The Days Roll By…

Yes, it has been a few days since I have written…finding a decent internet connection seems to be an issue when you are staying in places that are far out in the country.

Today I have a confession to make…when we were in Kampen a few days ago, I ended up locking my helmet in the accomodation as we were leaving and the owner, Annemarie, had left for work. (I still blame the fact that I didn’t have my usual ‘bulletproof’ coffee for my light headedness!) We had to carry on without it! Mark kindly loaned me his, as I am the ‘accident’ prone one in the family. So we rode on to St. Janskloosters in Werribbon-Weider National Park where we stayed for 2 nights. Then I decided that I would ride back to Kampen to retrieve my helmet and then carry on from there to Meppel where I would meet up with hubby at our next night’s accomodation…a mere 60+(?) kilometers! So, off I went on my own little adventure that day….and this was the first interesting thing I came across along the trail…

I didn’t stop to partake as I had quite enough coffee already that morning!

I got to the top of a very tall bridge which gave me a great view of the IJssel River delta!and had to stop on my way into Kampen to take a photo of these cows working on their tans on the beach

So mission accomplished…picked up the helmet and rode out of town to my lunch stop…

And after a long day in the saddle, finally made it to our Vrienden B&B in Meppel!

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What to do on a rainy day…

1. Sleep in late (is 8 o’clock late?)

2. Sit around reading and drinking coffee

3. Do laundry

4. Go for a walk in the park

5. Take pictures

6. More reading and a little writing and a little planning for the sunny days ahead!!!!

Another fun-filled day…

We did find our Vrienden in Kampen…and again I have to thank the trusty Pocket Earth App. The ‘burbs of Kampen are one giant maze!!! Yikes! And no street names! Our hostess Annemarie was a barrel of laughs and her place was sooo cute!

Anyway, I ended up leaving my helmet there so we may have to go back through on our way south to pick it up.

So today we decided to take an optional tour from Kampen to Genemuiden through some fields and canals. Here is how we crossed the first canal…

After wheeling this ‘pont’ or cable ferry all the way over from the other side and then about halfway back across we noticed a set of buttons…pushed one…and voila! The engine started and pulled us the rest of the way over…we couldn’t stop laughing…it was too funny! What was not so funny was when we got to the next ferry…(ah yes those crazy surprises!)…it was locked to the dock!! And now we had to ride back about 4km into a SERIOUS wind! Ha! until now we had been sailing along with it! (Grunt and groan!)

The next ferry from Genemuiden was much better as we had a captain to turn the engine on…although these small ferries all run on chain cables back and forth across the river.

We eventually made it to the National Park

And passed through some very pretty small towns along the way

And when we stopped for coffee break this was our entertainment

A huge group of school kids cycled by being herded by their fluorescent chaperones…the big white truck was their ‘port-a-potty”!

Tonight we are at another VODF which is also a campground and is situated right beside one of the National Park’s Visitor Centers. Will post some pics tomorrow!

Surprise of the Day

I suppose that every adventure comes with its surprises…some good and some, well, ????

Last night we arrived at our Vrienden cottage and let’s just say it was definitely not the usual…

It also doubles as a Yoga Studio….so that was cool…I had a very good session all by myself this morning! A great way to start the day!

So today we headed back to the IJssel River to follow it to its mouth near the town of Kampen. We had a bit of a crosswind, cloudy skies but no rain.

And we came across this lovely little set up to take a load off our poor tired buttocks and have a coffee. This trip we have brought along a thermos which we fill every morning with Starbucks coffee for our afternoon “pick me up”.

And here is a map showing exactly where we were…the GPS was working! (that’s the pink arrow)

We wandered a bit through the town of Kampen and picked up some groceries for dinner.

Smooth sailing….

We had a lovely 2 days zigging and zagging around the Veluwe and now we are into the Overijssel area.  Missed yesterday’s post because we had little or no internet connection!  But our Vrienden cottage (near the town of  Epe) was absolutely lovely and the Brummel family were very friendly hosts!  As you can see, I just couldn’t stop taking pictures…it was so beautiful….

The  previous Vrienden in Uddel was also very lovely but I forgot to take pics!!!  We had 4 friendly goats for neighbours there!

Here is a photo summary of our last few days…

 

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Some cool art exhibits along the way.

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The fungi of the day.

