Veluwe - Day 8 : Finally back in Brabant
We had planned to cycle for 9 days, but were already close to home. To spent a day cycling in loops around our hometowns didn't make sense, so we just went straight there.
We woke up at noon. First we needed to do the dishes from yesterday. The smell of the lasagna wasn't great, to put it mildly. Afterwards we all took a shower and started cycling in search for breakfast. Yes, again we didn't have anything to eat. This was already the 3rd time. After yesterday's first bridge, where we had bought some cookies, we hadn't seen any shops. Not even a small village. This time we were really out of luck, no peanuts, no cheese, not even cookies. It was another 15 km to the town of Oss where there would definitely be a supermarket. Fortunately we already found one after 10 km. For the rest of our lives we will never complain again about the 15 km we need to cycle to go to school in Eindhoven. Koen had bought a lot of food. He said he would start working at the Jumbo supermarket chain if they had such pretty girls everywhere. Unfortunately he had forgotten to buy something, so all three of us needed to go check out the store :). Bram wanted to eat on the benches in front of the supermarket, but that was smack in the middle of town. Koen and I wanted to take the risk of finding one outside of the village. We were lucky. At 13:30 we started our breakfast. Between the three of us we ate a bread, 3 buns, a whole jar of spread, some candy, a few cookies, and a can of haring.
A bit later, around 3, Koen got a punctured tire. It was his rear one. We had found a very small hole in the inner tire and fixed that, but the tire kept deflating. The entire inner tire turned out to have separated from the valve, which we couldn't fix even with copious amount of glue. I cycled to the nearest village to buy a new tire. Bram said "now would be a good time to eat the big kwatta you bought Koen'. We both didn't understand. He apparently was talking about the chocolate bar Koen bought. In Bram's home village they call that a 'kwatta', after a brand that went out of existence 20 years ago. After devouring the kwatta I went to the village. Meanwhile, Bram and Koen would take out the rear wheel.
In the village I got a call from Koen. He broke the wrench while loosening his wheel. We didn't have any other tools with us so I might as well return. Bram found a bicycle repair shop 20 meters away. Because it was 16:55 it was just about to close. The man working there was a stereotypical old man from Brabant. He liked that we were cycling and told us he had been a repairman for over 40 years. Initially, he had fixed English engines during the second World War. Fixing the tire went fast and we only needed to pay for the tire itself, 3 euros for the entire procedure.
In the village St. Oedenrode we were back in the heart of Brabant and we sat down in front of a bar. The first 3 km after that were difficult, probably because of the heavy beer. In Eindhoven we ate an entire package of cookies and saw a lot of hot air balloons, around 14. At a snackbar we quickly ate dinner before going back to Valkenswaard. Koen and I then stayed together for a while. Koens parents needed to open all the doors in the kitchen as well as the extractor hood, otherwise we couldn't breath from the smell. His parents were laughing about all our stories. They were also happy Koen ate well. I never had a vacation about which I could write 11 pages, so that already shows we had a good time. We all survived, nobody fell, and we only had one punctured tire despite all cycling 630 kilometers.
The last day. In Brabant there are a lot more public maps compared to the rest of the Netherlands, also more dedicated bicycle roads. Therefore, today was the day with the fewest wrong turns.
Distance cycled: 80 km.
These are the distances we cycled each day.
Day 4 was our day off, day 5 and 6 were the days we spent in the Veluwe, without luggage.