Veluwe - Day 8 : Finally back in Brabant
We had planned to cycle for nine days but were already close to home. To spend a day cycling in loops around our hometowns didn't make sense, so we just went straight there.
We didn't wake up until noon. First, we needed to do the dishes from the day before. The smell of the lasagna could have been better, to put it mildly. Afterward, we all took a shower and started cycling in search of 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 at a gas station, we had yet to see any supermarkets. Not even a tiny 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 store. Fortunately, we already found one already 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.
Koen bought much food. He said he would start working at the Jumbo supermarket chain if they had such pretty checkout girls everywhere. All three of them went back to "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 trying to find a bench outside the village. We were lucky. At 13:30, we started our breakfast. Between the three of us, we ate a loaf of bread, three buns, a whole jar of jelly, 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 found a tiny hole in the inner tire and fixed that, but the tire continued deflating. The entire inner tire turned out to have separated from the valve, which we couldn't fix even with copious amounts of glue. Bram said, "Now would be a good time to eat the big kwatta you bought Koen'. We both didn't understand what he meant. 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 extinct 20 years ago. After devouring the "kwatta" I cycled to a nearby village to buy a new tire. Meanwhile, Bram and Koen started taking out the rear wheel.
In the village, I got a call from Koen. He broke the wrench while trying to remove 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 of St. Oedenrode, we were back in the heart of Brabant and sat down at a bar. The first few kilometers after that was 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 snack bar, we quickly ate dinner before cycling to Koen and mine's hometown of Valkenswaard. Koen's parents opened all the doors in the kitchen and turned on the extractor hood. Otherwise, they couldn't breathe with our bad smell. His parents were laughing at all our stories. They were also happy Koen ate enough Liga cookies and fruit. 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 are many more public maps than in the rest of the Netherlands and more dedicated bicycle roads. Therefore, today was the day with the fewest wrong turns and detours.
Distance cycled: 80 km.
These are the distances we cycled each day.
Day 4 was our day off, and days 5 and 6 were the days we spent in the Veluwe, on which we cycled without luggage.