Today started with a little trepidation…. our days had been starting poorly because of poor signage so we spent extra time making sure that we looked at the trail guide book to find the best way to the town.
The Netherlands is really an amazing place for cyclists! There are all sorts…. racers, the young, the elderly, students and their bikes… racing bikes, cruisers, Hollander bikes, E-bikes, multiple speed, single speed. And anywhere you look, literally anywhere, there are bikes…. here’s an example…
Bikes are everywhere…. but at times the signage could use some help. Like today…
The book said to get on the trail on the far side of the train station then turn left following the signs. What the book failed to mention was that this particular route out was transported from the Himalayas! The guy who said “Holland is flat”. Must be the same guy who’s says “Iowa is flat”.
The hills here in this part of the Netherlands rivals most of what we see in Iowa on RAGBRAI. Not my favorite thing to do…. riding hills. I hate hills!! And these hills are in a forest to boot. Pretty scenery but not real fun to drive in either…. the shade and shadows make it hard to follow the trail… bumps and cracks are obscured. And we don’t want anyone getting hurt.
We found the initial signs telling us we were on the right track when somewhere over by the Airborne Museum we lost the bubble. We turned where we believed the museum was and we were done for at that point. We went down from the earlier top of the hills to the bottom. It was then we realized we’d need to climb back up and out of the area if we were ever to find the correct trail again.
Finally, after climbing the hills on our bikes, we started on the right path again. Turns out that while we got delayed on this part of the trip, Clear sailing was coming!!
Now we started riding through many beautiful areas of the Netherlands. Fields and farms, small towns and churches.
And we started to see windmills too. It was exciting to see these items of days past.
We were excited of course but also anxious to finish our ride for the day. We did well stopping for a bite to eat and rehydration.
The ride continued well. We did have to cross the river at one point on a ferry…. but the Skipper seemed to have a little trouble….
Finally he got it onshore and we boarded… it was a quick trip to the other shore. From there it was a short drive to Gorinchem.
Gorinchem is a lovely town and has an exciting walled city center on an island! And our hotel was probably the most unique one I’ve ever been too.
The owner, Bert, owns 5 buildings in the area and has converted them to hotel rooms, along with a reception desk in one building, a “Lobby Bar” in another building and breakfast dining room in a third building. Truly amazing!
But the really amazing part was when you got to the room!
Bedroom, kitchenette and bathroom were all spacious. This one is a keeper!!
There were also some unique items in the rooms….
I love the deer rack toilet paper holder!!
Dinner was at a lovely Greek Restaurant overlooking one of the canals. Great food and the entertainment was interesting too!That was a war canoe paddling down the canal! In a month, they will have races of war canoes! Quite a festival in Gorinchem!!
Bedtime came and we all went to bed…. enjoying the comfort! Tomorrow, DAY 16 and Stage 12….. Gorinchem to Hook of Holland and the North Sea