|On the road again!|
|Going back in time at Zuiderzee Museum|
|Crime: too much complaining|
about the rain
|Between the rain showers|
|Feed me please!!|
On Day 5 the sun finally came back and we headed due west through Leeuwarden where we stopped for proper re-supplies. We'd decided to try and head for Lauwersoog and the nature reserve around Lauwersmeer as it had been recommended to us. We made it as far as Hurdegaryp and to Camping De Kleine Wielen. After cooking, playing some table football and feeling more refreshed, as it was such a nice evening once the foul weather had blown through that we even took a 3 hour excursion without our gear cycling through the northern reaches of Holland to take a look at the Waddenzee just off the north coast.
After a lovely evening it was disappointing that the rain came back the next morning. After a bit of lie in we decided not to stay where we were (as it wasn't the nicest camping) so we set off shortly before lunch to head back to Leeuwarden and grab some food and then and make a plan. We chose to head south towards Sneek, right into a stinking headwind plus quite a lot of diversions. On the plus side by the time we finally got there it was brightening up. We got out our camping guide and picked one at a place called Dedgum, but completely lost again and as the sun started to set started trying others until settling on a place called Gastmeer, which was lovely with a big communal area to relax and play several games of table tennis.
From here cycled inland towards Opmeer and camped up on another small farm camping. Although that night it was pretty busy as it was a Boerengolf camping (Farmer's golf - a new type of golf played on a farmyard with a stick with a clog on the end of it as your club!) and there was a tournament. Unfortunately my health issues created a few problems for me here. Just as I was getting into my sleeping bag, I was struck down with really violent stomach cramps. I'd had them before but never found anything that helped, you just need to get through until they natuarally ease. I spent an uncomfortable night in the toilet block and it was one of the longest nights of my life. Exhausted, the next morning we made the decision to catch the first train we could back to the Hague to rest up as I was pretty exhausted and also in case the pain returned.
|Second time (un)lucky|
We had a leisurely start on the first day, packing up in the house and visiting Esther's grandma before hitting the road properly at around lunchtime. The law of wind in Holland was in force and despite a forecast for a tailwind we found ourselves pumping into a headwind, again! We crossed the Rotterdam canal at Maasluis and worked our way onto the first small islands which we'd cycled the year before, crossing the first major floodwork and then riding past where we'd turned round last year, before officially leaving South Holland and entered the province of Zeeland.
Delta Works - a massive engineering project designed to dam the sea and protect inland Holland from storm tides. The scale of the dams, which you cycle right across, has to be seen to be believed. And it was these we were now starting to cross. We even stopped part way along this 8km sluice system to hide from the beating sun and have some lunch.
Although our second attempt had also been cut short by illness, we'd seen a new part of Holland we'd never seen before and overall had spent another couple of nights doing what we loved and sleeping under canvas. I'm sure we'll try a loop of south Holland again in the years ahead.