I cannot quite believe that it has been a week already since we disembarked from the ferry and started our adventures. The time has flown, but we have seen such a lot of this lovely country.
We woke early, which is the norm when camping, one sleeps, but not soundly. On the whole though, I have rather enjoyed my camping experience on this trip, but the weather has been very kind and Mr V is an extremely experienced outdoorsman. We have found that where campsites are concerned, there are those with free hot water, but without toilet roll, or with toilet roll, but a fee for hot water. Luckily we had a few packs of tissues with us, or we would have been caught short at first. The situation did lead me into temptation though, at a popular cycle stop when using the conveniences I noted a surplus of loo-rolls, and liberated a small one secreted away in my back pack. We then beat a hasty retreat, endeavouring not to look too furtive. As fate would have it Camp Rambo was a pay for your shower campsite. So the contraband roll was acquired in vain.
Today it was time to leave Camp Rambo and head for Nijmegen. This is a direct journey of only about 21 miles, so we (Mr V) planned a more circuitous route, taking us the pretty way. We started off back the now familiar route away from the campsite into the woods, however the track for a short time was sandy rather than tarmac and we very nearly had a tumble so had to push the bike until a more forgiving surface was reached. Although Talula is a hybrid and can cope with a bit of rough terrain, her length means that on certain conditions the back can skid away. Fortunately we have only had a couple of tumbles on her, but there have been numerous close shaves on this trip where there is gravel or sand on the surface and her extra weight gives momentum to a skid.
Once out of the woods our route took us meandering south-east back into what would be considered archetypal Dutch countryside, wide expanses of agricultural land and alongside canals. We had another couple of ferry trips, we considered ourselves to be pros on the first one as we nonchalanty rode on and off, however the second was rather a more undignified boarding with little room to manoeuvre.
The going today has been flat for the most part which makes the progress fast, however the approach to Nijmegen was a long route for miles atop the dyke, exposed to the scorching sun. When we had to stop to confirm the route, it was almost unbearable. When cycling there was at least some breeze, but it was a hot wicked wind that dried your throat and sapped your energy.
We made it over the massive lock and then onward to find some yearned for shade to recoup and work out our route to our lodgings for the night. The regular cycle route maps at junctions and View (Lone) Ranger are good for getting us across country, but google maps has been invaluable for pinpointing where we lay our heads at night.
We have opted again to use the vrienden op de fiets as rain is forecast. Indeed Camp Rambo was our last night in a tent for this trip as the next couple of nights are not looking so good weather wise. There are different types of accommodation within the scheme and tonight we are in a self contained garden house hosted by Hank and the adorable Miep. We have the use of a lovely garden, the facilities are spotless and despite the fact that it is not a double bed, I am in heaven at the prospect of sleeping with a real pillow!
On to Utrecht tomorrow where we are staying for two nights. All who have chatted with us along the route today have said “There will be rain Wednesday”, seems a good reason to have a rest day.