Even before we get up and out of our tent, we can hear a strong wind blowing.
There’s a reason they build so many wind turbines here on the flat and open landscapes of Flevoland and, unfortunately for us, today the wind is not going in our direction.
“Don’t worry,” says Andrew confidently. “Once we turn around and start heading back home, we’ll have a great tailwind.”
That’s a nice thought to hold on to as we eat our muesli and ponder the long, straight road ahead. We’ve always said that bike touring is 90% about where you’re at mentally and just 10% a physical effort, so we try to put ourselves in the right frame of mind to tackle a headwind.
For us, that means not really concentrating on the distance. Instead, we look for the details in the landscape, to distract our attention away from the difficult effort of propelling our bikes in the right direction. These dandelions, giving up their seeds, grab our attention as we stare at the ground going by.
On the other end of the scale, it’s impossible to ignore the huge but also beautiful wind turbines. We strain our necks and turn the camera upwards to capture this.
It’s still hard work and we’re not exactly inspired by Flevoland either. “There’s never a dull moment in Flevoland,” according to the tourist brochures but we would have to disagree. The landscapes are mostly very dull indeed and the modern towns have none of the charm of the rest of the Netherlands.
It takes us until just past lunchtime to finally leave Flevoland and enter Friesland and we are thrilled. As we roll through the town of Lemmer, there is a character to it that we really missed in Flevloland. A beautiful harbour. Cobbled streets. Old houses. Gorgeous.
The wind is still blowing though, and even the sheep look like they’ve had enough of it.
So, we continue to take it slowly, admiring more wind turbines (look at the size difference between the turbine and Andrew!)…
And taking some pictures of us on the move…
Late in the afternoon, we reckon we’ve burned enough calories to justify this slice of apple cake, kindly bought for us by Paul, who wanted to treat us to something nice. Thanks, Paul! If you ever come to Holland the next slice of apple cake is on us.
By the time 4pm rolls around, we’re completely wiped from fighting the wind all day. We settle down in a campground and cook our supper, the usual mix of sauteed vegetables with pasta.
As the evening sets in, two German families roll up in their huge motorhomes and surround our tent. Within a few minutes they’ve got their tables and chairs out and are drinking beer and talking loudly. This goes on for the rest of the night and normally we’d be annoyed but we’re so tired that their little party just becomes a drone in the background as we fall asleep.
The Day Before: Day 2 of our tour around the IJsselmeer
Coming soon: Days 4 & 5 of our tour around the IJsselmeer