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Cycle tour August September 2020

Twice around The Netherlands



Covid-19 has interfered with almost every human's plans on this planet. I planned a totally different cycle route for this year (across Europe from west to east) but that would have not been wise under these circumstances. So twice around the Netherlands was about the same distance, not complicated and very possible. And thought wiser.

.

The surgical need in this world is overwhelming and even more so, now that so many organizations cannot reach the billions that desperately need surgery. Until international travel becomes possible these programs are preparing to get back into the field and so am I: to raise funds to enable us to continue with the work we are called to once it's possible again.


This is my 7th long-distance bicycle tour. The longest yet unassisted and staying in a tent at campsites, with friends or in trekkershutten, carrying all I need with me on the bike. 


A day to day account of the tour and pictures below


Help us to generate funds to serve the needy with free surgeries;


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or write to me; tertiusventer@gmail.com


15 August to 2 September 2020

The Nertherlands

2 101 km

Program and Route  9 and 7 cycling days



    First Round

                 

                  15 August           Amsterdam to Duinhoewe

                  16 August           Bergen op Zoom             

                  17 August           Oirschot

                  18 August           Venlo

                  19 August           Enschede

                  20 August           Assen   

                  21 August           Blije

                  22 August           Urk

                  23 August           Amsterdam 


       Second Round


                  27 August           Amsterdam to Ouddorp           

                  28 August           Breda

                  29 August           Venlo

                  30 August           Enschede             

                  31 August           Tylaarno

                  1   September     Minnertsga

                  2   September     Amsterdam   



First Round

                 

   

Day 1


15 Agust 2020     Amsterdam to Duinhoewe   168 km


I've been preparing for a long-distance bike ride for months, off the ship, and then whilst in isolation off the shore of Tenerife, on a stationary bike (thanks to Missy Brown who kindly offered me the use of her bike!), then in Amsterdam cycling most of the days for 40 -60 km per session.


Got all my camping equipment together (picture) and on the bike, I left my house in Amsterdam around 08:00 on Saturday morning August 15.

 

A beautiful sunshine morning, almost windless, I cycled towards the coast in the west to get onto the route around The Netherlands. A familiar route to Bloemendaal and then turned south onto the coastal route first through beautiful forests and then on to the bike road over the sand dunes. (two pictures)


It was a delight to see how many people were cycling; solo, friends, families.


Cycled through Zandvoort, Noordwijk with its beautiful seafront, Den Haag, onto Hoek van Holland that I reached about halfway through the day. I stopped at a stand and bought some cob and fries for lunch. Texted Guido. And then headed towards the ferry to cross the main sea canal to the Rotterdam harbor (Nieuwe Maas). 


Now towards the campsite that I reached about 18:00. But the office was closed and no possibility to contact them! In the shop on the premises, they had no sympathy. At least I could drink something and buy some bread rolls.


Well..., then the next campsite that I found 6 km further on. Really expensive and I had to pay extra for an electric point to charge my phone and powerbank. 'It is high season, you know', the lady said when I protested. And you can charge what you like, I thought. Put up my tent, unpacked, and made coffee on my gas burner! After a shower, some two-minute noodles, oats, a bread roll and by 22:00 in my sleeping bag. 



Day 2


16 Agust 2020    Duinhoewe to Bergen op Zoom  133 km


Up at 06:00; coffee, muesli and nuts, and packed up. I headed towards Weskapelle, the southwest corner of The Netherlands. 


Beautiful weather and almost windless, I reached Westkapelle. Looked around this Dutch town and started my journey to the east. But first stopped to have something to eat: energy bar, banana and my electrolyte enriched drink. Still lots and lots of Dutchies on their bikes. 


My legs felt fine and my spirit high. I enjoyed this ride as long as the route was clear to follow. I was still following a map and road signs on the bike lanes at this point. 


