Tuesday, 7 June 2016

Some more of York

A damp morning with a fine drizzle coming down, a great day to start out

A few pics around York before heading for Leeds.


York Minster.

I'll put some more on after tea.

Wednesday, 1 June 2016

Sheffield the easy way

Been having a wild old time with the IT set up!
Unable to log on in York, ate and went straight to bed in Leeds, tablet not wanting to connect to my brother's WiFi in Manchester, finally a good connection here in Sheffield!   Anyway, let's see if I can get some pics of York up:

One of these days I'll get around to learning how to use this tablet properly!!

Yep it's more food.

A fish burger complete with mushy peas and tartar sauce.

York Minster on a damp Thursday morning.

More of old York next time; I need my bed.

Saturday, 21 May 2016

Prep time; set off for Englandshire on 25th.

Getting kit organized and am trying to trim stuff I intend to take for this trip.  Am going as light as possible and will have some bits and pieces that I can jettison en route.

Saturday, 4 July 2015

The Last Post

Ijmuiden down time all done, ferry journey to Newcastle as calm as you like and the ride back into the city was easy with time in hand to stop at The Hub for coffee and cake with Mike and Sally two Edinburgh riders who had been touring Northern Holland  and Germany and were on the same ferry back home.

The Hotel Royal cat sat watching me finish breakfast.

A water tower which was forbidden to be knocked down as it was a heritage building was converted into apartments; small, expensive but sought after and with a cracking view over the river.

An early morning walk looking across to the industrial side of the river.

The Dutch have it all sussed, good beer, great cycle ways and if you're out on the razzle and get legless there are spares on the street corner!!
The small strand with a few folk braving the water at 1015.
The main strand starting to fill up as you can see from the bike park below!
Boarding time, we're about to cycle round and up through the bow doors.
Next stop Newcastle.
That's it folks, all done.  The Last Post.
A huge thanks to all who donated and/or sent their good wishes for a successful ride.
Where to next????????


Friday, 26 June 2015

Done it! Beer and feet up time!!

Into Den Oever a day early and managed to blag an extra night at the Hostel cum B&B Het Huis van de Wadden. 

At breakfast Tina, the owner of the property asked if I had plans for a meal that evening and if not would I like to eat with the family!  They would eat about seven but give me a shout half an hour before. 

Breakfast was sufficient to see me through the day along with several mugs of coffee and tea.

A shout through the partition door and off I go to the main room.  Two newcomers had just arrived, a Dutch couple at the end of their first day of riding!  Places were quickly made at the table and a pleasant evening was had by all, finding out about the Waddenzee area, the Ijsselmeer and assorted travellers tales.

It transpired that the Dutch couple were retired GP's who had spent some time working in Australia and had cycled in Viet Nam and Cambodia.

Tina and son on the right, Henri her husband furthest away on left.

I joined the retired Doc's for breakfast before our mass exodus with them heading NE across the Ijsselmeer with a tail wind and me, SW, head wind, again!!  I was even beginning to wonder how I could justify getting an E bike!!

New cycle trails took me through places like t'Zand and  Hippolytushoef before getting onto the great tracks through the dunes.

The dune area is a nature reserve which meant no camping but late in the afternoon I rolled into Bergen aan Zee and spotted a "Zimmer Frei" sign.  "For two?"  "No just me (and a bike)"  "Ach!"  some head scratching went on.  "I will give you a room for two but you pay for one, your bike can stay for free!  Pushing my luck "Does that include breakfast?"  "Ja, I will give you breakfast".

A chilly looking North Sea at Bergen aan Zee.

Thursday 25th, breakfasted and lunch roll stowed away I was back on the dune trail again.  Nearing Wikki aan Zee I could see the cranes and chimneys of Ijmuiden, Amsterdam's ferry terminal and my finishing point.  Assorted emotions, pleased I'd done it; sorry it was over but happy to be going home.

Part of the dune path network.

The big fields of bulbs had all gone but these huge globe Aioli were on sale at a stall by the roadside.

From here it was into the industrial side of Ijmuiden and a traverse across the sluices into town.

Done It!!

It seemed a bit of an anti-climax but I was looking forward to a shower, a beer and a sleep!!

Tuesday, 23 June 2015

Nearly there now!!

Crossing the Ijsselmeer Dyke, 81km on the main road, roughly 100km on the coastal bike trail.  I'll be around the 2000 mile mark by the time I get home.

The sun was shining in Harlingen during breakfast but by the time I'd loaded the bike up it was hammering down and there was a rumble of thunder in the air!

I had some time in hand before I was due to check out so waited for the rain to ease before wandering up to the Tourist Office to look for what I hoped would be the last map I'd need to get me to Ijmuiden and my ferry back to Newcastle.

