…was our 5th and final cycling day on this trip! It feels like we have just got into the swing of things, and now we change to holiday mode for a couple of days in Amsterdam.
It was a pretty usual start to the day, damp and grey both weather and mood! We had forgotten to buy milk last night so had a slightly stale teacake for first breakfast. And then not long after starting stopped for second breakfast on a bench outside the supermarket!
Signage has been the biggest problem today, so leaving Utrecht took a while, but we were soon on the canal and pumping along.
Then we saw a windmill just off the path and decided to go for a photo by it. It turned out to be a working windmill, restored to 1930 splendour, both inside and out. The volunteer who runs it was excited to see us, and obviously so passionate about it. He saw us coming down the path so quickly set it going, even though he hadn’t quite got the sails ready! ‘I thought you would like to see it working, I can do the sails later!’
It started turning, but before it got up to speed we were ushered inside. It seemed rather Tudor, with small beds in cupboards and big beams. This one was apparently 260yrs old. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but if pressed I think I would have guessed that most of the windmills are flour mills, but not so. Most of the windmills dotting the Dutch landscape are for pumping water. Here is my big lesson for the week. Over 50% of Holland is below sea level, so it has been littered with dykes and mills like this one would pump water out of the plains making them inhabitable. This is mostly done by electric pumps now, when these show pieces aren’t working. It was a delightful, unexpected excursion.
As we cycled away we could see the man climbing the sails to put the covers so, remarkable!
The rest of the way was uneventful, unless you count Pete’s shoe breaking as an event!? Actually, that is a lie, there was an event. Such an exciting that a woman said, ‘I bet you are glad that you were here to take part in this adventure.’ A tree had fallen across the road, completely blocking it. We had to go round through a woodlands path- so so much an adventure after-all. The route signage remained a problem. I then think I may have briefly cycled alongside Chuck Norris!?
Finding the campsite wasn’t too hard, and although the my map suggested a 24km trip on the roads, every waterway had a cycle bridge!! So we were soon at the campsite.
Camping Zeeburg is quite a festival type site, with lots of suspicious smells but a fun atmosphere. We found a small space to squeeze in and pitched then headed into town.
12 o’Clock Photos