By 15:00 I was pretty hungry. Saw a bub-like place and stopped. Sat outside on the veranda in the shade, had a meal and coffee. Interesting characters sitting around me; tattoos and cigarettes. 


Soon going again, not far to go now. My cellphone was running out of power - I was now on Google Maps to find the camping site. But I had a powerbank and it was only 5 kilometers to go. Then the rain came down, a heavy thunderstorm. I was prepared for rain. Nothing could get wet that needed to stay dry. It was raining so hard I could hardly see where I was going and then an overhead bridge and I stopped out of the rain. Soon, about 5 to 6 other cyclists gathered under the bridge. I'll connect my phone to the powerbank whilst waiting for the rain to settle. But my cellphone protested: water detected in the USB port and will not charge and then died!


I had no idea how to get from here to the campsite! And it was only 5 km away! I asked one guy who was waiting with us, he looked like a local. Some others were speaking German. Yes, he knows and tried to explain it to me. The alcohol in his breath was telling an ominous story. And then the others had left! What now? I cycled blindly in the direction I thought I should go. Found a shop at a filling station and asked the lady. No, she has never heard of such a place. Cold, wet, tired I cycled in a general direction I thought it might be. Really feeling frustrated and downcast. No idea how I will find the site. Then I looked up at a crossing, only about 500 meters from the shop: 'Uit en Tuis Campsite' pointing to the right! I was so happy and thanked God for the blessing. Another few hundred meters and there it was! The office was closed but with an intercom, I could contact the elderly and very friendly lady who came to the office and I could settle in for the night!


Day 3


17 August 2020    Bergen op Zoom  to Oirschot    118 km

                 

Cellphone still not working. I asked a Dutch couple who was on their bikes and in a tent next to me. But they had no idea where the LF 13 bike route was, and neither did the lady in the office. Both tried to find it online for me. No success. Again I started out totally blind in the direction I thought I should go.  And there I saw the sign within a kilometer from the campsite. The campsite was actually on the route!


So, I followed the signs, unbeknown, missing one turnoff but picked it up 10 minutes later again. But the signs do not indicate the direction, only that you are on the route. And I made a wrong turn. Surprise, after an hour of cycling I found myself again at the campsie where I started!!! Not a good start to the morning! So, I set out again. Not long after that, there was a fork in the road, and not clear which to take. I took the wrong one. Bad gravel road, a hole in the road, and half my bags shook loose and necessitated a stop and retightened my stuff. Then mud, and 25 minutes later the same fork in the road! I took the other option. 


The rest of the day was fairly uneventful. My cellphone was dry enough by 15:00 to start charging again and from there smooth-sailing.


Arrived at the campsite De Bocht near Breda and put my tent up. Soon a guy from Germany arrived and put his tent up next to mine. We started chatting, he was doing a couple of days tour doing also around 140 km per day. I noticed the minimal baggage he was carrying and just a 1.5-liter bottle of normal water. One can do things more simple, I thought. But I still want to brew my own coffee! I went for a shower and surprised, I had to put 50c into a slot for warm water. I told my German friend about this, how strange I found it. 'O no, I don't shower' And that I found even more strange. 


 

Day 4


18 August 2020    Oirschot  to Venlo  121 km

         

Up at 06:00, like every morning. Heading east through Eindhoven. In the city center a farmers' market with every sort of cheese you can imagin and all sorts of other farm produce, but too early to buy anything to eat. Want to get to the south-eastern border of The Netherlands by lunchtime. By now I have abandoned the idea of following bike routes and sign bourds. Just Google Maps! 


Lunchtime and I cycled into Brachterbeek just north of Maastricht and the point at which I would turn north and follow the German border. I had to find a place to buy lunch. Cycled in frustrating circles and eventually found a 'take- away' food place. Got something, sort of OK, and left. 


