Wind. Mostly a head wind but in our last two days in the Netherlands it has been a glorious, albeit very wet, tail wind. The Netherlands has been a great host for us, the people have been friendly and the cycling infrastructure is the best I have ever used. Culturally it has been fascinating; the narrative I received at school was that Britain had ruled the high seas with no mention of the amazing contributions made by the Dutch.
In modern times, despite the high population density, the Dutch people seem to have maintained a connection to the environment with a multitude of outdoor recreation spaces and camp sites seemingly in every farm. We quickly found that a search for ‘minicampings’ yielded smaller campsites runs to supplement the farm income.
We found these campsites friendly and interesting and they gave me two of the best memories of the Netherlands (apart from the joy of riding on the top deck of a double decker train).
1. Arriving at a campsite after 50 very hot kilometers to be greeted by the Farmer, we asked about camping and were told to ‘follow the farmer’. He then commented that we looked like we needed a cold beer and promptly returned with two ice cold bottles – probably the best beer of the trip.
2. We found a campsite with space for 8 tents surrounded by fruit trees with chickens scratching around under them, we paid our 19 euros (compare this to UK camping prices) were given 4 home grown cucumbers and were told to pick as many plums as we wanted.
If you have never cycle toured you should start with the Netherlands. There are a multitude of accomadation options, fascinating towns and friendly people.
Oh and they have stroopwaffles…..
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