Week 4 – Going in the wrong direction?
Saturday 1 May
At the beginning of our fourth week we are still in Groningen. Saturday-morning, we visit the old Suikerunie terrain where all kinds of small (including artistic) companies have settled, but also a piece of ecological farmland and a small corner with a pop-up neighbourhood with sustainable houses that are built in a modular way and can also be broken down again. It is all very inspiring for us to see. In the afternoon, Hotze Hofstra and Musetta Blaauw come by, who are also very involved with the process and social side of energy transition, and we have good conversations all afternoon. More about this in other blogs.
Sunday 2 May
When we wake up after another cold night, Els says she’s really done with it now. On top of that, it is going to e very rainy and windy somewhere in the next few days, so we will have to look for something else than a campsite. We break down the tent and move to Pim’s cousin’s house where we visited earlier in the week. There we are allowed to use the Wifi to participate in a session for a housing association we have become involved with in Nijmegen. We’ll probably write something about that one day, it fits in nicely with what we’re doing on our travels. In the evening, we cook for our host and hostess and Els gets to warm up in the bath. We also arrange a hotel for the next two nights, so we can ‘skip’ the worst day with rain and wind force 6.
Monday 3 May
We say goodbye and cycle in the rain out of Groningen, on to Drenthe. During our stay in Groningen, the wind has finally changed from north to south-west, so hopefully it will be warmer. A big disadvantage is that this means we have headwind again… Fortunately, the route is beautiful and most of the rain and hail stops at lunchtime, so we can dry a little at a beautiful nature reserve. In the evening we sleep in a hotel.
Tuesday 4 May
On Tuesday we spend most of the day in our hotel room. It’s going to be a computer day, because we have a lot of digital work to do for new blogs, routes, appointments and our new community project. Fortunately, we avoid the heavy showers.
Wednesday 5 May
Els has had a bad night because she ate something bad. Moreover, it still rains in the morning and there is a lot of wind against us (wind force 5, 6). It will be a hard day on our way to the Oldenhof campsite near Vollenhove. Because of the wind, we don’t advance very fast and we stop regularly. The rain (and hail!) is so unpredictable that we eat something under a narrow shelter at a sad shopping centre. Fortunately, it is dry in the afternoon and we can sit in the sun and out of the wind for a while. When we arrive at the campsite, we can lie in the grass (we are not able to put up the tent yet) and are offered tea by our neighbour. It also stays dry, so we can cook in peace. Well, Pim cooks and Els takes a nap, as she is really exhausted after this day on a rather empty stomach. The campsite is beautifully situated on an estate and when we walk around in the evening, three storks fly over in the evening light.
Thursday 6 May
We wake up with a hailstorm and eat our breakfast in the tent. It is great that the tent is so big that we can fit all our luggage in it. Except for that one hailstorm, it seems to stay dry for the time being, so we pack our stuff and cycle to the Waterloopbos in Flevoland (the 10th province we cycle through!). The Waterloopbos used to be used for all kinds of models and experiments that were done to research the design of harbours, tunnels and waterworks. It is now a monument with a footpath along which the old constructions can still be found, very nice to walk through. We then continue our journey to friends in Dronten, cycling again against the wind and along a dyke, but skilfully avoiding a downpour. In Dronten, we have a pleasant evening and can sleep in a warm bed again.
Friday 7 May
We stay in Dronten for the day and take it easy, let the tent dry in the garden, clean our bicycle chains and other things like that. For lunch we buy some nice things to compensate the hardships of the past days. When we are in front of the baker’s we are clearly being stared at. When Pim is inside, we appear to be famous in Dronten, as we were recognised by an employee who had seen us cycling the day before. In the evening we made good use of the kitchen and baked enormous pancakes.
Next week, it should finally be warmer… and we’ll be doing something completely different from cycling again! More about that next week.