A fairly easy ride, a bit of a headwind, but good. Reached Boszicht camping site. Nice place. The campsite for cyclists was 100 meters from the caravan camping sire and ablution blocks. No electric points and I just had to leave my phone and powerbank charging in the ablution block and trust it will still be there when it is charged. (picture) I was the only one in this large cyclist camping site, though later that evening three elderly people arrived.  Two men and a lady, on their bikes with tents, maybe around 70 years old. E-bikes of course. Nevertheless, that's great that they were doing it. Just wondered what their bikes and equipment cost - all looked state of the art! But they did admire my bike and how I packet everything, the next morning, just before I left!

         


Day 5


19 August 2020    Venlo to Enschede    121 km


Feeling strong, no headwinds expected, no rain, ready to go. But then, no sooner did I leave and Google Maps put me on a narrow gravel road. Then wider good surfaced bike road. Good! And a ferry to cross a canal, but the bike ferry will only start transporting bikes in 90 minutes' time! Man!, this is not good! A cyclist on a road bike came by and I stopped him. How can I get across the canal, I'm going to Enschede? If you cycle in the opposite direction towards Venlo there is a car ferry that you can take.  And off I went. Got the ferry and two elderly Germans on bikes asked me to take pictures of them on the ferry and then offered to take a picture of me. (picture)


Nijmegen, Arnhem, all along the German border. By this time I was getting desperate for food. I was worried, before I left home, that I might not be able to get enough food as most of the campsites have no food. Two minutes noodles after a day on the bike and 120 km is just not good enough. Just through Arnhem I saw a McDonalds (not common in The Netherlands), followed the signs, walked in, and walked out. I don't like McDonald's. Then saw a place selling coffee. Had a cup, bought some Ethiopian coffee to take home, and good to go. 


As I neared the camping site I looked for an Albert Hejn (grocery store) on Google Maps and found one. Short divert, locked my bike, and bought some food. Also my apple and banana a day had come to an end and I could buy more. Salad meal, yogurt, cheese, bread. So good!


In good time reached camping 't Meulenbrug. Showered, and had a good meal. Quite a few bikers around me in tents. Put up my tent in the sunshine, connected my phone and powerbank to charge, and a good night.


Rained during the night but that's OK.



Day 6


20 August 2020    Enschede to Assen    149 km

     


Winds still fine and mostly sunshine I headed around the German border as it pushes into The Netherlands.


Arrived at a planned 'natuurkamp', not that I knew what that meant. Eventually found it in a forest. No electricity that I could charge my phone, could not find reception and left. Then found De Warme Bos camping site still in good time. Put up my tent. Spoke to a Dutch guy camping next to me. He was walking around The Netherlands with his tent - about 25 km per day. A bit of arthritis in my knee, he said, but I take some medication, and then it's OK. I am cycling around Holland, I told him. He is from Groningen and quick to correct me: Holland is the area around Amsterdam, not the whole of The Netherlands! (though it would seem every Dutch person has an own idea what and where Holland is!)


 

Day 7


21 August 2020    Assen to Blije   125 km


Good night's sleep. Wind and rain. But I knew the wind would be from behind while I cycled north until I meet the sea in the north of The Netherlands where I will turn southwest.


I left the camping site and soon find me on the narrowest, sandy gravel road. No! I will not do this! This is  not good enough Google Maps! It only shakes my head into a mess, let alone my bike! I turned back and cycled to the closest town and picked up a proper road from there. That's better, I thought.


Still finding it difficult to keep up with the calories I found a Tea Garden halfway through the day! And hoped for a good meal! At the De Theefabriek in the village Houwerzijl. This used to be a church. Cake and sandwiches only. Had to be content with a sandwich, coffee and apple juice! (pictures) The apple, banana, and 2 energy bars during the day not really enough.


With the wind to Lauersoog, my most northern point, and then that turn to the southwest!!


Into the strongest southwesterly winds. Kilometer after kilometer I bore into it. Really going slow. Not a single cyclist cycling the same direction except those on e-bikes! I slipstreamed an elderly couple on their e-bikes for a while!

