Blimey, today was long! Google Maps showed it as a 98 mile direct route but I ended up doing about 110-120 miles as I took the scenic route of the North Sea cycle route. I didn’t help that when I started at 0900 I went in the wrong direction… I headed west to the Belgian coastline as I wanted to see the sea and I finally got my first glimpse at around 1030, I planned the North Sea Route to be the major part of my tour.
I then followed the North Sea Route and passed some great countryside and beautiful quiet beaches. I never knew that Belgium and the Netherlands both had such great beaches.
From Belgium I got a quick ferry to the Netherlands and crossed across a series of islands connected by some cool bridges.
Because I was following the North Sea Route it took me ages I kept taking diversions along the coasts and through woods rather than along the main road which was more direct and faster. I had stopped at around 1400 for some lunch and met some nice Germans. Apparently there was a lot of holidaying Germans arriving today and it was a national holiday to commemorate German Reunification. For lunch I had fish and chips which I thought was quite ironic for my first Dutch meal!
When I checked my progress at around 1600 I was horrified to see I was only just over halfway, this was after 7 hours! I then decided to abandon the North Sea Route and take the direct route. I still did’t get to the hostel until 2330, super knackered and with a painful left knee. After it got dark I kept getting hopelessly lost as I kept missing the road signs…
However it did have it’s advantages as I saw some beautiful things including an amazing sunset.
Also as I was awaiting a ferry to Maassluis at 2000 I met an elderly couple that told me about firework display that would happen that night to celebrate the town’s 400th anniversary. I hung about when I got to Maassluis to watch the fireworks and there was an amazing atmosphere as the whole town was out, drinking and having fun. After the fireworks all the boats honked their horns for ages and everyone cheered.
I wish I could’ve stayed there that night but I had to continue to the Hague as I had already booked my accommodation. It really was a shame as the town was so beautiful lit up and with such a happy, party atmosphere.
I made it to my hostel just the owner was shutting up reception, he was a bit angry t me for being so late but very understanding. I met some fun guys at the hostel who very generously gave me some beers, they were definitely needed! We got to bed at around 0200, had a great shower before nodding off straight to sleep!