Day 3. Hilarides to Vierhuizen.

Distance Cycled 100km. Average 19km/h.

We awoke to a bright fresh sunny Easter Sunday morning with the cock crow. The grass and all of the tents were damp by varying degrees, Karen's being the worst. Her tent was very light and given its tendency to gather moisture on the interior of the outer tent would be ideal for a cycling trip across the Sahara. You would never need to look for water.

We ate breakfast and then got ready to go. As I feared, my knees were rather sore and I bandaged them as we gathered by the toilet block. Starting off in the sun and with a stiff headwind, I was not sure if I was going to be able to finish the morning cycle, let alone the day. Fortunately after the first five kilometres or so we turned back onto the coast and as we turned east the wind became more and more favourable. This helped me a lot and my knees could warm up without straining too much. Now back on the coast it was business as usual as regards the cycling, terrain and the view. Not long after, we passed quickly through industrial and picturesque Harlingen before returning to large sea dyke territory again. With the wind in our backs we were making good time once more.

At our stop in Hippolytushoef the day before, Damae and Karen had picked up some chocolate mini eggs. At around half eleven we stopped in the sun and wind for an Easter Sunday egg eating session. As we had been cycling we'd spotted a number of hares and rabbits running around doing hare and rabbit like things. "Easter Bunnies" we shouted out and were enjoying the Dutch dyke and sheep countryside. In truth this section was not that interesting but it was easy cycling.

Still the eggs were egg-like the sheep sheep-like and to complete the picture Paul was Paul-like. The sun was up, the wind very favourable, and we stopped momentarily to record yet another statue commemorating something. An hour of good progress later, we were ready for another stop and maybe a spot of lunch. We arrived in Zwarte Haan, and read the notices about the history of the place, all details of which have since escaped me entirely. We also noticed a restaurant (originally named 'de Zwarte Haan') with a sheltered sunny terrace. It seemed like the ideal place for a spot of lunch.

Shortly after we sat down it got somewhat busier, as other people thought the same. Initially the idea was to buy lunch here and eat it. However it took some time to get the menu and then none of us were inspired by it. So we decided to stop for coffee and apple tart instead.

They appeared to be short staffed today and even just coffee and cake took some time to arrive. Luckily we were not in a particular rush. Although our coffee and cake was not as good as the fayre in Hippolytushoef, it was most welcome and we sat enjoying the sun. We could have sat there a couple more hours but as we had a higher goal we decided to get on with it. We slowly got ourselves going with visits to the toilet. I crammed a sandwich or two into my mouth as I stood by my bike waiting.

Next page