Last night I went for a quick ride around Middelburg, but the city is just not to my taste. Tons of water in gazillions of little canals, but no real body of water ;-(
Breakfast at Hotel De nieuwe doelen is not free and not overwhelming. I had better free ones. But due to the lack of a fridge in the room and temperatures in the mid 20s, keeping cheese and butter in the room is just not feasible.
But if I had had breakfast in my room, I would have not met the whistling parrot at breakfast.
Then it's finally time to leave Middelburg and see how I will deal with the 60 km bike ride to Stellendam.
Then I see one of the main attractions of this trip in the distance.
|The village of the windmill keepers?|
|Skookum chuck ! (Mighty Water for those who don't speak Chinook)|
Well, this first dam/floodgate is bisected by a small island, which really constitutes a bird sanctuary with a road going right through the middle. Somehow, the seagulls know it. They are sleeping right by the side of the road ! But there is some commotion on the other side as indicated by the number of flying things.
There are some strange things going on on the eastern shore of this little mid-dam island:Someone arranged a lot of boulders into some kind of Boulder-Henge
|Bloody bike just had to sneek into the picture again!|
|Or maybe it's hiding from something at the other end?|
|Another poser, but this one is standing in his own excrement ;-)|
When I'm almost in Burgh Haamsteed, I stop dead in my track.
I think I've seen an ELEPHANT!.
Das Trampeltier, das trampelt hier !
Then I'm no longer worried about political correctness. I did see a midget on a bicycle this morning leaving Middelburg (I'm tempted to call it something else). I'm wondering whether Midgetgolf is the same as Minigolf, something I have participated in during my youth. The alternative thought is appalling.
A few km further on, I see the strangest-looking horse!
He sees me too (strangest-looking cyclist?)
We like each other ;-)
|Fietsers get to ride on top of the dyke; cars have to stay below ;-)|
Then it's time to leave Zeeland. (I entered Zeeland at that strange Belgian border point close to Sluis). Even though this dyke/floodgate combo brings me onto another island, that island will be in the province of South Holland. Not sure what the difference is, maybe in contrast to the lands of Zeeland, the land in South Holland is above sea-level?
|A gorgeous beach below, but these guys just dragged their chairs from their camper to the first dune. Works.|
In Ouddorp, at km 55 of my trip with ~ 9 km to go, I finally take a break at a Pannenkoekenhuis. I order a Platte Hap met warme kersen, slagroom, en poidersuiker. I order that in Dutch and the waitress, who spoke English with me before, falls back into speaking Dutch to me. I must have been semi-convincing ;-).
Even though they seem to have economized on the slagroom, what I get is just right; whipped cream would have made it too calorie-rich
I notice that Holland is much easier on my batteries than Brittany was or than Vancouver is. The absence of hills has me complete the 60 km today on a single battery charge. Unheard of in hill-country where 40 km is absolute maximum.
I reach my hotel, check in, shower, and go for another 20 km exploratory ride.
??? Miracle energy boost cherry pancake ????