Veluwe - Day 7 : Two records, the latest and the most detours
While Koen and Bram were still sleeping I went to buy food. 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 that I had been wearing for 2 days in a plastic bag and closed it tightly. When I opened it I recoiled from the ammonia smell. Koen would throw away his tent after the vacation so I put them in there. The plan was to leave today and then cycle for another two days to get back home.
Pretty late in the afternoon we started cycling southward. Over many roads we reached the Netherlands' big rivers. The most difficult part of today would be to find two bridges to cross them. That would bring us back in the province of Brabant. First we got some food for dinner as well as Liga's 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 easily, the second one was a lot harder. 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. First 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.
Right: Bram also wanted to pose for a nice photo
It was way too windy. After 10 minutes the soup was still cold. On the lower road it went a bit better and after 20 minutes of cooking we could finally start eating the still not warm but not freezing soup. Bram thought a car would likely stop to tell us to enjoy our meal. That didn't happen, but there was someone walking his dog who said it. We were talking about how we hoped there was no police in the area who might tell us we weren't allowed to sit there. Bram would then say "yeah we are are completely wet and cold and blown away by the wind and cycled 80 km without a decent meal and now we are cooking cheap lasagna in a storm, so that's indeed very criminal" A police car came by twice, while we hadn't seen a single one during the rest of our trip, but it didn't stop. After the cold soup it was time for the cold 2 kg lasagna from the Aldi. It wasn't good, according to Koen it tasted like butter. At least it had a lot of calories. The dirty dishes were put in a plastic bag.
We resumed our journey to the campsite. In the village that right across the bridge we threw away our garbage. From there I saw a lot of mobile homes and campers in the forest. We became very happy because it was already 21:30. At the fence of the campsite they weren't that happy though. It was only accessible for members of the 'Dutch camping club'. That was just as bad as saying 'we don't accept traveling young people". We continued cycling again and reached our home province of Brabant. In every village we encountered there was no bar nor anything else to ask for directions. A couple kilometers later some people were just arriving home, it was 23:00 o'clock. I asked if they knew a nearby campsite. Fortunately there was one, near the bridge we came from. We had to backtrack over the dikes in the dark. There were only open fields with sheep so we couldn't really pitch our tents there. We had already started looking for spots that were better hidden when we arrived at the farm/campsite at midnight. The owner wasn't completely sober anymore, but could find a place for us. We quickly pitched our two tents. Koen couldn't even smell the ammonia stench, that's how tired he was. We fell asleep almost immediately. A cat kept making noise while we were in our tent. It was only 2 meters away. When it left we could finally fall asleep for real.
The last few kilometers took more than 3 hours, but we had no choice but to reach the bridge.
We took a lot of detours and wrong turns today.
Distance cycled: 90 km