 

Stopped for a fizzy drink and icecream and tackled the wind anew. 


Three hours later I reached the campsite, Blijer Wadden. I was was just so tired.  We are full for the night, the lady said. No. But we have an unofficial spot where you can put up your tent. Let me go and show it to you before you agree. I don't care, I'm not going further! It was a sunny spot. The wind fierce though. I put up my tent but before I could fully unpack the wind flattened it. I moved the tent to an even more unofficial spot but more protected from the wind and settled in for the night. The weather prediction was even for stronger winds the next day. And rain.


Day 8


22 August 2020    Blije to Urk  99 km



The whole night my tent was flapping and complaining in the wind, And in the morning the wind was blowing with extra force. I packed up and left. Soon the rain came. Into rain and wind the whole day at a snail's pace. I was so much looking forward to be in my home in Amsterdam the next evening. I was physically not really tired and the cycling was OK. It was the discomfort of finding my way in the rain and wind, almost impossible to read Google Maps on my wet phone, of thinking I'll have to put up my tent in pouring rain, fighting the wind, of not being able to sit outside my tent and to prepare food but with a bent back from inside the tent. If it was not for these strong headwinds I would have done the 180 km that was left, in one day to get home. But it was not possible and I battled kilometer after kilometer down to URK. I've had enough, I just wanted to get some comfort. I prayed for a trekkers hut at Urk. I was hungry.

 

I arrived at about 17:00 and a trekkers hut was available! (picture) They had one left! I settled in, had a warm shower, and got some food at the restaurant on the premisses. How nice to sleep in a bed! During the night the wind was howling and the rain pouring. I was just so happy in the warm bed. 



Day 9


23 August 2020    Urk to Amsterdam    107 km


Up early morning. There was a break in the weather.  I packed up and left just after 08:00. The last stretch home on the first round. I have often stayed at this camping site before and cycled from here back to Amsterdam. I knew the road.   


Cycling through the town of Urk, I was again a bit surprised to see the people all walking to church.  Every male in a black suit and tie, every woman and girl in a modest dress and a hat. Each with an umbrella. They were also expecting rain.


I left the town and Google Maps wanted to take me on a bike road up on the dike. No, I do not like the bike routes with the water on the one side and the dike on the other ... really boring. So, I cycled further to the road I often took in the past.  But turned off too early!


I knew the direction I had to travel in, could see the dike on my left side, and the road I had to join just ahead of me. Very confident I ignored a cul-de-sac sign, there's always a way for a biker.  Then a gate 'no entry' but the road I had to join just about 200 meters ahead and I ignored the sign. Twenty meters from the road and there was the ditch of about 3 meters wide and 1.5 meters deep with water in that runs all around most of the fields in The Netherlands. (picture) Not really possible to cross it. But to trackback, I would have to go about 3 kilometers back the cul-de-sac sign. The bike lane on the dike was about half a kilometer to my left. So I started walking. Could not cycle, it was a thick muddy path. Halfway there I ended up in an onion field, then a spinach field. But I kept on walking wondering what the farmer would think when he would see my tracks through his field. I reached the lane of wind turbines that were along the dike. I was worried about the ditch that might still separate me from the bike lane and there it was! I could not get through! The service road linking the wind turbines was my only option. And I started following it in the only direction it went ... back to Urk. By now the wind has picked up speed again but going back I was cycling with it. I was still looking for a possible way across the ditch onto the dike to reach the bike lane. There must be a bridge or something ... there are sheep grazing on the side of the dike and how did they get there? But nothing. Well, I'm getting close to Urk again, will get on the road, and take the bike lane on the dike.


