Germany, The Netherlands

The past few weeks since Amsterdam have been tough. It’s been non-stop cycling averaging 80-100 kms per day. The reason is so that we make our ferry booked for October 3rd that’s headed to the Faroe Islands. There was no time to do anything except eat, sleep and cycle so we are now catching up on blog posts! Cycling like this is definitely not as enjoyable to us as when we usually cycle; taking our time, staying in places longer if we really like them etc so this was a big challenge for us.

We left Amsterdam in the pouring rain. It’s not such a good feeling when the clouds look like they’re set in for the day. Well the rain did definitely rain ALL the daylong day! Thankfully we had a little break from the rain when crossing the river leaving Amsterdam via a ferry. On the other side we cycled along a canal for quite a while which was nice. I’ve never been so soaked in my life.

We were headed for a little town in the north called Anna Paulowna, where our Warmshowers hosts lived. 85 km later, with the last 5 km in sunshine we arrived at Lia and Nic’s cute little home. Lia showed us where our room was, all set with a tv, kettle, tea and coffee and, most important, the wifi code! We were able to wash our wet clothes and she even dried our shoes for us meanwhile making us a delicious dinner. Too spoilt we were! Over dinner we learned of Lia and Nic’s adventure on the bicycle – Lia has more than Nic! Cycling in Poland, Vietnam, New York, Cuba, Tibet and I can’t remember more. Amazing stories!

Waking up from a dreamy sleep and leaving with a full tummy, we left Anna Paulowna heading on a 94 km ride to a little town getting closer to Germany. After fixing a broken spoke on my bike that happened the day before, we set off on our journey which included cycling along the afsluitdijk – a 30km stretch of road with water on each side. We were lucky as the wind was coming from behind so we had a bit of extra help and another plus was we had no rain that day J Another night was spent with a Warmshowers host, this time called Juuk. He was an interesting man who was really into arm wrestling. We were exhausted from the ride so headed to bed early.

With 80 km until our next host, we woke up early to get to their place in good time. It was now the third big day in a row and the constant long distance cycling was taking its toll on us. Particularly our legs and my bottom haha. But, we had to push on! Our ferry to the Faroe Islands was booked for October 3rd leaving from the top of Denmark and to make it there we had to keep going!

We were staying in a town only 10 km from the border of Northern Germany. Harm and Reina greeted us at their lovely home. They are organic milk farmers and Harm was a politician in the Dutch government for 14 years. We had some interesting conversations and in the morning before we left, Harm gave us a tour of his milk farm which was great to see. We thanked them for their hospitality and headed to Germany!

Crossing the ‘border’ was quite funny. There were no signs or anything, jus google maps showing that at this intersection, one side was Germany and the other, The Netherlands. Growing up on an island such as Australia and not having any other countries bordering it, the thought of just crossing the road and being in a different country is crazy!!! I love it haha.

The next night, we stayed with a couple around our parents’ age who had two sons of similar ages to us. We had a lovely night with so much laughing – their humour was great – and had a yummy meal of cheesy pasta! They had a really nice home and we sat by the fire in the evening, talking. They haven’t done any cycle touring themselves but are into cycling a lot! Uwe was into racing and Anneke, mountain biking! Both usually cycle to work every single day – 30 kms there, and 30 kms back. Even in the rain! They say they don’t think they will ever do cycle touring for longer than a week but we have a feeling they’ll get into it!!!! Who knows, maybe they’ll end up cycling to Australia 🙂

Sadly, the next morning it was raining again!!! Waking up and looking out that it’s raining, knowing you have a long way to cycle is not a good feeling but once again we pushed through! Next stop: Oldenburg, Germany. We made it to Oldenburg and stayed with a couple with two little girls and had a good night chatting about their previous cycle tours. Mostly in France, our favourite 🙂

The next night we had an amazing night with Martina and her 24 year old daughter Lene and her friend Hilke. It was so great to chat to people of a similar age and we had many laughs and great conversations. We reallyyyyyyy didn’t want to leave the next day haha so we prolonged it to leaving the latest we have ever left – 12 pm haha. The house was beautiful as well. Our room had the most amazing view into the green fields.

Dreading the next night knowing we had to camp, we arrived at about 8pm in the pitch black of the night! It was freezing cold and I made pesto pasta on our stove in the dark. As it’s now autumn in Europe and out of the peak season of camping, we only paid 8 euro for the night. One of the lowest priced campsites we’ve stayed in!

The next morning, we cycled 40 kms to Puttgarden, where a 45 minute ferry leaves Germany and goes across to Denmark!

Thank you so much to all the warmshowers’ hosts we’ve stayed with! It really is a massive help and also a great way to get to know the locals 🙂


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