Day 2. Egmond aan Zee to Hilarides via the Afsluitdijk..

Distance Cycled 107km. Average 17.9km/h.

The day started in an early spring cool damp sort of way and on the overcast side of sunny. After crawling out of sleeping bags, (and in Karen's case out of her tent as well), we sat in the Ninja Pumpkin and made some breakfast. The fayre as usual was strong coffee with powdered milk and sugar and toast. Karen seemed quite impressed with our in-tent organisation skills. This surprised us quite a lot as we always feel that instant and complete disorganisation springs up as soon as we start unpacking our Ortliebs.

Anyway we appreciated the feedback as it is sometimes hard to place one's own experiences and routines in the context of those of others. It was nice to see that the idea of toast for breakfast whilst camping seemed to amuse her as well. So a good start to the day and yesterday's dinner, although not entirely forgotten, was yesterday's dinner.

Surprisingly we ended up rushing a bit to get packed up for the ten o'clock rendevous with Paul at the entrance to the campsite. We made it with a few minutes to spare and that gave those with now full bladders the chance to relieve themselves at the nearby shower block.

Paul turned up all of forty-five seconds late, which if we had been using the Dutch Railways method of calculating if a train is late was still two minutes and fifteen seconds away from being late. Luckily, Paul took some photos of this meeting which for some inexplicable reason seemed as momentus as the moment when Livingstone and Stanley bumped into each other in Africa. A quick fiddle of clothing and gear and we headed slowly out of the campsite and back down the road the three of us had cycled the evening before.

My body was not fully awake and my bike felt very heavy and slow, but thankfully conditions were fair and the first section, along an internal dyke path was flat. We ran along the first of many fields of tulips this being the part of the Netherlands where much cultivation of bulb flowers takes place. This was followed by another lovely dune section as we headed up the coast.

The cycling was easy aided by good off-road surfaces and tarmac. A little further up we encountered some hairy beasties that looked large and threatening, in the landscape without scale. Paul scoffed at our slight concern and merrily took photos. Then as we approached the wildlife it turned out that not only were they quite small but also mostly harmless. This scenery is quite typical of much of the West Coast dune sections and included some fairly young woodland for a bit of variety.

Just before half eleven we hit the large sea dyke at the coast at Camperduin and took in the wonderful view. The weather by now had picked up and the sun was warm and the sky bright. Our timing was a bit off as we were just a little early for lunch and a little late for 'koffie en appelgebak'.

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