Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Apparently Holland is beautiful

Zierikzee Netherlands
There is no Internet at all on the boat. We are staying at a small Dutch port that has WiFi.

For the last four days we have cycled 50 kilometres every day – mostly into fierce headwinds. Apparently the Dutch only have headwinds.

The weather is freezing. Sometimes it rains.

I am told that the Dutch countryside is beautiful but I am solely focused on getting back to the boat before death overtakes me.

I focus on staying on the wheel of the person in front of me. I grit my teeth and knees and pedal like a loon. 

I think our tour leader was a former Dutch Olympic cyclist. In the morning she takes off and leaves a trail of gasping cyclists in her wake. She has thighs of steel.

She stops every now and then to enable us to catch up and we flop sobbing in heaps at the side of the road.

After 10 minutes she boots us back onto our bikes and we have to try and keep up with her because without her we are finished – Holland consisting mainly of water and dykes - and the tour leader has the only map.

The food is sensational as we have a real chef who cooks gourmet food. His name is Sander and he is only 26 but has cooked all over the world. I am usually too tired to eat but Cate mashes mine up and feeds it to me.

Cate is taking lots of photos so that when we get back to Vienna I can see where we have been.


  1. I am having a tired painful day recovering from eXhaustion, no/little sleep, headache, on the road because of a death in the family, and so I cracked up laughing just reading the title, thinking, oh, this is going to be good. Tour de Netherworld, oops, Netherlands. I'm just glad Cate is taking care of you.

    Today's Captcha Word: ovenint - Thanksgiving code word for "t"-urkey goes in the oven. Opposite of 'ovenoutt'.

  2. I am so glad Cate is still in good enough shape to feed you when night falls! You must both be fitter than a fiddle by the time you return. Or, well, let's think positive! ;-)

    The picture shows a truly beautiful, very Dutch countryside along the canal (waterways? who knows!).

  3. That's a beautiful picture - you will enjoy it when you have recovered and your eyes can focus :)

    I have always been told that Vegemite was a NZ invention ...

  4. Argh Badger -takes me back to Italy 2010 when we cycled 75km in the pouring rain and the highlight of the day was the hot dog and mars bar at the roadside cafe.At least there are no hills in Holland so you can't detour by mistake up a bloody big hill (which i think was probably my fault). Enjoy - so glad I am sitting in sunny Sydney and not on a bike in freezing Holland. Love to Cate and G. llamax

  5. Can't you get one of those bikes with a little motor?
    I don't think I would EVER do a bike-riding holiday - too many sweaty bits and pieces.

    (And Alexia - say it aint so!!
    Take a look at this - we are claiming vegemite as our own!

  6. I examined your photo closely and it's depth feel great, I think its because the brighter horizontal middle is sandwiched between a darker top and bottom. Nice. Cate's photo?

    Hah! Today's captcha word is a real one: futon

  7. I guess one good thing about being so exhausted, you may not be able to feel the pain your bum because I'll bet it's bloody sore. Glad you're having fun.

  8. Glad you are having a good time.. i guess.. at least the two of you are together which, with Cate's travel schedule, is almost a novelty.
    VERY glad Cate is clearly offline and taking some time out!! Take care and be back safely!

    .. btw.. Billy jsut returned with his new boots ;)

  9. @ Rozalin:
    Billy will need a warm winter coat too, what with the temperatures we are having! ;-)

  10. the Netherlands? Nice enough but flat.


    That's about it. Oh and try the poffertjes. And various beers. And a rijstafel.

  11. Holland is beautiful and I've always wanted to take a bicycle tour there.

    Maybe not...

  12. As an expat Dutchie (now living in Moldova) I love seeing that picture. Yes, Holland is beautiful -- when it is sunny and warm and it doesn't rain and it isn't cold.

    So, what possessed you to do this biking tour in bloody OCTOBER??

  13. seriously badger, i don't know where you get the energy from!

  14. © Miss Footloose:
    He gets a kick out of braving the worst conditions human being can bear.

    Suffering can be o so sweet ... ;-)

  15. esbboston:We take turns taking care of each other. It was a daily struggle.

    Merisi: I wish I could say we were fitter. But we are both exhausted.

    Alexia: Vegemite a Kiwi Invention? Oh Please! You should not claim anything after beating the frogs by only 1 point.

    Llama: That day will live forever in my memory - and 90K. But this time I do not have your delicious rear end chase.

  16. freefalling: seriously considering that for next year!

    esbboston: Yes it is Cate's - she has an eye.

    Sandy: Oh we feel the pain all right!

    Rozalin: Well - she cannot use her BB while riding - but spends her time on the boat with it.

    white rabbit: have only had time for the beers so far.

    smedette: It is fine if you don't ride at top speed for three hours.

    Miss Footloose: See new blog!

    A new girl in vienna: Insanity helps