Veluwe - Day 3 : Resting?
Breakfast today consisted of 1,5 sandwich and "as many peanuts as you can eat". We had bought too little food yesterday. An employee of the campsite was surprised to find us on our spot and said "down the road are nice places with electricity and water, this is just a barren field". He also saw us eating peanuts and said "when I was young I also ate peanuts when I had a hangover". I suspect he thought we picked our spot while being 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 I could barely understand him. We only had to pay half fare because we hadn't camped on an official spot.
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. Cycling about 60 km should be sufficient. In the local supermarket we bought bread and, of course, Liga's. Because we had taken a big detour yesterday we first had to backtrack 6 km. The villages we past were all connected by the same bicycling path, which we stayed on 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 an entire bread.
Bram thought the gas canister in his stove could be transferred from his old and the new stove. 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 the stove to loosen it up. Time to try exchanging the canister. We only had one turn and it needed to happen fast so the canister didn't empty. Of course that didn't work out 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 meter to the left was a railway bridge, but cyclist weren't allowed to cross. Two kilometers further left was a normal bridge. According to Koen we should turn... to the right. It wasn't a guess, because he brought a beautiful map, which showed there was no bridge 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 that was in the direction we needed to go. Unfortunately, it turned out we would have been able to cross the railroad bridge after all, so we had cycled 10 km for nothing. It was already getting late, but today we had more luck, for the first time our map showed a campsite nearby. Just 5 km farther we already saw a sign saying the campsite was just 4.6 km away, but after a few kilometers 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 field with 2 trees next to them. It was already 8 o'clock so we checked the map again. Fortunately there was a helpful man who told us about a nearby campsite 10 km away. Fortunately he knew the way and told us to just follow him.
With total disregard for the fact that we 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, all of us deserved a Green Sweater. We finally arrived at the campsite, which was also a farm. A friendly man told us it was completely full and so were all the nearby campsites. He did allow us to stay for free in his backyard. We didn't have a problem with that, here is a picture of the really nice garden.
The backyard had a nice open spot between the trees and plants, on the ground were wood chips.
"Please don't take a picture when we look so grumpy"
It would soon start to rain, but we were so hungry we wanted to eat first. This would be an important moment: would the new stove work?? Fortunately it did, otherwise we would be eating cold soup. After the tough day the soup tasted extra good, but what came next didn't. We bought canned fried rice. It looked like a frozen brick of rice, it didn't taste much better. It can 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 didn't put the tents up yet. That turned out to be really difficult today. We needed to push really 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 wood chips. When all the pegs were in we went to sleep.
Again a long day. Today was not especially pretty, but our main goal was to reach Veluwe national park.
Distance cycled: 90 km