All dreams of slacklining in Iran or Bangladesh was set aside today as a brief but emotional seremony took place to honor us lowering it into a wheelie bin. Practicality had to take control as the thing weighed about 10kg and was not fun for Sam to cycle with, it was a great present from Sheena and had bought us hours of fun back home.
Our small campsite was a great place to relax and sort out all our gear. Sheenas pile of half dried post wash clothes had started to smell (it had chucked it down with rain the day after she washed them) so they could be re-washed and dried properly. It was a working farm situated at the end of a romantic tree lined boulevard through fields and farmland, a small quiet site where we made use of a nearby tree for hanging clothes – quickly making it look like a gypsy camp. Nice touches such as an honesty box near a fridge full of cold beers and soft drinks made it a nice place to spend the night – our last night in Holland.
We successfully had an early start, up at 6 and packed up by 7. Cycling early in the morning seems both physically and mentally easier, roads are quiet and the air is cool. We wound down the KMs quickly passing a landscape that changed from the typically flat, tiny pony ridden scenes we had become accustomed to, to one with more forested and gently rolling hills.
As with the Belgian/Dutch border, the Dutch/German border had no marker or sign which was quite disappointing. The idea that you can just pass with ease through two countries and barely notice is alien coming from an island country that shares no land borders. Car number plates were the only real distinction until the bright yellow road signs and the increasing speeds that German made cars were hurtling towards us.
We did manage one last cheeky visit to see our friend Albert Heijn to stock up on sauces before the food (taste) desert that Germany can be. Now we have made good progress into Germany and are staying somewhere quite bizarre. It can only really be described as the cross between allotments where people live and a gypsy camp. Small plots where people seem to have no intention of removing their caravans are surrounded by every possible kitch plastic object – sitting dogs, gnomes, personalized name plates, windmills, flags – everything, and lots of it! The site is next to a lake, so after an ice cold beer we were able to have a refreshing swim – quite the luxury for two sweaty cyclists!