To Arnhem

Following from our last post we have made it across much of the Netherlands, as pointed our before it has been exceptionally hot and with a fairly brisk headwind so progress has been quite tough. All in all, far from the walk in the park warm up it was supposed to be, it has been a mini sandpit training ground for what is likely to come; heat, humidity, headwinds, route finding, wet weather and bike repair basic training has now been completed. Entering into Germany and intermediate level all day rain, traffic and hill training has commenced. Its hard work!

Our day getting out of Arnhem (which we didn’t really get to see as we got lost on the way in and the closest campsite was full so we were about 10km away).

Today we started off proceedings at Albert Heijn (The most amazing supermarket in the world!) We sorted ourselves out for breakfast and lunch, made use of the free wifi for route mapping and availed of the amazingly delicious free coffee. In all fairness, it may be a touch more expensive than other supermarkets, but the perks and the selection of goods make it worth the trip. Actually, scrap that. The free coffee alone makes it my favourite supermarket EVER!

Tummies filled and escape route from Arnhem planned, we hit the road. Sam navigated us through a dense city. Arnhem was much bigger than we first thought, but we made it out alive. Navigating through cities is my least favourite part of cycling. I can never seem to maintain a sense of direction.

Our day involved cycling along the top of dykes, past some fairly busy bathing spots along the Rhine.

About 12ish, bellies started rumbling and it was definitely time for me to cover up my pale skin to protect against the afternoon sun. Today was thankfully much sunnier than yesterday. Our waterproofs stayed redundant and the freckle count has risen significantly. For me that is, not Sam. Although, I have my suspicions that they may be catching. He has three on his face where I’m sure he’s never had any before. We picked up a few supplies and found a bench to enjoy our lunch on in BEJHFHEUHFIUHE

A slight reluctance to get out of bed and a bad habit of tapping the snooze button meant that we were a little later on the road today than we would have liked. We have cycled into the wind all day. We did discuss which is worse, a head wind or a hill. I think a head wind. It is so heartbreaking to cycling on the flat and feel like you’re going backwards. We’ll put it all down to experience though and keep on smiling. We had a shorter day planned than our previous two days of cycling and so we knew we wouldn’t be very late arriving, even taking into account the backstabbing, pain in the backside breeze. There’s nothing quite as nice as arriving at a campsite with lots of time to relax, sort out gear, do any washing required and carry out any of the numerous tasks that accompany living off your bike.

When we arrived at our campsite, we were thrilled skinny to find it cheaper than most others. It even included our showers, wifi and they gave us a table and two chairs to use. The luxury! Sure we don’t know ourselves. Having replenished stocks earlier at AH (Albert Heijn Supermarkets will be referred to only as this from now on…..) we were able to it back make the most of our evening. Chatting to my Dad, tidying panniers, and of course, the wee bit of typing to be done.

As I type, we are currently cooking some spuds (You can take the girl out of Ireland……) and some tasty mince. Afterwards, we’ll be looking at our route for tomorrow and planning the day ahead. Life is good! Another day under our belts and we are both starving. And tired. But mostly happy. Our days are filled with finding windmills, competitive raptor spotting and generally enjoying the world as it goes past. I spend each day with my best friend. What more could a girl want?

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