Sunday, 24 July 2011

I'm in Germany

I am in Emmerich am Rhein, in a dodgy internet cafe/casino combi. It is day 4 of my ride and my legs are holding up ok, though I don't feel anything like as fresh as I did on earlier days. Internet cafes are thinner on the ground than anticipated so I'll update this properly at the end. Excuse any spelling mistakes, not used to German keyboards.

Here are some things I wrote down over the past few days:

Day 1 - Halifax to Hull
7 hours 47 minutes, 139km, average speed 17.8km/h

Long and hard day, with a bit of time wasted getting lost. Crossing Yorkshire was never going to be easy!

Day 2 - Europort, Rotterdam
6 hours 5 minutes, 116km, ave. speed 19.0 km/h

A highlight of today took place after what turned out to be a wrong turn. After walking through a tunnel made of bent over willow trees I came out onto a landing platform looking out over a river. There was a boat on the other side and a large brass bell to my right. I rang it and waved to the ferry man, who then set off slowly towards me. I got on board and asked him in German what the toll was. He said something in Dutch and pointed to the ticket: 75 cents. Pushing my bike up the dike on the other side past the the man's weary looking dog, I thought how this would probably be one of the few people I met on this trip with whom I don't share a common language.
In the campsite in Woudrichem the man in the tent next to mine tells me "I speak all of the languages of the world."
I'm very tired but it's been a wonderful day. The National Park of "De Biesbosch' was pretty astounding and not much like anything I've seen before - wide meadows full of reeds amd river birds and really empty.
And the Lekkerland around Kinderdijk was really gorgeous. It has 19 windmills from the 1730s arrangeed in a straight line either side of the water ways with a bike route down the middle.
Great day.

Damn, run out of time!

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