Black Forest - Day 1 : From Valkenswaard to Heerlen

Around 9 in the morning we left to Leende. It wasn't really warm, but it was dry. Immediately after Leende (5 km in) we took our first wrong turn. Therefore it took longer than expected to reach Maarheeze and Weert.

It was clear many people were looking at us, especially when we were waiting for traffic lights. At one light we met a man who was also on cycling vacation. He wished us a safe trip and said he was happy to see other people doing it. Later we met another group and after 40 km we stopped to eat. The bench we were on stood directly besides the road, everyone that came by turned their heads to look at us. This time we still had normal bread, but that was the last time this vacation. We continued cycling with an average speed of about 20 km/h.

After another 30 km we stopped to eat an apple and again saw cycling-vacation-people. We didn't notice it then, but they all had super expensive panniers. It was harder to find the correct roads in the south of Limburg. In cities the road are especially hard to follow for cyclists. We tried to cycle to Echt, but the bridge was closed. When we were lost we usually just picked the 'prettiest' road.

Near the end of the day it started to rain harder and harder to the point we briefly took shelter. After cycling 102 km we found a campsite in Heerlen. It was called 'op het hof' en was especially made for motorcyclists. It was still early, around 6, so we could have dinner on the campsite. We made the spaghetti and macaroni we carried. The rain kept getting worse. We should've first cooked water for soup, but forgot and already had added the pasta. In a typical 'cycling vacation manner' we solved this by using the used pasta water to make the soup. It tasted well and saved us some time. We were also supposed to cook the pasta, but it was too windy to properly heat it. In the end it turned into a sticky gue, the taste wasn't bad unfortunately. We even showered today and went to bed on time.


The route is never fully correct, because we always took some wrong turns.
We don't know exactly how we travelled, but in general the routes on these maps are pretty accurate. 

Distance cycled : 102 km