After taking the morning ferry to Enthuisen, I walked along the dike. Towards Amsterdam instead of the wesr coast as I had originally planed. It felt really good walking along the water and I just didn’t feel like heading away from the coast, even if it was towards the coast on the other side.
The dike is not very large or high but very impresive in its own way. Especially when you stand on it and realise that on one side there is an unending amout of water, and on the other, all the land you can see, stretching to the horizon, is well below water level!
Spent Monday night just outside of Hoorn, where it rained more or less all night.
Tuesday morning was cloudy but it looked as if it would clear up and I set off along the coast and eventually reached Edam, a short 20 km walk.
As I found a nice campsite right on the beach, I decided to stop, take a rest and finally get to go for a swim! I now know why the Dutch are so good at breaststroke. The water was so shallow that it was impossible to freestyle! My hands kept hitting the bottom!
Lazed in the sun and took it easy. A great break. Even had company for dinner. A lady biking with her daughter invited me to have company with them and we spent a pleasant dinner talking about Dutch history (among other things).
Wednesday was wet and windy and I pushed on towards Amsterdam where I had the pleasure to be met by Sonny and Yvonne. They have to be two of the most open, happy, generous persons I have met in a long time!
Sonny is the father of Lida, who attended to a course I had last autumn and at the time she said that if I was to visit Amsterdam, I would probably be able to stay with her farther. I had forgotten all about it until a week ago when I sent a quick mail to Lida. Even with such short notice she made sure that I was welcome in Amsterdam and Sonny and Yvonne made me feel like family.
A lot can be said about Amsterdam, from canals to old buildings to artworks but what really struck me was the number of bikes. It really is bikecity!
There are so many that they have to stack them both high and wide. They even have multi story bike parking garages.
As you know, I have had a few puncture already, and I wanted to do something about it. Walked around and finally found a shop that had 16″, Kevlar reinforced tyres. Great, I thought, bought 4 of them, a couple of tubes and headed “home” to fit them on the Mule.
They didn’t fit…
Turns out 16″ is not always 16″. Had to return them today (Friday). The guy at the Bromton shop where I bought them was very helpful. He refunded my money and found another shop that had the right size, but not the reinforced, marathon kind. I headed of to get those instead but on the way I decided not to worry about it. I will wear out what I have first and try to get reinforced tyres when I have to change them. Time will tell. If nothing else I will get very good at repairing punctures.
Now I’m of to spend the rest of the day walking (what else) around Amsterdam.