Day 2-2. Krummhörn-Upleward to Hooksiel contd.
A few minutes later we went through another sheep grid/gate combination which took us back onto a sheep free territory. We could cycle at full speed without having to worry about animals suddenly darting in front of us. We passed a large traditional farmhouse consisting of a brick built house with a large barn behind it. You can find buildings like in North Holland, Friesland, Groningen and Ostfriesland - these areas form what used to be 'Greater Friesland'. There are still cultural and architectural links to be found.
We were about ready for a short break, having been on the bikes for three quarters of an hour or so. Next village on the map was Greetsiel and we rolled into town just after nine in the morning. In the centre there was a signpost which pointed us in the direction of Norddeich which we would be cycling through later in the morning. Around the corner there was a bakery and fresh bread smells wafted out onto the street. Hmmmm, fresh bread. Damae popped into the shop to buy a loaf of bread and a snack for each of us whilst I took a picture of the harbour mouth. As with Weener there were similarities with small towns in North Holland that were also once important trading posts when this part of Europe was a 'world power'.
We left Greetsiel at a quarter past nine and followed the signs out of town. We chose not to take the big loop out to Marienhafe and followed the alternative marked on our Bikeline map. We stopped to oil one of Damae's pedals which had started clicking slightly and then carried on to the modern Dutch style swing bridge at the lock gates between Norder Tief and Leybucht. We arrived as the red lights started flashing and the barriers lowered.
Once the bridge had lowered we carried on and rejoined the NSCR as it headed inland towards Norden. We had some more brick pave and in places it was quite smooth whilst in other places it was rather rougher. You had to be careful in choosing where you cycled as the places where the road had sagged created quite large gaps between the bricks. The route skirted the southern edge of Norden where we turned sharp left and headed past Flüthörn towards the sea dyke. Once we arrived we turned to the right and almost immediately arrived at the edge of Norddeich. It was time for elevensies and we found a bench with a view of the beach and swimming pool and the North Sea. I noticed that my dirt protector on the bidon containing cooking oil was doing its job. Although I wasn't quite sure how long the rubber thimble would stay put.
We packed up and headed on, the next section would be along the coast so more dykes and windmills. There wasn't much in the way of villages before Dornumersiel, a good twenty five kilometres further along. As we left Norddeich with the wind mostly behind us, the sun made some feeble attempts at appearing which lightened the grey sky a little. Fifteen minutes later the road turned into a no-through road for motorised traffic as the road was blocked by a gate. Now we could make uninterrupted use of the tailwind, and raced towards Dornumersiel past more windmills. The sky was still grey but it wasn't too cold and it felt good to be making good progress.
We went through Dornumersiel rather slowly past the Meerwasser Freibad that was apparently 'solarbeheizt'. As there was no real sunlight to be seen we wondered just how warm the water was today. We picked our way slowly out of Dornumersiel and raced on towards Bensersiel. A half hour later, just as we were about to rejoin the L5 road we spotted some steps going up the dyke to a picnic bench. It was now close to one o'clock and we decided it was high time for lunch. After parking up the bikes we took the Trangia and our packed lunches up to the top of the dyke and sat there enjoying the view over the large beachside campsite.
Unlike Camping Am Deich, the campsite at Bensersiel was on the seaward side of the sea dyke. This would make it a very windy place should a storm come in from the North Sea. The advantage of the location was an uninterrupted view of the the North Sea, that is, for those right next to the beach.