the ‘elf and safety@ in the UK.
We missed a turning and ended up in Mook and were surprised to have a real climb out of it. We stopped at a WW2 cemetery . This area was very heavily involved in the fighting that took place. It is a very hilly area and I was so pleased to manage all the climbs some in forested areas and on into Nijmegen.
This is a beautiful city – clean and fresh looking. We had the usual difficulty in finding our way and were standing debating which way to go. I got out the compass app and determined the direction of travel which a passerby confirmed as correct. We passed through a shopping area. DH tried to get a wifi connection outside of McDs but couldn’t make it. So we continued down to the river Waal, which was also running very high and fast. We had second breakfast and then after a false start , we got underway again.
We followed the Old Waal and it was so obvious just how bad the flooding was. We talked to a chap, who also cycle tours , and he told us the route was impassable due to the water. So we made up our own route and found our way into Millingen aan de Rijn and found an A!di to stock up. We then made another ferry crossing and another man told us that the LF 3 was under water. He was a local man and knew the area really well. He advised taking the next ferry at Pannerden across to Doorenburg and then following minor roads on the other side of the river. We took his advice and cycled on into Arnhem. We were lashed by rain and a headwind – I think I dislike this most of all. Well, you have to keep your spirits up, so we started to sing.
On the outskirts of Arnhem, we saw 2 vintage tractors trundling along the cycle track. Apparently, they were on their way to rally about 70kms north. One of the tractors was towing a trailer tent, and they were not allowed on the roads , so they had no alternative , so the tracks it was for them too.
We believed there was a tent only campsite in the city but tourist information knew nothing about it . They were able to give directions to 2 others but when we saw that the nearer one was at a yacht club , we decided against it – too near a flooding river. So we continued on to a small campsite De Boerbrink.
I noticed that a lot of cows are being fed on silage under cover. I spoke to a farmer and he said land is so waterlogged that they aren’t able to turn the cows out into the fields.