Map tucked away in my bag and sun now shining I took a few last photographs before leaving Harlingen.

A fine array of sailing barges in the inner harbour.

The old harbour offices, now a restaurant; the new offices are in the white building to the left.

The three master in the background was heading for Breezanddijk to cross into the Ijsselmeer.

The harbour end of the strand, a forest of masts and the broad gravel roadway which was my route south out of town.

Waiting to go through the bridge and lock into the Ijsselmeer.

A bright spell between showers.  35km of bike path from Zurich (Not the Swiss one) to Den Oever, the Ijsselmeer on the left and Waddenzee and the North Sea hiding behind the bushes.

Tuesday 23rd, a cold, showery and windy day, I'm glad I decided to stay put in Den Oever, a couple of easy days should see me in Ijmuiden with a quick blast into Amsterdam..

Sunday, 21 June 2015

Lauwersoog to Nieubildtdijk, talk about "Landing on your feet" and on to Harlingen.

The Shepherd on top of the dyke keeping an eye on his flock!

 Wind turbines marching off into the distance near Emshaven.

After the thrash against the wind to Lauwersoog I was looking for a reasonably short day.

I got the tent stowed away almost dry and went off to reception to pay my dues, I'd taken my time knowing that the camp restaurant didn't open until 1000 and that was where I planned to breakfast.

Breakfast, green tea and apple tart, now how healthy is that?  I'm not sure what the white stuff is that the waitress insisted in putting on my plate!?!

After crossing 7km of dyke damming off the Lauwersmeer the road was left behind and pleasant trails cutting through fields and villages was followed.  The trail took me past some of the things I'd seen on the NSCR in 2013.

The church at Nes.

What to do with any old seafaring stuff laying about!

The anchor is still there to keep my bike safe while I had lunch at the bar across the road!

My plan, such as it was, was to get to Nieubildtdijk and see if I could get a bed at The Old Schoolhouse Bunkhouse I'd stayed at previously.

1700 ish I slowly pedalled past the building, the bunkhouse was there but no B&B sign.  This was looking like a bit of a non starter.  Quick think up a plan B.  A few hundred metres back along the road I'd seen a B&B sign, try that.  Pedal back down the road and into the driveway, ring bell, dogs barking in the house, not a bad sign.  No one comes to the door.  I keep ringing the bell, still no one and dogs going mental!  Ok, plan C, back up the road and into Sint Annaparochie (St Ann), it's only about 3km, I'm bound to find something there.

By this time I'm slowly pedalling past the Old Schoolhouse again.  A shout from a group of people enjoying a drink in the evening sunshine "You need some help?".  I explain that I was looking for a B&B and that I'd stayed at the bunkhouse two years ago.

"There are new owners now but they're out"

"Yes, and I've tried the B&B along the road and there is no one there either"

"I'll make a phone call for you, there is another B&B further back along the road"  (No answer).

"Wait here with these ladies I'll go and see someone"  And off goes Jos on his bike!

Dretske indicates where to leave my bike, a large glass of wine is handed to me and I'm introduced to Rea, Astrid and Lydia who along with Jos and Dretske have been putting the world to rights.  Serious stuff; the women are all involved in social work and they were really discussing some local issues.

Jos returned having drawn a blank.  "There is a room here where you can stay and you can eat with us all this evening we are having an Indonesian meal.

Rea taking the photo, me with my feet under the table!!

The view was over acres of corn field, a farmhouse in the trees and the North Sea over the horizon.

L to R, Jos had prepared the meal and done an excellent job! Rea, Lydia and Astrid I may have mixed up, if so my apologies, I'd had a glass or three of wine by this time!  And on the right, Dretske.

Underneath the slices of fruit was yoghurt, apple and black cherries.

A most enjoyable evening !!

This morning it was lashing down!  The forecast was to brighten up, but when?

I'd been given breakfast, planning to leave around 0900, it was still pouring.  My hosts insisted, stay until it improves.  Lunch arrived! 

1230 ish it was looking brighter and the rain had calmed down to a drizzle.

Time to go.  I couldn't thank Jos and Dretske enough for their kindness and hospitality but I had to move on.

A couple of kilometres along the dyke I came to De Zwarte Haan (The Black Hen) which is one of the starting points for the Camion de Santiago de Compostella.

6.5km from there you come to Sint Jacobiparochie (St Jabik) (Need to check translation!)

Oh what I'd give for a lorry load of ready-mix!!

I've no idea what happened to the church!

I don't think its seen a train in a while!

A sailing barge in Harlingen.

The old Town Hall circa 1778.

Got to get to the tourist office in the morning the check out hopefully my last map before home.