Go to Holland they said. There are no hills and it’s so easy to follow the cycle paths. They said. Not entirely accurate as we found today. True the hills were not the beasts that we are used to slogging up in Gloucestershire, but with a fully loaded bike, there is a little indignation at meeting an incline where the expectation was pancake flat. However, flat can be a little featureless, and the bonus of the undulating terrain has been lovely views. We made our way back on to the LF1 which for the most part has taken us through miles of sand dunes and beach views.
The other aspect of false advertising is the ease with which routes can be followed. When on a straightforward stretch, all is fine and dandy so long as you keep your eyes peeled for the signage. The problems occur navigating through urban areas. We have had our bacon (or rather legs) saved in numerous occasions today by what we now refer to as the Lone Ranger, aka this marvellous app:
We have used it in the U.K. for as long as we have had Talula, but really for planning trips where we were venturing into new routes. The beauty of the app is that it will pinpoint you, showing cycle routes and you can zoom right in to see exactly where you need to go without it suspending its tracking.
We have also resorted to google maps again today to locate a campsite, and fell a little foul of the route planning via generic cycle paths. This led to a somewhat terse discussion when Mr V would not believe the directions, and though they proved to be correct, had us going a bit ‘off road’ over sandy terrain. Tandems do not perform well in these conditions and we were about to have a more robust discussion on navigation, when a friendly jogger assisted in pushing us up the sandy hill, and assuring us that google maps was correct and tarmac awaited us just a few hundred yards along.
Today has been a real mix, with sandy dunes and dappled woodland as our rolling scenery for the most part. I confess it is much prettier than I had expected and it has been a delightful day, with a simple picnic lunch of local smoked ham and cheese overlooking the seaside, and supper in one of the farthest fields of a blissfully quiet campsite, where the level of peopleage meets with Mr Vs approval. We plan to stay here another night and sally forth to Amsterdam tomorrow with Talula less laden.