No such luck, just before I would get on the public road there's a gate ... 2 meters high and locked. I'm locked in and illegally on a service road! It was Sunday morning. The only real way out is to backtrack now all the way back, about 8 kilometers by now. NO. To the side of the gate was the continuation of the ditch, but slightly narrower now. And saw a gate to the dike on the other side. I put my bike down, jumped over the ditch but not without my one leg going halfway to my calf into the mud and water. The gate was open! Got back over the ditch. No to get my bike with all the luggage over: Bike 14 kg, luggage about 25 kg! Looked around and found some plank frames belonging to the company, that I'm trespassing through their gate, uses for the forklift. I built a bridge for my bike. Easy to get the bike down to the 'bridge' in the ditch but now up the other side. I pulled it, I pushed it but only halfway up the other side and got stuck. Just too heavy. I threw it over up on the side of the ditch, held it so it won't slip down again while getting above it, and then pulled the bike with the luggage to the top that was all lying sideways now. And I was up on the other side. I took the plank frames back, picked up my bike, and went through the gate. Now to get up the dike - 45 degree incline and about 30 meters high. Step by step I pushed it to halfway up the side. Stood there for a while to catch my breath and then the last 15 meters up. What a relief to get to the top and see the bike lane just 3 meters below me on the other side. Got on the road, got on the bike and then the rain came down and I did not care. I waisted an hour and about 10 km but I was on my way!! (pictures)


Most of the rest of the day was just strong headwinds and rain in my face for hours. But I was so much looking forward to get home. And it happened at 16:00 that afternoon!


              


Second Round


I planned to take a 2-day break before the second round.  But ... the day I wanted to leave .... weather warnings: 85 km southwesterly winds and that was the directed I needed to go! I postponed it with a day and it gave me enough time to catch up on emails and meetings.


I lost 3 kg in the previous 9 days. Just did not find enough food. So, the second round I decided not to tent but stay in trekker huts or with friends that would give me more time to find food. Also, the bike would be a bit lighter, and decided to do it in 7 days. 

 

Day 1 


27 August 2020  Amsterdam to Ouddorp     131 km



Left around 08:00 again. Overcasted but hardly any wind. I typically cycle 2 -3 hours then stop for about 10 minutes, often not getting off the bike but just standing. Eating a banana, an energy bar, and drink some electrolyte enriched water. Then by midday another stop. This time I would get off, find a place to buy food. Though on this second round having a bit more time and space to pack I took my coffee flask and cheese bread rolls and find a good place to enjoy it at  10:00 and again at 13:00.


Reached the Hoek of Holland and then headed for the ferry. (picture) After the ferry only about two hours to my first stop on this round: the van Den Noord family I met on the Africa Mercy - he is the security officer temporarily living in Ouddorp now until they can return to the ship. (picture)


Had a wonderful evening with Gerrit and Irma with their three children and such a good vegetarian meal. Overwhelmed with their friendliness and generousness. Not having to put up a tent and break it down the next morning we had hours that we could sit around and chat.


I knew I had a long day the next day and left at 08:00.



Day 2


28 August 2020  Ouddorp to Breda      174 km



The weather forecast was a headwind for the first 3 hours until I would turn away from the coast at Weskapelle to the east. And the wind was yet challenging again bearing into it for 3 hours mostly unprotected over long bridges or on the top od dykes. (picture) Telling myself, it will come to an end as I fought it. Cycling on the crest of the dyke against the force of the wind is just the worse scenario on a bike!


But I reached Weskapelle, the most southwestern point of my route, had coffee and a roll, and turned east along the Belgium border. The wind in my back now. Done 50 km, another 125 km left for the day!


A smooth ride from here. Late afternoon I felt quite thirty and thought I'd like having some fizzy stuff. Saw a shop at a filling station and stopped. Then realized, as I walked in, it was the same shop where I stopped on my first round after the thunderstorm, with athe flat phone and the lady that had no idea where the camping site was though only about 1 500 meters from there. I  had my drink and a warm cheese pie. Suddenly there was thunder and a huge downpour of rain! I was under the protection of the roof of the filling station and quickly more bikers gathered that were caught by surprise by the sudden rain. What a blessing that I stopped here at the right moment. Fifteen minutes later and the rain was gone. I had about another 40 km to do for the day, cycled past the camping site where I camped the previous round and now sure not to do two silly circles again like the last time when I left there in the morning and found myself at the camping site again an hour later. Like a pro, I just headed for Breda. 


