We were awoken through the night in the most horrendous storm. There was very loud thunder that went on for a while and then the lightening started and became so bright that even with closed eyes (trying to sleep) it was as though a firework had gone off just in front of your face. After a simultaneous boom and flash, it sounded as though a train had rushed through. Well although the tent moved , it stood stock still, rooted firmly and let in no water and there was no damage.
So another reasonably early start but the sky looked threatening.
Well, we were lucky in that it didn’t rain just then. We rode back into Bunnik and amid cycle commuters we found our way into Utrect but using the red signs rather than the circle points. I do find cities very stressful. It isnt just lack of signage and cyclists coming at you in every direction but with my chemical sensitivities, asking for help for directions becomes impossible. Spasm in my vocal cords results in a “dalek” type voice which very quickly deteriorates to no voice at all. While it isnt painful , it is very frustrating.
We saw signs for both LF4b and LF7a and started to follow them but they disappeared . Once in a quieter part of town, we saw LF7a and as we wanted to go north we followed them. Unfortunately , we were wrong and we were in Nieuwegein when we ralised we were heading south. It was a nice ride along a large canal with large barges. I came to realise that on the LF signs , in much smaller writing at the bottom describes the direction of travel eg Alkmaar naar Mastrict.
DH didn’t want to ride back the same way , so I worked out another route. We headed for Ijsselstein and started using the numbering system again. Its great when it works but new points are being added all the time and don’t always correspond with the route atlas. So riding across farmland and small roads next to canals, it became obvious just how much damage the storm had done. It looked like there were many trees which had been damaged. In places, it looked like a giant scythe had been swept along cutting them off at about 6 feet from the ground.
We stopped in seemingly the middle of nowhere to eat 2nd breakfast and just as we got up to leave, it started to rain again. Nothing for it, cape up and get on with it. We did for a while but then the thunder brattles boomed again bringing torrential rain. DH pulled off the road and up went the brolly and we sheltered beneath it.
We got into Harmelen and bought some juice and I got some Euros from an ATM machine. We weren’t out of money but I wanted to be sure we had enough. I didn’t realise the day but with hindsight, I was glad as with the Brexit vote , there was chaos in the financial markets.
Eventually using the compass app, we found our way out of town and across to Woerden and then on to Knockengen but in the pouring rain, I got a puncture in a trailer tyre. DH quickly put in a replacement tube as I sheltered him with the brolly. It was unbelievable but with half and hour , the sun came out and it was hot. Great, as we dried off very quickly.
As we neared Breukelen, we went under a road bridge and then a rail bridge. Now we were so hot we stopped for an ice cream. We then went into the town centre and found the tourist information as we wanted to find somewhere to stay. As the water levels were so high , we had some concern about getting a campsite that wasn’t very wet. The VVV ( TI) was in a bookshop. One of the young assistants , had an uncle who ran a mini- camping and so she rang to see if there was anywhere on there place. There was a space.
Riding off to this site, we saw more downed trees and talking to people, we were told that there had been a mini-tornado and it had been on television. I then realised just how blessed and protected we had been. I was so tempted by a fabric shop but resisted as I didn’t want to haul fabric around .
The site had one dry place in a corner and an awning on this site had been blown down and was laid out on a trampoline. It was blazing hot until about 7.00pm when once again the ain came down. This site had a little garden room with a TV so we went in there for a time and watched a bit of BBC tv.