After a lovely tranquil evening sitting with a drink watching the sun set, and exclusive use of our side of the campsite, we snuggled down into our cosy sleeping bags, and yes, as it was a clear night we did have our hot water bottles; Michael would be spinning in his tiny tent if he knew! The still silence, broken only by a few last crickets performing a final curtain-call, meant that we were soon in the land of nod. We awoke around 5.30 with a definite chill in the air, being prepared I had my fluffy leggings ready to wriggle into and dozed off again until the insistent sun and birdsong heralded that it was time to rouse ourselves and begin our now familiar morning routines when breaking camp.
We had considered having one last coffee sitting on the veranda overlooking the lake before setting off, but remembering the heat of the previous day, we wanted to cover as many miles as we could in the cool of the morning. Travelling so close along the border had meant that our phones were continually confused and searching for signals which seemed to be draining on the batteries, so we set to making a fair margin of distance between us and the border. We had decided the previous day to make Coevorden our aim, picking up the LF14 again and have a relatively short day in the saddle of about 5 hours. The countryside was again mixed, with a fair bit of arable farmland and shady woodland broken from time to time by sleepy villages and some less sleepy bigger towns.
We took some time over our coffee break to re-assess our course as we were making good progress, but a missed junction meant that we were left having to take a more circuitous route. We were travelling along both quiet and relatively busy roads for much of today, interspersed with some dedicated cycle paths. This can pose a problem when it comes to finding a suitably concealed spot when nature calls. For Mr V, relief can be achieved with discretion just about anywhere so long as there is a lookout for passers by, or just giving the impression he is staring into the distance. I on the other hand, have to risk stings and scratches in order to find a concealed nook, not always easy I can tell you, and there have been more than one occasion when I have nearly been caught with my pants down by some poor unsuspecting nature lovers. I had, some time ago, invested in a ‘shewee’ in the hope to make such things easier, but alas, no matter how desperate the need, I seem to have a psychological block about using it. The lack of suitable comfort break camouflage today saw me pushing through dense undergrowth and doing battle with a bramble, which drew first blood in my quest for relief without scaring passers by. Such are the trials and tribulations of the female kind.
Having had a late coffee stop, when we reached Coevorden at about 2pm we were not really ready for lunch so just had a light snack after peddling around the zig-zag body of water which had formed part of the town’s defences in days of yore. We were a little disappointed that there seemed to be no other evidence of the battlements, but it was a pleasant detour before finding a campsite.
We have come to realise that the mini-camping as it is referred to here, offers a far more personal service than the larger and louder sites. Today we have really lucked out, finding a well reviewed site near Anerveen (https://eikenzoom.nl/ ). The site is peaceful and beautifully maintained with spotless charming facilities. Having had a few nights of timed showers, it was a luxury to revel in a long hot shower, shaving legs and even having a scrub with the exfoliating mitts. Sometimes a girl needs a bit of pampering. Mr V on the other hand found it impossible to work out the simple hot/cold operation of the shower and had to settle for lukewarm. His numerous academic achievements have not helped him in some areas of life.
There are friendly chickens who have been pecking about quietly clucking in the hope of a dropped tidbit, curious goats and the host is a delightful gentleman. Making friends with his lovely dog that I took for a springer spaniel, he informed me that it was similar, but a Dutch breed called a stabyhoun. Apparently so called because they stay by you. Mr V decided that is the kind of dog he needs if we ever decide to become dog owners again. With regard to this campsite it has now become the standard by which all sites shall henceforth be measured.
When we were here last year Mr V developed a liking for a certain chocolate waffle biscuit, and has lamented that he could not find them at all in the UK. Needless to say since returning he has tasked me (as main shopper) to ensure that he is kept in constant supply. As a treat for myself, I had bought some biscuits from the ‘healthy’ option area, only to find from google translate, that the are made from parsnip powder. Now I like a parsnip, but it really does not work in biscuit form. The chickens though, they love them!
Much as we would like to stay here a little longer, we have new horizons to seek, so onward we go …