Sutra 1 – Leaving Netherlands

By thina
This post is part of a series called Netherlands

DEAR DIARY …

2nd of September 2016, around 15:00 in the afternoon

Dear diary… it’s been so long since the last time I wrote.

We are about to hit the road!

Although there were so many times I took Jack and traveled around even by myself… nothing can compare to this desision … we just left everything for more than a year and took a step to dive into the unknown, putting our trust into ourselves and the universe … see what future brings!

It scares me so much that I have been delaying to leave the house … looking around of what else I need to pack, making Spyros frustrated :-p

We both had spent a lot of time talking about this and we were absolutely sure that this is what we want.. With a lot of circumstances going on, that seemed the best timing for this ”escape”.Although good things were happening for both of us in Rotterdam, the long and tiring winter, feeling a bit únder the weather in general and ”swamped” into the working – making money and a descent living – kinda thing, was not enough to keep us motivated. Something was missing, draging us down \making us realise we had to do something … a bit out of the usual routine we were going through all those years that we have both working non stop and hard! We had to follow our intuition and as you know whenever I have been looking for answers, the road always has something to show … sometimes extreme solutions need extreme measures I guess.

Both of us have our own ways of ”testing” our limits lets say, but this one, oh well … speaking for myself is definitely the craziest thing I’ve ever done and will give me a big smile just thinking about it when I hopefully turn 90 one day, and I will be telling stories of my adventures ”back in the days” …

One thing I know for sure? This is going to be a once in a lifetime experience and our lives are about to change for a while!

 

 

 

FINDING DARWIN…

 

Actually I never thought it would be so easy to leave Rotterdam. And I don’t mean … to decide it… I mean literaly leaving the city!That an epic journey like this would start with a simple pedaling. Have you ever thought about it? How it would it be instead of driving or walking at your office, to just continue down the road without having a clue where you end up that day? Without having the ”safety” of a home to come back.

Leaving Rotterdam
Leaving Rotterdam

Gives you a sense of freedom but also it’s a scary thought right? Well this is a bit of how I felt while we were cycling the first meters outside our house the first day!

Following Maas river you can find your way through all the small towns leading South-East, we would head towards Nijmegen and thereafter by following Waal river soon we would cross the boarders to Germany. Netherlands has great cycling paths and signs to find your way around even through the smallest village.

It seemed it would be a piece of cake right?

Well not really … at least the weather had other plans for us!

We knew that the first night we would have to face stormy weather and a lot of rain and we had arranged to stay at a friends in Gorinchem, Just 50km from Rotterdam. Unfortunately our stay got canceled since our host-friend had an urgent family matter and stayed in Amsterand and we would have to come up with another plan on the spot!

With no other options left, we decided to make an emergency ”tea-stop”

at Pavlov’s a really cool old – style pub in the middle of the town., Refresh a bit and check our maps to plan our route for the night … but the time was ticking and it was already getting late. We had to go, and cycle a bit in the night through the rain in order to get out of the town and find a possible spot to set our tent and sleep.

At the moment I was about to take Jack and go this is when we saw him! Darwin was just sitting outside a closed shop … on the window’s edge … waiting. I believe everything happens for a reason, and Darwin would be the little companion we would have with us on this trip! That moment this little blue fish-doll hitchhiked the trip of a lifetime and became part of the family 🙂

Rain became heavier … our breaths and cycling faster, we were cycling with no possible place to stay. But just after Vuren a little ”suprise” was waiting for us! We found a wide open camping, named ”the swans”, that would be our shelter from the rain. Pretty small and mostly occupied by campers and motorhomes… we easily found a little spot behind the trees and next to the river to set our tent and stay dry for the night!

Check out our video from our first night camping ”in the wild” 🙂

 

FOLLOW THE DIJK …

The next day we woke up really early, around 5:30 packed and made brekfast and coffee right next to Waal river and the still – sleepy – Tuil. Still cloudy but dry, the rays of the hidden Sun promised a good start of the day.

Morning coffee outside Tuil

The warm cup of coffee and peanut butter was encouraging enough to start covering some distance. And a short stop in an eco-farm we found on the way, filled my basket with eggs and the tastiest jam ever.

We would still have to cross Tiel and finally reach Nijmegen.

The only thing we would have to do is actually follow the ”Dijk” next to the river, heading East.

Tiel is a really nice historical city, and at the moment we arrrived there was the weekly market going on, so we could stock up on fresh bread, veggies and cheese for the road.

It’s a little bit tricky to find your way around the bridge in order to cross the river to the other side and continue to Nijmegen, but with a little help from a few local cyclists we managed!

Crossing the bridge to Nijmegen
Crossing the bridge to Nijmegen

We were so god damned suprised that we found a dutch city having a hill! Well this was my first impression when I saw the busy hilly center of Nijmegen 🙂 haha … now I can say that Netherlands is not totally flat :-p

From that point on we could follow Eurovelo 15 cycling path alongside Waal river… through beautiful dutch countryside landscapes, peaceful dijks, clear skies portaiyed by a few airballoons and the sun taking his setting course giving way to the evening colours!

 

 

 

 

This entry was posted in Cycling Sutras

2 thoughts on “Sutra 1 – Leaving Netherlands

  • Jamie September 17, 2016 at 10:42 am Reply

    Good luck and enjoy! Wishing you very safe travels and tailwinds the whole way

  • thina September 20, 2016 at 11:58 am Reply

    Thank you 🙂 I wish you a great time cycling down to Greece! Enjoy Croatia 🙂

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