Signs, signs, everywhere signs!

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Dutch countryside…

Not sure what it is about the Dutch countryside but once I get on my bicycle and start pedaling I get such a feeling of peace…in a way it is a meditative state.  The colour green is also so soothing, the sky is so big, and the clouds always changing! Sunday is a very quiet day on the roads and trails….or maybe it is the area we are cycling through…apparently it is the ‘Bible Belt” of Netherlands.  Anyway…heading for the IJssel River today, then North towards Kampen….Tomorrow!

Exploring the Veluwe

location map of the Veluwe

A forest on the Veluwe

“The Veluwe is a forest-rich ridge of hills (1100 km2) in the province of Gelderland in the Netherlands. The Veluwe features many different landscapes, including woodland, heath, some small lakes and Europe’s largest sand drifts.

The Veluwe is the largest push moraine complex in the Netherlands, stretching 60 km from north to south, and reaching heights of up to 110 metres. The Veluwe was formed by the Saalian glacial during the Pleistocene epoch, some 200,000 years ago. Glaciers some 200 metres thick pushed the sand deposits in the Rhine and Maas Delta sideways, creating the hills which now form most of the Veluwe. Because the hills are made of sand, rain water disappears rapidly, and then it flows at a depth of tens of metres to the edges where it reaches the surface again.” (Wikipedia)

I could hear the raindrops this morning, but I could also hear the birds singing, which gave me hope for a brighter day.  As the morning progressed a few blue patches of sky appeared eventually turning larger and larger until the sun came through.

We had a lovely evening in our Vrienden Op De Fiets garden cottage…cozy warm and dry!  Our hostess Carolina was friendly and spoke perfect English.  We headed out of Putten towards our destination of Uddel but wanted to explore the Veluwe area so took a roundabout route which was completely unplanned!  The landscape is truly varied and at times even “hilly” (okay, so it’s the Netherlands where anything that’s not perfectly flat is cosidered a  hill).  Anyway, I had to actually shift gears a few times today!  We passed through lots of forested areas where you definitely see the evidence of wild boars along the trail…all the ground was dug up and their hoof prints were everywhere.

 

After riding through the forest we came out into the fields of heather similar the ones we cycled through near Hilversum.  It is a stark change from the forest and the sun warmed our backs as we pedaled along. As we sat eating our picnic lunch we studied our maps on Pocket Earth as it was still too early to head to our cottage in Uddel.  I noticed an icon just north of our location which was a castle…hmmm, I love castles…so we decided on a route to pass by and check it out.  It was a lovely ride on a paved narrow road with very little traffic lined by huge beech(?) trees, some of which had been taken down and had these amazing fungi arrangements growing out of them!

Eventually we arrived at the Staverden castle…

The coolest thing was that the Coach house where they had kept the horses has been turned into a brewery…and is also a historical monument. (Stay tuned for pictures to follow)

It was time to head to our cottage in Uddel which was only a few kilometres away…more on that later….it’s been a long day and time to hit the hay!

 

The first day…

We finally made the big leap and left our safe and cozy cocoon back in Hilversum.

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We are now heading east towards the Hoge Veluwe National Park avoiding all major cities if at all possible!

A cloudy day eventually turned into a Dutch drizzle…

After passing a Marina in the middle of some green fields with cows and sheep  grazing, we passed a mobile bridge and eventually came to the EEms River at Eemdijk where we got on a very small ferry to cross which cost €0.90!!  Then a quick lunch stop at another marina where we watched a very large barge sail by…

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The drizzle turned to a rain as we pulled into Spakenburg where a warm dry coffee shop provided a bit of shelter and a hot drink….10 minutes was all it took…and we were back to merely a cloudy day.  As we wandered around the ‘Brink’  (ie, Dutch for Town Square)  we stopped to check out this shipyard building very cool traditional Dutch sailing vessels…

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I find it quite interesting that a small country like the Netherlands which has such a large population still has so much green space and wild wetlands with a huge amount of bird life!

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Yes, well, we were indeed soaking wet by the time we arrived at our lovely cottage in Putten!

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Obviously this photo was taken on a better day…maybe tomorrow?

And here is a map of the route we took from Hilversum to Putten…9CBD206E-9706-4556-872E-7B1BA3AD689C.jpeg

Lights out!