Tag Archive | IJsselmeer

Last two days

The first sketchI thought I had booked just nothing more than a luxury hotel room with swimming pool after my voyage through hell. But when checking in, the lady at the desk asked me if I wanted to book some of the arrangements.
The building looked awesome with all those interesting lighted areas, but I hadn’t any notion what kind of arrangements were done there. For a second I thought I had made an embarrassing mistake, until she started telling about their fabulous buffet, their sauna, the massages, the hammam, the pedicure, the solarium, etcetera, etcetera.
For some reason I got stuck at the word ‘buffet’ and didn’t understand the rest of her velvet words. Without knowing it I apparently start hypnotized nodding.

I ended up with a sauna/spa session, where thank God nobody saw me. Don’t blame me; I’m a virgin in the world of naked appearance in public, you know. Then there was a lunch that I anxiously tried to lengthen with a bottle of burgundy, but in spite of the fact I wore the same white bathrobe as everybody else in that area, they found me and 4 bodybuilders came to take me away. They brought me to the pedicure to carve my hoofs into human feet. I have to say they created two impressive pieces of art.
The next arrangement was an introduction to yoga, some fresh wine to bring me back in my comfort zone, followed by a deep black out.

The chilly next morning, back in the saddle, it was like I had woken up from an uneasy dream.
A few kilometers before my house I knew a bench located hidden off the road. I put my bike against the back, sat down and pulled of my shoes and socks … the carving was still there, with shiny red nails.

At Mum’s & Muiden

The first sketchAfter arriving last Sunday night at Mum’s, it would be too cruel to left immediately on Monday. So I had a break. Not mentioning that I wanted my laundry got done.
I repaired the light in the toilet (pooping in complete darkness needs some practise) and I tidied up the garden a little bit.
While Mum confessed me that I am an adopted Chinese boy, I cooked her favourite dinner (Brussels sprouts with apple, onion, garlic, ginger and chilli with fried potatoes on the side).

I have been fed, boosted, refreshed and pampered, but I still had some things on my list. So Tuesday I headed to Muiden, because there were a couple of inviting tours to do at the ‘Muiderslot’.
The most animating part of the show was the falconer. I’m not sure if the whopping falcon liked me.
After visiting the impressing rooms of castle (700 years old) I have slept on this sailing ship.
And thàt … was OUTSTANDING!!!

If I’ve finished my coffee, right here, right now, I’m heading to the last part of my holiday. I’m very looking forward and curious to my new target and I have an inkling I will be the only male …..

Urk & Lelystad

The first sketchDonna warned me that grandma was angry because I left Donna home alone …
Donna is 18!
My aunties always have said that my Mum is peeved off since the day she has given birth to me.

I have to do a confession; I seriously considered to use the train for this part of my trip … The long way to Lelystad & the reunion with Mum is a lot to bear for 1 day, ha. But the railway makes a huge loop to the wrong side of the country. It didn’t make sense to sit in the train for the same amount of hours as sitting on my bicycle seat.
There is one propitious point … this home-hotel allows me to ‘check in’ late.

My stop-over was in Urk. The weather was not too bad. My drive was not too bad. Lunch was not too bad. And the location was hunky dory. But at the end of the day I was more tired than I ever have been this week.
Tired, fully cracked and stinking, but … Mum let me in 😉

Makkum & Lemmer

The first sketchAfter I had left Zurich on Friday, I trudged my way to my first stop. I’ve never realized Makkum has a beach!!! I was surprised. And a beautiful little centre too. It was tempting to stay for another day (my butt is starting to crack), but I didn’t pedal enough kilometres yet.

It was a good decision to travel further to Lemmer, because there was a kind of ‘after-summer-party’ going on. Classic cars were shown, music was played on the streets, old sailing boats are bobbing, and the aroma of fresh smoked gurnard was tantalizing my nose.
Lemmer has a quite large and busy harbour. There was a big fair and people were showing different old crafts and traditional costumes.
All done to please ME 🙂
At night all the boats in the harbour were illuminated. It was a beautiful evening to hang around and doing nothing bad.

Today I have to bike a nasty distance to Lelystad. Almost 4 hours! I want to visit my 90 years old Mum. Hope she wants to do my laundry 😉

I did it!

The first sketchThe Afsluitdijk is 32 kilometers long and there is water on both sides until the very far horizon. However, on the cycle track you have a view on only 1 horizon, because the other side is the dike and the highway.
Anyway, it was drizzling and I felt alternating pitiful & tough.

At some point I saw a promising sign along the road; I reached a new region now: Friesland, but I was still not halfway … (rain stopped & breeze in the back).
But I made it. I am a GORILLAH!
So, at night I played billiards and slept in de Steenen Man in Zurich.

Glad the sun is shining this morning!

Just before the Big Crossing

The first sketchI was told there was a market in Wieringerwerf, so yesterday I pinned this as my next fuel stop. What turns out as a bummer, because despite of my fast forward, I was too late.
Sitting on a bench I enjoyed the treats I bought in the bakery museum shop that morning, and watched the dismantling of the stalls. Hm!

I cycled further to Hippolytushoef where I bought something for somebody in the fairtrade shop, put it in the mailbox to somewhere and then arrived at Den Oever at 5:30 PM.
That has been quite a nasty work out, because in the meantime the weather was changed in chilly & wet and the rest of the world seems to be totally desolated.
I found my companion in restaurant De Dikke Bries. Wine, wine … I need some expensive red wine. Because I’m worth it!!!