Arrived there in good time. This night spending in a cheapish hotel. But clean and all I needed. And like all good Dutch accommodation, a lockup place for bikes. Had a good meal in the dining room. And a good night's rest. Breakfast, a cheese roll for the road, made some coffee for my flask in the room, and ready to go!



Day 3


29 August 2020      Breda to Venlo (Herberg de Bos)     123 km



Cycled passed Oirschot (de Bocht) early morning, where I camped the previous round and met the German cyclist, then through the city center of Eindhoven with a sidewind - not too bad heading for the most southeastern point of my journey, Wessem, before I would turn north along the German border.  The wind full in my back again!


Uneventful day, kilometer after kilometer passing by. Wondered what a 

'Herberg' meant that I pre-booked? What a surprise when I arrived. A beautiful place in a forest with a wonderful restaurant and friendly people. (picture) Could sit outside after I unpacked and settled into my wooden hut. Sat outside, enjoyed a vegetarian pie and sparkling water. Ordered some bread rolls and cheese for my lunch the next day.



Day 4


30 August 2020     Venlo (Herberg de Bos)  to Enschede    168 km

               

Up and out early morning. Long day ahead. The routine: 3 hours cycling, coffee and cheese bread roll, energy bar, banana, another 3 hours, lunch, coffee and cheese bread roll, apple in the afternoon in the ride, and an energy bar. Two liters of electrolyte enriched water. And the end of the day came in sight.


About 10 kilometers from the trekker's hut at 't Scharvelt campsite I started looking for a place to buy food as I did not expect any food at my destination for the night. I often had to stop and put one of the well-known shops in on Google Maps and hope it would not be a too big divert to get there. Just before I stopped I passed Jumbo Supermarket. Stopped, locked up my bike and luggage with two separate locks. Put my phone, wallet, gloves, and glasses in my turned over helmet and entered the shop. A salad meal, cheese, bread rolls, yogurt, more apples and bananas, and ready to go.


A nice trekkers hut (picture) and good evening and rest. No bedding in the hut though, but I had one sheet, a small blanket, and an inflatable pillow with me! 


Had a shower and ate inside - I was still cold from the light headwind and rain most of the day. Only realized later when I went back to the ablution area, I used the wrong side earlier to shower, the ladies' side.  O well, no harm done as far as I knew.

                 

Always surprising how late people sleep in the camping sites in the mornings. I get up just after 06:00 but seldom see any life before I am ready to leave by 08:00


Day 5


31 August 2020     Venlo (Herberg de Bos)  to Tylaarno   135 km


Continued my journey north along the German border, trying to avoid crossing the border but around midday, I noticed the bike roads were not the same anymore and the street names; strasse (German for street), and the business names all in German. For the next 90 minutes or so I cycled through Germany and also stopped for lunch (picture).


Was happy to enter The Netherlands again - the bike roads are just so much better.


I was staying with Christina, Deddy and Ria this evening.  All three of them are longterm  Mercyshipper nurses back in The Netherlands whilst waiting for the ship to get back to Africa. 


I told them I should arrive at about 17:00. At about 16:57 Google Maps showed that I was 200 meters from the resort where they stayed and I was quite happy with myself for being so accurate in the estimation of my arrival time. But not to be. I had to cross a busy road and as I stopped I could not get my foot out of the shoe clip and there were cars coming. I had to stop and fell over. Got up, lifted my bike with the luggage up, and waited for a gap to cross the road. Going! No! My back wheel axil came out of the frame with the fall. Got off the bike again. Now to get the wheel back with all the luggage on the bike. I put the bike on its side and laid down next to it to try and push it in. A biker stopped, are you OK?Sure, thank you and he left. Then a car pulled off the road next to me and the driver got out. Are you OK, are you injured? I'm good thank you very much, just need to get my wheel back! And I arrived 10 minutes late!


