Finally I could ride UK to Sweden *again*! Eurostar, Brompton & tent. Tons of mistakes! but happy!

Finally I could ride UK to Sweden *again*! Eurostar, Brompton & tent. Tons of mistakes! but happy!

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Good morning! So it's a massive day today because  I am setting off from London to Sweden   I'd not taken my bike on Eurostar before. You have  to cover it. So I'm going to fold the bike up   and I'm going to cover it with a little cover.  The reason I was super excited to do this trip   is because I was supposed to do it the year I  got ill with cancer again so the whole thing   got delayed by a year. It was just brilliant  to be setting off at last. My plan was to ride   through the Netherlands, Germany and Denmark to  Sweden. I's about 1,000 km and I was going to   do it in 12 days, so about 80 km a day. In the  Netherlands I was going to use their so-called   'natural campsites'; in Germany there aren't enough  campsites so I was going to do some naughty wild   camping and in Denmark I was going to try the  so-called primitive camp spots that they have there Right, so the thing is to work out how  to get around. So, there are these bike signs

There's one over here. I remember  before these were actually really good   when you got into them. So, I'm going to go north I'm actually really hungry. I'm going  to find somewhere nice to sit and have lunch So my plan was to head from  Amsterdam north through the province   called Noord Holland. I've got  across this massive water somehow Oh we are going on a ferry! I had planned my route  really carefully actually using apps mainly   Bikemaps, but now I was on the ground I was  also using local signs and it's quite hard to   combine the two, especially when you're new  to the whole thing. I'm not sure this is right at all It's quite tricky to follow the signs actually   If they're like pointing slightly  off you go off get quite far wrong Just got to get used to it I've gone completely wrong. The place I was aiming for, which was  

along the water, was blocked, and there  was a diversion and somehow I lost it   and now I'm sort of on a footpath and it's  all completely wrong. I've like lost the system Eventually I got out of Amsterdam and into  the countryside. Oh it feels better suddenly to be   out of the city, I was getting a bit het  up in there. Well we'll see where we are now Normally the wind in the Netherlands  blows from the west ,so normally I would   had a tailwind all the way, but just now it  was blowing from the east. It's really nice.   

It is a headwind, so I'm just having to settle  into that. It's kind of like swimming   or something I don't know why I say that, but it's sort of wind I'm like instead of   water there's wind. Anyway it's time for  this, which I was given on the train, and coffee It is windy. Against me! So this was Noord Holland province. All  this land that I was riding through now   was previously a sea, and it was reclaimed  from about 1600 and became agricultural land I was just so happy to be there after  cancer treatment most last year. I just feel so free

Such a nice feeling So this was Hoorn. Now I was going to continue   through Noord Holland and find the campsite  where I was going to pitch for the first night Well I'm nearly there, I think, if I've got the spot on the map right   It was still a massive headwind so  I battled along through the evening sun Oh it is here! So it's going to here! It is really windy but I'm thinking to just pitch in  that corner, take the edge off it So lovely Oh hello! What a lovely horse! So, day two  and I was now riding along a dyke along   the coast of Noord Holland. It's nice to  be high up here on this dike cos you can   see the sea. Right 15 so what that is  is they've got this knooppunt system   dots all over the map with different numbers  on and then cycle paths that connect up all   the dots so you can just sort of do you know  cycling by numbers all the way around Holland really I hadn't quite got my eye in  regarding the whole points signage system though I keep going wrong this isn't right oh  no oh god oh maybe it's here, here. Oh no you can't get out

I'll check the map again! it's just  a complete nest of bungalows I've got myself now I've been here twice already On no. Not sure this was where I was oh my god Right I think I'm out. The thing is  it's fine, except that today I've   got this ferry to catch, and there's only  three ferries a day. So I was planning to  

get a ferry across the IJsselmeer. I was aiming  for a port called Enkhuizen Right. Should be OK now 15, 13, 14, fietspad...

Let's try this! I thought this was going to be an easy  morning, and actually I'm really pegging it now Oh this this is so hard actually! I  have gone round in circles all over again, cos    I didnt read the map carefully enough. Okay I think I'm nearly there. I've got like 10 minutes to go Do you know where's the ferry for Stavoren? Right, this church... near there. OK. Thanks! I still haven't got there! oh god, oh maybe  it's here... Hello! just one please, and  I'm sorry I can't speak Dutch   Oh you must buy a ticket, oh my god wait for me, wait for me! So now I was in the province of  Friesland. This is nice. Oh god how lovely Isn't that strange.