After a comfort drink and a comfort talk with another big guy, I booked for 1 night in B&B ‘de Waddenzee’. Nothing extraordinary, just a bed and a morning coffee. But before I fell on the sheets at midnight, I first -how surprising- ended up in café ‘de Houtzolder.
When I stepped into the accustomed atmosphere, I vaguely had the same feeling as last Friday and last Sunday. “Better not do this. Better not being here. Better do some reading and some uhhh, pfff … meditation!”

Now it is the next morning and after I finished this blog, I have to go back to the café, hoping they have found my sunglasses.
Not that I need them at this moment, but hope keeps me going.

Kind of happy

The first sketchThe day I sadly left Oriana in Alkmaar, the weather was beautiful and I felt my paunch was melting off.

Halfway my planned route to Medemblik, I made some pictures in Broek op Langedijk. I learned that in the earlier days the auction for the farmers could be literally entered by boat!

A short time later I passed an awesome building what is called the Kremlin. It’s a kind of castle, all built by one guy and done just for fun. I found a vid on YT, because the weirdness was too much for a simple photo.

I was quite worn out at the end of that day and I was over the moon by founding a terrific little house to fall asleep at child’s bedtime.

The next morning I woke up way too early. At 7:15 AM already (I seldom experiencing that time in consciousness) I saw a dramatic sunrise scene with ‘gemaal Lely’ as main character. A nice 1930 building.

The peacefulness of the scene made me deciding of staying another night and planning to do some shopping in Medemblik. A book store and museum, yeahhh.

In the morning I started with a visit to the steam engine museum. If you are a lady, don’t click. It’s just boring male stuff.

After I made it to escape from the guy who couldn’t stop talking about his passion of steamy things, I hid in a book store for hours 😉 For me a book store is like being on an other planet for a little while. I’m always a bit disoriented after stepping back into the streets. Like waking up and uneasily wondering: “What was the bad thing again today?”
Unfortunately I was limited in my purchases (desperately trying to keep the comfort with me), because I have to carry it with me for at least another week.
At the end of the day I wasn’t in the mood for a restaurant, so I picked up some Chinese food and read my new magazines in my little house.

This shiny morning, I bought some delicious treats in the ‘bakery museum’. I couldn’t resist to take a little look. I have to earn the treats with heavy exercise, so … heading to Wieringerwerf.

Leaving Alkmaar

The first sketchAfter Oriana created a delicious meal last Saturday, we went to a farewell party of her neighbours because of their move to New Zealand. They were surprised to see me, because 10 years ago I was the owner of Oriana’s house and of course they still knew me from those days.

Sunday the weather was beautiful and Oriana decided that I should stay another day in Alkmaar. Because of my holiday and the sunshine we felt like tourists in our own city and so we did an old-fashioned canal tour.
Then we had dinner at ‘the Vestibule’ and hung around there too long. That was my third LATE night!
It’s high time for me to leave this devilish area. My target for today is Medemblik.
CU later …

First 2 days cycling

The first sketchFriday late morning, time of departure! I decided my first stop had to be IJmuiden. On the map I saw this was attainable in 1,5 hours cycling. Just in time for lunch. You need to know; the prospects of eating moments are keeping me going. I couldn’t remember I ever have cycled 1,5 hours in my life.

I arrived at 2 PM.
I confess … I took me 2,5 hours. Included 2 mini stops to stare at the grazing cows. But, it wasn’t bad. I still felt good and the weather was not too windy.
I ordered a lunch in Hotel Augusta. Just 1, haha. Read some magazines, and after 2 hours I left again, heading Castricum.

And Castricum … became quite a wild thing soon.

I got the dunes in sight before 6 PM. I put my bike at the beach access and was hoping that nobody was interested in the bags fully packed with underwear and socks. I squeezed out a last bit of energy for a little stroll along the sea. I preferred to lay down (I can perfectly imitate a whale on the beach), but first I felt the need to reset some body parts. After a total of 4 hours cycling, my bottom felt like a dead-end.

At dusk I picked up my bags from my bike and entered one of the large wooden decks of the restaurants on the beach. Finally, feeding time! The crowd inside fell silent when my appearance in the doorway locked out the last daylight. Or maybe it were the enormous bikers bags I was dragging with me.
There was only a large shared table available, so I drew up beside another stag.

While I was studying the menu, the whisky drinking stag ordered another glass and shove it to me. And that’s where it all started going wrong. … More out of habit than politeness I ordered a seafood dish for two (all for me) and the guy beside me joined in the bite. I smiled.
He asked me what was in the bikers bags and I asked him what was in his guitar-shaped box … (a magazine and battery cables).

After emptying three-quarters of a bottle, we sung ‘Black Betty’ in karaoke, to the great enjoyment of the other guests.
By the way of thanks for the fish, Edgar provided me illegal access to an empty beach cabin. So I didn’t need to search for a hotel at 2 AM.

After an early wake up in the beach cabin, I had to wait ’till 9 before I could buy a morning coffee to wash down the taste of dead mouse … 40 kilometres and 40% alcohol doesn’t go well together.
I did a chilly beach walk and even found a kind of public shower, made of tin watering cans and a garden hose on a pole. I didn’t dare to use it.

This Saturday I only need to do the distance to Oriana in Alkmaar. That is less than 1 hour cycling for today. More than enough.
Before I knocked on her door (and taking a real shower and writing this blog), I did some shopping in the centre.

Black sunday

The first sketchToday I’ve hit the 150 kilo.
That is not the best news to start a blog.
Hmm, at least it’s a milestone. A point of no return.
But, there is some good news too. I will bike it off! I need to reduce myself to 66% from what I am now.
My holidays are starting next Friday and I’m planning a bike trip around the IJsselmeer. Yes. Me. Fat and untrained. But no worries … it is 300 kilometres and I will do it in 2 weeks.

To encourage myself I bought a brand new bikers bag and put it on my dinner table, in front of my plate.