Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Day 68--Raw Sewage Does Not Sound Fun

I woke up this morning, after a wonderfully peaceful night's sleep, to...rain. I packed up my things, and took them downstairs. Cornelius was up too, and provided me with a bowl, spoon, and some juice and milk. I wanted to eat my own muesli because I have a big bag that I need to eat. 

I fiddled around, hoping the rain would pass. Nope, wasn't going to happen. Jonas said it was supposed to rain all day. Since I couldn't put it off any longer, I put on my rain gear and loaded Betsy. Olga was so nice to hold an umbrella over me, and help me carry my things out! 

The route to Amsterdam was just the street next to the house. Off I went, halfway wishing I was Olga, and getting to stay indoors today. But, no--at least it wasn't really cold.

I was following the bike signs to Amsterdam. The thunder and lightning was all around. The path had lots of standing water.
Rain rain go away!

As I was riding along, another bike tourist came toward me from the other direction. He stopped and told me that, near Amsterdam, there was lots of flooding and sewage was coming up out of the drains. I thought, well, that's just delightful! As I continued riding, a different plan started to formulate in my head. I decided Amsterdam would not be such a great place to visit today. I'm not a fan of raw sewage. I planned to ride until the next intersection, then turn and skirt south of Amsterdam. I did come into Amsterdam, but only the suburbs.
On the way there was a place where the path was flooded so bad that every pedal stroke my feet went into the water. At one point, it was difficult to pedal. I didn't want to stop, because I'd have to put my foot down in probably about 8 inches of water!

I finally came to some of the red and white bike directional signs. Instead of continuing to "sewage-land", I turned right and headed for the southern part of Amsterdam. I had to use the Garmin at one point, but only until I saw the signs. I would look at my map, see what the next town south was, then follow the bike route signs to it (or until I'd find a sign for another town further along the way). This was working pretty good. As I was coming into Alsmeer, I didn't see any signs, so I asked the Garmin the way to the next town. Unfortunately, it took me first to a bridge that was closed for maintenance. Then when I didn't go that way, it recalculated to a road that had a locked gate. Finally, the third try worked. And, I saw a sign for LF 2a. I looked at my directions I'd written to get from Amsterdam to Heinenoord. Sure enough, I needed to be on LF 2a! I had no idea where I was in the directions, but it didn't really matter. 

Then I came through one town, and somehow lost the route. So, it was back to following signs to the next town. When I came to Alphen aan den Rijn, I found LF 2a again. Woo Hoo! I rode along a narrow path by a canal. There were a few sheep along the way.

By now, not only had the rain stopped, but the sun was coming out. It was even getting quite warm! I took my rain pants and jacket off. At one point, I stopped to finally take my waterproof socks off. As I was sitting on a bench along the path, a man rode up and starting talking to me (first in Dutch). He asked if I was looking for camping. At that point, I had been thinking I would stop at the next camping place I saw, or check the Garmin. I told him I was looking for camping. He said to follow him and he would get me going on the way to a very nice mini-camping site, Polderflora. I found it with no problems. It is, indeed, a very nice place. It's a small farm with chickens, sheep, and a pig too! It's very clean too. The weather is now beautiful (although it rained very hard here too this morning).
There are couches, and even a TV in here.


My tent through the flowers. 

So, as I am typing this, who shows up? Alphonso, the man who told me how to get here. He is quite the character! We had a nice chat (even though he says his English is very bad). He has left now, so I think I'll go cook my dinner.

Here's a parting shot of a Holland the rain.

Total miles today: just 43, but I am much further than I planned.

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