Right, so it's going to  be all of these, with butter and cheese I'm doing okay I think. I'm following the  knooppunt system at the moment. So I'm on   number 30... oh god, what was it? 35 I think. Oh dear. Yes, 35, 34, 33, is what I've got to do next 34! This way. Oh, really tiny! oh gosh Thank you! yes it is, something quite different So that there, 15, is what I'm following. You've got  to have really sharp eyes cos if you miss one   and you're off your track, you don't know,  and so it can take quite a long time until   you realise you've gone wrong. I'm learning.  I'm getting better, getting my eye in you know

Jirnsum. That's where I'm going. Hurray Oof. Quite tired now actually. It's been loads  into the wind, again. Anyway it's been a really nice day I'll get it. Okay that's brilliant, thank you! This is a lovely campsite.

Mmh it smells good actually Day Three. Today my plan was to  ride into Groningen province and camp   But as you'll see, things didn't quite work out Beautiful I got this. I'm sure it's going to be amazing.    Right I'm trying a new thing now. So  this is the map, showing me the little points. I've written them down, the next ones that  I need, so now I should just be able to go   from point to point, watching out for these.  So I'm at number 11, so what I want next is 54, and it's that way It's gone completely wrong. I'm in a housing estate on the edge of Drachten, I think it's called, on a really bumpy road I just didn't... I just must have missed one

Ah. Okay. Try and get back to it Right. Back on track. So this is Point 54, which was the first one I wanted    Is it just me? Right next one, 72, so, it's that way. Let's go!

It's tiny! Gosh. It's taking ages. Super slow. I've slightly got a sore knee, which I think is  my own fault from yesterday, I had the saddle a   little bit too high I think, and that can  easily end up with getting sore knee, so I'm   going to cut the distance short today, actually. It's taking me so long to do this on this path,   it's not really short anyway. It should work  out, but it's eating up my contingency a little bit I'm so tired. I'm really tired. And hungry.  Erm. Hmm. So the next thing is find the campsite. I  think it's straight on, and then to the right Right. Phew. So I've made it. And, I'm tired.  So, dinner straight away. And it's going to this

which is a mix of different grains. Takes  12 minutes, so I'm going to put that on first and   then we've got this, a ragu, I've slightly forgotten  how to do it actually but I'm sure it'll be fine Ahh. Good! I thought a pancake could be just the thing, so here it is already half eaten, really nice   The thing is today, just to see how my knee  feels. So far, it feels fine    I don't normally go through cities actually, but I thought I'd  go through Groningen and see what it's like Whilst I'm in Groningen, I thought  I'd try and get some more fuel   because I'm running quite low on fuel, and  apparently you get it a shop called Gamma   so I'm going to try and find Gamma. It's  just down here God it's gigantic. I just hate going in shops

Got it! So, a litre. Massive! Oh poor bag. Anyway, it's still fine. That's going to go in there I'm taking it really easy. I can still feel my knee, which is really worrying.    Problems can all be fixed but actually they can't, not all problems I want to stop. It's hurting

There's a headwind! Argh. I rode back a little  bit just there, and it's so easy going the other way The campsite should be somewhere up here Oh it's an absolutely lovely little place. So now I was at Schildwolde, near the German border, which   is where I'd hoped to be the day before. And it was time for dinner We're going to have two potatoes, which the guy just gave me, so nice, and an onion, and two eggs. That I brought with me, garlic

Tada! My god it looks  brilliant, oh it's a bit runny Ah I am still just a little bit worried about this  knee. More than a little bit worried actually   Overnight I decided the best thing was to rest  and stay another day. It does feel ironic it's like I  wait a whole year to do the trip, and then start  and just by a silly mistake, my knee is wrong    I got some ice and packed it around my knee and  and the campsite sold pancake mix, so I bought that Done! That's it. It looks good actually doesn't it

I was talking to the lady who runs this place and she said if I'm making pancakes I can   use the flowers to flavour the pancake. So I thought I'd try it Isn't it beautiful. Oh it's  just been lovely to have a rest day actually  to stop still and be somewhere, for a little bit longer I wonder if I'm doing this right? I've got lot of stalk gone in there, oh dear Oh look, you can actually  see the flowers. It's good actually Wow. You know what it tastes  like is elderflower cordial. Mmh that is brilliant So it's time to go. This is the knee. And I've had ice on it  and just taken it really easy. And I think it'll be fine. God I really hope

So far so good... I'm trying to keep it  in really low gears, well I've only got three   gears, so, first gear. I still had a headwind  but I was just sooo pleased my knee felt okay   Yesterday was lovely, but now I'm just so happy to be  back on the bike. I just feel so free! I just love it!   It's so dry I was at a bay called the Dollart, right close to the German border   Coming on the right! Come on, a little  bit of space please, that's it good girls I'm quite scared of animals actually I've done it! This is the border

2024-01-05 17:56

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