Good conversations and a good typical Dutch meal. (picture)


And the next morning Ria and Deddy cycled with me to Groningen, about 15 km away, on a beautiful sunshine morning! (picture)

          

Day 6


1 September 2020     Tylaarno to  Minnertsga   119 km

                 


I said goodbye to Deddy and Ria in the streets just before Groningen hoping to see them on the ship next year and cycled to the west of the city towards Lauwersoog in the north. The wind pleasantly from behind. 


I was hoping to pass past the Theefabriek again for a short stop and indeed I did; this time scones, cream, and strawberry jam. (picture) Bees, however, confiscated my strawberry jam. (picture) I was not impressed.   


Left at about 12:00 knowing the wind direction will soon turn against me and the last 45 minutes a bit of a battle again till the most northern point was reached and I turned southwest ... wind strongly in my back. (picture) In such short contrast to my first round: from here to home it was a fierce battle with the wind and rain for 2 1/2 days on the first round. This time sunshine and cycling with the wind. Is that not how life is, that we sometimes walk the same road and it can be so hard and the next time, after we had won the battle, it's just a pleasant ride!          


So often on the coast of The Netherlands one would cycle for miles along the coast a mere few yards away and not see the sea as it is just on the other side of a dyke And that was mostly on this day. Nevertheless beautiful scenes. (picture) 


Arrived at the farm of Aafke and her husband just after 16:30. (picture) I stayed in a separate little house next to the farmhouse. 


Her husband and son were reaping barley and Aafke showed me around when she got back from work. Took me to their potato fields, onion fields, and dug up some onions for me to take home! A wonderful evening farm meal.


Day 7


2 September 2020     Minnertsga  to Amsterdam  107 km


I had to catch the bike bus across the Ijsselmeer the next morning. Got away a little late and worked very hard against time to make it. Through Harlinger I just hoped not to take a wrong turn and miss the bus but I was 15 minutes early. The favorable winds certainly helped! There were about ten cyclists with their bikes, a 30-minute bus ride. (picture) Once in Den Oewer, I sent Guido Kortleven a WhatsApp message. I will be in Hoorn in 2 hours' time, meeting him and his family for lunch.


Still wonderful sunny weather and a light wind I easily glided down towards Hoorn. Could not help but think back again of how hard the last 2 1/2 days back to Amsterdam were on the first round. And now just a pleasure!


I arrived in Hoorn on the appointed time, 13:00, and met up with the family - I traveled with them from the Ship in Tenerife to Amsterdam in June. (picture) 


Guido unloaded his bike from the car and then cycled with me the last 37 km home. A relaxing cycle down on the side of a  canal all the way to Amsterdam in sunshine and kind winds. 


I did not feel the least tired as we arrived near Central Station Amsterdam. He called his wife and we had a coffee. When she arrived we said goodbye. See you on the ship next year. And I cycled with a grateful heart the last 1.5 kilometers home.


Thankful that I could do this. God is good. Health, opportunity, purpose, motivation, endurance, enjoyment, strength. All from His gracious heart.


Interview August 2016

Supercycling DSTV Channel

Aafke infront of thier house

5 Billion People have no access to Essential, Safe, Timely, Affordable

Surgical Care

One Heart One Goal: To put Smiles on Hearts and Faces


Thank you for having  supported  us in the previous cycle tours and the longest 6 510 km /4 068  mile cycle tour over 58 days (11 rest and 47 cycling days) from Times Square, New York in two big smiles to Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, June 3 to July 29, 2015, as we care for the less fortunate and take essential surgical care where it is most needed