Friday, September 7, 2012
The Road to Zuid Laren
The weather was great, could not have asked for a better hiking day, sunshine a little wind, but not too hot. After an early breakfast (7AM) I first mailed a pound of unneeded balast so I did not have to carry that. Then it took me close to an hour to hike out of the city and get into the countryside.
Lots of water everywhere, I walked along a canal for about an hour, past lakes and streams. Got to the next village: Haren and was looking forward to a nice cup of coffee there. BUT this is Holland and on Monday morning just about everything is closed. No coffee anywhere to be had. That was not too bad but what about lunch? I decided to make a detour through another village in hopes of finding a cafe or restaurant open for lunch. Big mistake, nothing was open, so except for an apple as a snack I had nothing to eat and had to find the trail back again.
Just when I did, I noticed a snackbar that was open and at least had something to eat and a badly needed rest because I probably had done 15 km by then. That was about the point where the landscape changed. For the first 2 and a half days I walked through green fields and wide open spaces with few trees (Groningen), now I crossed into the next province (Drenthe) and within a few kms it turned to forests, smaller fields, different agriculture and small (er) scale farming. Much prettier and friendlier to look at. I love Drenthe where I spent quite some time with Rob during our last trip together. Also last year Margriet and I managed to spent a day there biking through lovely heather fields and forests.
As a matter of fact when we were in Holland with the four of us about 20 years ago we biked through that same area (Dwingelo), watching a real the sheep herd with a shepard. The next 4 days I'll be walking through Drenthe and since the weather forecast is good I look forward to that very much.
Just before I reached the final destination there was a sign to 'hunebedden'. Those are 5,000 year old graves of the first inhabitants of Holland, huge piles of huge rocks under which their dead were buried. A very short side trip took me there. I had seen those once before, 55 years ago when I toured Holland with my parents.
Got to the B&B, but first found a bar open and had my well deserved beer for the day.
My feet are fine, no blisters, but my neck is hurting from the pack. I need to adjust it because it does not seem to fit well.
Time for a shower!