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Veluwe - Day 3 : Resting?

Breakfast today consisted of 1,5 sandwiches and "as many peanuts as you can eat". We bought too little food yesterday. An employee of the campsite was surprised to find us camping where we were and said, "Down the road are nice places with electricity and water, this is just a barren field." When he saw us eating peanuts, he said, "When I was young, I also ate peanuts when I had a hangover." I suspect he thought we picked our spot while drunk, but apparently, cycling has the same effect. I walked with him to the front office to pay. He talked some more but had such a strong accent that I could barely understand. We only had to pay half the fare because we hadn't camped on an official site. 

After the tents were dry, we continued our trip. First, there was breakfast to be bought. The goal of today was to end up somewhere north of the Veluwe, a large natural area in the Netherlands. It was about 60 km away. In the local supermarket, we bought bread and, of course, Ligas. Because we had taken a significant detour yesterday, we first had to backtrack 6 km. The villages we passed were all connected by the same bicycling path we followed the entire morning. In a camping store, we bought a new stove. During the afternoon, we found a nice bench to eat, during which we again devoured a whole bread.

Bram thought the gas canister in his stove could be transferred from his old stove to the new one. It took the three of us 5 minutes to open the new stove and another 5 minutes to close it again. After greasing it up with some butter, it went faster. We took turns opening and closing it to loosen it up. Then it was time to try exchanging the canister. We only had one turn, and it needed to happen fast to prevent the canister from emptying. Of course, that didn't work, and by the time we changed the canister, it was completely empty, the grass was frozen because of the gas, and we started to get a headache. We quickly continued cycling.


Near Deventer, we wanted to cross a river. One hundred meters to the left was a railway bridge, but cyclists weren't allowed to cross. Two kilometers further to the left was a normal bridge that did allow cyclists. According to Koen, we needed to turn... right. It wasn't a guess because he brought a beautiful map, which showed there was no bridge in that direction for another 40 km. After 5 km, the road just ended, and we were forced to turn around. We again cycled past the railroad bridge, then crossed the normal bridge, and passed the railroad bridge again because it lay in the direction we needed to cycle past the railroad bridge again. It turned out we would have been able to cross the railroad bridge after all, so we cycled 10 km for nothing. It was already getting late, but today we were lucky, for the first time, our map showed a campsite nearby. Just 5 km further, we already saw a sign saying the campsite was just 4.6 km away, but after a few kilometers more, we saw another sign saying it was another 6 km. The area we were in only contained infinitely long, completely straight roads. There were no forests, only grass fields with some trees next to them. It was already 8 o'clock, so we rechecked the map. Fortunately, a helpful man told us about a nearby campsite 10 km away. He knew the way and told us to follow him.

With total disregard for the fact that we had already cycled 85 km, he raced his car with 25 km/h, and we had to push out a final sprint which you wouldn't even see in the Tour de France. We all deserved the Green Jersey. We finally arrived at the campsite, which was also a farm. A friendly man told us it was full, and so were all the nearby campsites. He did allow us to stay in his backyard for free. We were okay with that. Here is a picture of the lovely garden.

The backyard had a nice open area between the trees and plants, on the ground were wood chips. 

"Please don't take a picture when we look so grumpy."

It would start to rain soon, but we were so hungry we wanted to eat before pitching the tent. This would be an important moment: would the new stove work? Fortunately, it did. Otherwise, we would be eating cold soup. After all the cycling, the soup tasted extra good, but what came next didn't. We bought canned fried rice. It looked like a frozen brick of rice and didn't taste much better. It could be best described as expired dog food filled with sand. When we finished eating around 21:30, the farmer's wife came to check if everything "worked out," meaning if we pitched the tent and didn't make a mess. We didn't make a mess because we were too tired. She was surprised that we still needed to put the tents up. That turned out to be difficult today. We needed to push hard to get the pegs in. Suddenly we heard a loud tear. Bram thought it was Koen's pants, but I was still awake enough to realize it was the anti-weed fabric underneath the woodchips. When all the pegs were in, we went to sleep.


Again a long day. Today's route was not especially pretty, but we accomplished our primary goal of reaching the Veluwe national park.

Distance cycled: 90 km 

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