Sat 14th Sept.
The night before when Rainer (the husband) arrived, he was dressed as a Medieval jester. He entertained us for a while doing dances around the table and reciting german fables. When he calmed down, Gabi told me about his job as a tour guide in the town nearby. The were both around 60 and didn’t look like they needed to work, but he enjoyed it as it gave him something to do.
In the morning a friend of their that lives upstairs came down and joined us for breakfast. It was a big house and they had it designed so the could live there with a friend upstairs in her own part of the house.
They showed me one last thing before I went, which was a log book of all the people they’d hosted since they were on Warmshowers. The book was almost full and was had a big range of people from all-over, doing different sizes of trips. Some were short excursions through Europe and others were round the world trips, or people who had quit their jobs and just gone riding.
I put in my entry and as one last gift from Gabi she gave me a banana box. She said she had to and we’d been talking about them all morning. I couldn’t believe her kindness.
I said thanks and hit the road. The weather was bad but didn’t stop my cycling. Getting to Gabi and Rainer’s had given me the extra miles I needed to give my confidence a boost. Now I knew if I could keep this up I’d be okay.
All the thoughts of excitement for entering a new country had long evaporated as it was now purely about getting from place to place on time. Although I was close to the border for Holland I didn’t get there until after 5pm as I took a wrong route on the GPS. It only occurred to me a few miles into Holland that again, I didn’t have the maps for the country and would have to resort to guessing and ambling through the country with google maps when I had the internet.
As a result I didn’t hit my mark of Eindhoven where another host had offered to put me up. I’d tried to get as many hosts on this leg of the trip, giving me clear targets for the day, meaning I could cycle a bit later into the night and save time with camping.
After arriving in Holland I’d guessed at what would be the best route to take and went for it. A storm had been slowly developing and the winds had picked up with it. I’d noticed it for a while I was getting ready for a messy bit of cycling before camping. Although the winds were high and there were thick black clouds in every direction, the storm didn’t amount to anything and I missed a drenching.
The strange thing about the night was that I was expecting it to start get dark around 7pm, as it did in Germany. I continued riding and I knew it was getting late but it wasn’t getting dark. When I found my spot and stopped, I set up and there was still light in the sky, even though it was near 9pm. How could the light here be so different from Germany a few miles to the east? I’d never experienced light difference like that in two place that are so close to each other.