Sunday, October 23, 2011

Now I know why Windmills are in rows

We straggled into Amsterdam on Saturday afternoon. I would like to tell you that we got better as the week went on - but we were all completely knackered by the time we reached Elodie for the last time.

There were sighs – and some sobs – of relief – as we clattered onto the docks in the centre of Amsterdam to be greeted by our Skipper Michel – and dragged our aching bums up the gangplank. It was not just me who was feeling the strain – almost everyone was doing it tough by the end.

When we had our final dinner together they asked us what the highlight of the tour was, I said for me that it was reaching the Elodie each evening. The last 10 kilometres each day were always the toughest and were always excruciating.

There were no young people on this tour – and I was not the oldest by a long way – so some people had a harder time than I did – but I am sure no one had knees as bad as mine and I did have to take one morning off during the week to give them a bit of a break.

However – it was a sensational trip and we will certainly never see a country more beautiful – or windier – or wetter - than Holland. 

I finally discovered what a Polder is and how Windmills really work – and why they are in rows.  I sure waited a long time to find that out.

Holland is bird and duck heaven. And I have never seen so many birds in sanctuaries. We took hundreds of photos but many of them were taken in a hurry because if you let the pack get away you could not catch them again without an effort that would damn near kill you.

In answer to the question as to why in October. Well – last year we cycled in Italy in August and nearly died of heat exhaustion. Determined not to repeat this mistake we thought we would go later in the year when it would be cooler.

I did not realise that in Holland at the end of October the conditions would be like they are in Lapland. I mean – in my bag I had sandals and shorts and my swimming trunks! Good grief – what was I thinking?

We survived only by putting on each day all the clothes that we brought with us. I had luckily brought a beanie and gloves which I have never taken off. What I really needed was the gear I am preparing for Norway in January.

Anyway – here we are in Amsterdam – now in a hotel. The hotel is excellent. This time I got the hotel just right – the location however is another matter. But it is only a 20 minute tram ride from the city – or we could hire a bike. Yeh right!


  1. Glad you made it and had a good time in my home country, even if it nearly killed you. Next time do Italy in October and Holland in August ;) Although even in August you are not guaranteed to have good weather.

  2. It appears that a motorized bicycle would be a good thing.

    And ... Windmills are in a row because ________ .?

    Here are my guesses:

    a) so birds can fly in a straight line
    b) to signal UFO's at great distance
    c) if you stand in just the right spot you'll see fewer of them
    d) they are an easier target for enemy artillery
    e) the secret night time Dutch Fling Transport System. Members of the DFTS jump on a windmill blade that then hurls them toward the next windmill, landing in a yonder ponder. That was 'fling', not 'flying'. A ponder is a pond in a polder. Inspired by flying squirrels.

  3. see what happens when I am away for a few days.... there are heaps more adventures of the Badger! Great posts mate

  4. But you haven't let us in on the secret...

  5. My family and I hoped to do a bike and barge trip in Holland last summer, but ended up just doing "bike and hotels." We loved it! I found your blog through Our View From Wien and I'm a new follower. I blog about Europe too - would love a follow back at

  6. Miss Footloose: What an excellent idea - we just got the months mixed up.

    esbboston: The last one is nearly correct. I will reveal all in my next blog.

    Simon: Thanks a lot cobber.

    Merricks: Just a bit longer.

    Sonja: I will do that.

    Smedette:Recovering nicely.