Day 4. Vierhuizen to Delfzijl.

Distance Cycled 66.5km. Average 19.1km/h.

The bright orange glow inside the Wind-4 told us that a) it was morning and b) it must be sunny outside. It was a quarter to eight when I tramped out of the tent which was quite early considering it was a holiday. Damae was already packing vigorously as I went to find out how Paul was doing. I discovered that he was performing his classic (soon to be world famous) impersonation of an emerging pupa. Our luck with the weather was holding but once outside the tent we realised that in spite of the sun it was rather chilly. To add to the nip in the air there was a distinct breeze which much to our relief turned out later to be mostly favourable.

Having already cycled three hundred and twenty kilometres, (the distance the NSCR website suggested we would have to cycle from from Hoek van Holland to Delfzijl) we realised that there must have been something wrong with their distance calculator (or the way we used it). Fortunately on checking our maps we realised that today would be a lot shorter than the first three days and hence do-able. We were glad we had pushed on at the beginning of the trip as Paul, Damae and I had to work the following day. After getting to Delfzijl we would still have a train journey of more than three hours before we would arriving in Utrecht. So something like three and a half hours cycling fitted well with our day.

We were glad of the space and warmth that the Wind-4 provided despite its relatively high weight. There was plenty of room for all of us to sit inside out of the breeze and eat breakfast. It would have been a different trip if we had had to eat outside. Thus breakfast was the usual relaxed affair with the Trangia warming up the tent nicely as we made toast and coffee.

Then it was a case of getting going as quickly as possible as it was rather chilly indeed. The heavy dew had not only settled on the grass, but was also to be found on the insides of our tents. Karen's tent once again won the wetness prize for the day, and would have kept us from dehydrating in the Mahgreb. Paul's tent, an earlier version of the Eureka Moonshadow Duo had faired somewhat better, and the Wind-4 with the large groundsheet and significantly larger area of fabric was the driest. However it must have picked up quite a lot of moisture in total as it was somewhat heavier than when fully dry.

Before nine we had assembled by the toilet block for a last visit before heading down the long driveway and back onto the route. This was a good early start even taking into consideration that we only had around seventy kilometres more to do. Vierhuizen (transl. four houses) as we discovered the evening before had grown somewhat since it was named and we passed a few more of the 'huizen' as we left. Funnily enough we had noticed the same when we hit Vijfhuizen earlier that day.

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