Veluwe - Day 7 : Two records, the latest and the most detours
I went to buy food while Koen and Bram were still sleeping. Because it rained, we had breakfast in the tents. We stayed there until it got dry. A few days prior, I had put the socks I had been wearing for two days in a plastic bag and closed it tightly. When I opened it, I recoiled from the ammonia smell. Koen planned to throw away his tent after the vacation, so I put them in there. The plan was to cycle for another two days to get back home.
Pretty late in the afternoon, we started cycling south. While passing many different roads, we reached the Netherlands' big rivers. The most challenging part of today would be to find bridges to cross them. That would bring us back to the province of Brabant. First, we bought some food for dinner as well as Ligas and candy to survive the day. We bought two kilos of Lasagna. Bram and I saw lots of beautiful wild animals that day. We cycled from village to village, one of which contained only people on scooters.
We found the first bridge pretty quickly, a second one was much harder to find. We were in the countryside of an area called "het land van maas en waal", named after the "maas" and "Waal" rivers we crossed. After checking our compass, we picked a small dirt road with a lot of cow dung, which turned out to be a dead end.
After backtracking and cycling another 5 km, we found someone who knew where the bridge we were looking for was to be found. There would be a campsite directly after the bridge. Again we cycled for a long while. We already cycled 65 km today, and it would be another 15 km to the campsite. Around 8 o'clock, we reached the bridge. We were pretty hungry and sat down underneath the bridge to eat. Initially, we sat down on a dike, here are the pictures.
Left: Koen underneath the bridge. At that time, we hadn't moved our gear down yet.
Right: Bram also wanted to pose for a nice photo
It was way too windy on the dike. After 10 minutes on the stove, our soup was still cold. Cooking next to the lower road went a bit better, and after 20 minutes, we could finally start eating the lukewarm soup. Bram thought a car would likely stop to tell us to enjoy our meal. That didn't happen, but someone was walking his dog who did. We were discussing how we hoped there wouldn't be any police telling us we weren't allowed to cook there. A police car came by twice, while we hadn't seen a single one during the rest of our trip, but fortunately it continued. After the cold soup, it was time for the 2 kg of cheap and cold lasagna. It wasn't any good, according to Koen it tasted like butter. At least it had lots of calories. The dirty dishes were put in a plastic bag.
We resumed our journey to the campsite. Directly after crossing the bridge, we found a village where we could throw away our garbage. I saw many mobile homes and campers in a nearby forest. We got thrilled at finding a campsite, as it was already 21:30. The people at the campsite weren't happy, though. Camping was only permitted for members of the 'Dutch camping club'. That was just as bad as saying, "we don't accept traveling young people". We continued cycling and reached our home province of Brabant. In non of the villages we passed was an open bar or restaurant to ask for directions. A couple of kilometers later, some people were just getting home. It was 23:00 o'clock. I asked if they knew of a nearby campsite. Fortunately, there was one near the bridge we just came from. We had to backtrack over the dikes in the dark. All around us were only open fields with sheep, so we couldn't really pitch our tents anywhere else. We had already started looking for spots that were better hidden when we arrived at the farm/campsite around midnight. The owner wasn't completely sober but showed us a place to pitch our tents, which we quickly did. Koen couldn't even smell the ammonia stench coming from my socks, that's how tired he was. We fell asleep almost immediately. A cat kept making noise nearby. When it left, we could finally fall asleep for real.