Day 8-1. Tönning to Højer.Distance D 126.8 km Max 31.5 km/h Time 7.08.00 Average 17.8 km/h
Distance S 127.5 km Max 32.0 km/h Time 6.58:54 Average 18.2 km/h
I awoke to the sound of a stiff breeze. I wondered which way it was blowing. A quick peek outside the tent confirmed that it was going the right way, for us in any case. Pity the poor souls cycling South today.
By seven thirty we were mostly packed and finishing off our breakfast and by eight we were ready to go. We picked our way slowly through the centre of town, past a wonderful old farmhouse of a type you also find in Holland or Denmark and then through the leafy outskirts of Tönning. Not long afterwards we burst out into open countryside, hopped over a railway line and ten minutes later arrived in the metropolis of Oldenswort.
Oldenswort went by in a flash and we headed East across the polder landscape to the next village of Witzwort. On the outskirts of Witzwort we found another fine example of the leaning brick built church. The church might once have had a proper tower, but now it had a small steeple plonked onto the roof of the church with a small clock at the base of it. At the other end of the church, next to the road there were three impressively large brick buttresses holding up the end wall. I paused as is my want to take a picture and then carried on.
After the excitement of Witzwort we cycled through Sandkrug, where we re-joined the NSCR and carried on to Simonsberg. Here we found a slight incline into the centre of the village which we reckoned must be what passes for a 'berg' in the area. We paused to check our maps and given the lack of an official NSCR sign decided to follow the unobtrusive bright yellow sign in front of Damae. The other way would have taken us the four kilometres back to Witzwort, which was not a good idea.
We carried across open countryside beside a dyke on the way towards Husum. Our first glimpse of Husum was surprising, I had to check the map to be sure it was Husum. In the Bikeline guide there was a picture of a cute harbour not unlike those in Dutch and German Friesland. Yet in front of us were tall buildings of an industrial nature rather than brightly coloured houses. A little while later the mystery was solved as we rolled into the centre of Husum. On the one side of the harbour there were the cute houses from the picture in the guide, looking North-West we saw the tall silos and other buildings we'd seen from a distance.
Although Husum was the largest place we'd passed through since leaving Tönning we were out of the built up area in a couple of mimutes. Ten minutes after leaving Husum we climbed up to the top of the dyke and then down to a path on the seeward side of the dyke. In the distance we could see the outer dyke further north whilst next to us were signs of past attempts at land reclamation.
We were able to make use of the full force of the tailwind here, except for the odd moment where sheep were close to or on the cycle path. As with an area of the Flevoland polder near Almere Stad in Holland the Beltringharder Koog seems to have been turned into a bird sanctuary rather than being drained further. There was a fair bit of grazing land that had been reclaimed but no sign that crops were planted here.
We carried on cycling along the quiet cycle path until encountered some more signs near Webbenbüll. Here we took an alternative route, as shown in the Bikeline guide which ran to the East of the main sea dyke. This would take us up to Lüttemoor-Siel on the coast where we would rejoin the NSCR. We now entered a sort of marsh no-mans land between the outer sea dykes and the inner dykes and carried on North. We were approaching the forty kilometre mark for the day and it was nearly eleven, which made it a perfect moment for some elevensies. We stopped at the pumping station that pumped water out into the Holmer See to find a patch of neatly mown grass with a nice picnic table on it. Perfect!