Day 30 – 29th July 2020 – Oldenburg, Germany to Lelystad, Netherlands
Time to say bye bye to Dori and Janine… they have been wonderful, I have really enjoyed my stay with them. I am now on my way to Netherlands to meet up with my other very good friend Annemarie who is visiting her homeland from Mexico where she now lives, so this is an opportunity to see her and catch up… just too good to miss.
I set about getting myself ready… the grrls help me to get Minnie out and pointing in the right direction before I start packing up the bike, talking to myself and the bike as usual not realising, at first, that I am being filmed….
All too soon it is done and time to say goodbye… thank you so much for looking after me these last couple of days, it’s been really good, I look forward to seeing you both very soon.
It is very windy again today and once on the autobahn am soon crossing over into Netherlands. I stop for coffee virtually just over the border. I am very cold and the wind is tiring. It is almost lunchtime so I decide to treat myself to any early one, whilst checking out my route options and a place to stay tonight. Accommodation in Noord Netherlands is either very expensive or fully booked. Looking at the map I can cross the IJsselmere Lake on the Afsluitdijk, a 32km causeway between Zurich and Den Oever and then head south to Enkhuizen and cross the 27km Houtribdijk to Leylstad. The two causeway’s or dijks are actually dams that enclose the IJsselmere and Markermere lakes. I check out accommodation in Leylstad and find a B&B at a reasonable cost so book it.
Did I mention it’s windy??
Anyway, time to push on.. I go out to the bike to find this little hitchhiker
I am very careful not to hurt him.
I’m making my way out of the car park when I see a group of 3 young men standing pissing against a hedge… they have literally stopped their car on the exit road from the service area and are peeing in direct view of the restaurant!! Bloody disgusting… they obviously don’t want to pay the 0.70c to use the toilet facilities just 300m from where they are parked. They are making absolutely no attempt to conceal themselves, I mean I don’t know the laws here in Netherlands, but this is illegal in the UK and is almost indecent exposure.
Back on the autobahn and it really is cold and windy… sorry moaning again, but it does make me review my plans. If it’s still this windy when I get to Zurich then I’m not going to be crossing almost 60km of exposed open water, especially the Ijsselmere which is open to the North Sea. Whilst I think this would be a wonderful ride in the right weather I don’t think it is worth chancing it today. I umm and ahh for a good while then decide to turn off of the A7 and take the A6 southwest direct to Lelystad
I must admit I am pretty tired, it has been really full on the whole tour and I haven’t taken any breaks or had much just sitting around doing nothing time, so it is all catching up with me a bit.
As I near Lelystad the sun makes an appearance, but it is still windy and too late now to change plan again. I arrive in Lelystad and find the B&B without too much problem. I am greeted by a small elderly woman who seems very nice. She shows me to my room, up another spiral staircase… seriously! She shows me the facilities, there is a microwave, fridge, coffee machine and kettle. She has also provided some information about places to eat nearby and a small map. I see there are some shops and restaurants about 10 minutes away so get changed and decide to walk there.
Well, this place is like a mini Milton Keynes, everything looks pretty much the same and the road layout is a little difficult to navigate. Every so often I pull out the ‘map’ but I can’t seem to find if I am in the right place. I give up and start using google maps only to discover I have gone in the opposite direction. There is another shopping centre not far away so I head there.
On the way I pass over a little bridge..
I arrive at the shopping area and immediately am confronted with several ‘All You Can Eat’ buffet style restaurants. I mean literally next door to one another is the Tasty Wok and the Asia Wok, across the precinct is the All You Can Eat Wok and next to that is the All You Can Eat Shushi. For those who do not want asian food there is a Steak Pub. Other food outlets are a Morrocan Bakery, that is closed and Mr Gyros, which seems to have closed down altogether.
I decide to go into the supermarket, Jumbos, and get a microwave meal. One thing I have noticed is the difference between Netherlands and Germany with regards to Covid prevention measures. In Germany everyone was wearing masks and in fact one cannot enter a shop without one on. They also seem pretty good at social distancing and all public venues, shops, restaurants, etc. provide free hand gel and ask you to use it on entry. Here however there’s none of that… I mean no-one is wearing a mask, or social distancing and there isn’t any gel. I am very surprised that even in the supermarket no one seems to be worried about Covid transmission. I have a quick look around Jumbos but can’t find any microwave meals… only pizza!!! I pick up a tomoto soup, some bread and cheese and a small carton of milk to have with my coffee.
Back at the B&B I heat up the soup and it is delicious… it has small meatballs in it, unlike the ones in Czechia these are not grey. I really enjoy it with the bread and cheese… must be time for a coffee. Except I can’t get the machine to work. I think I must be doing something wrong so look up the instructions in google. Nope am doing it right. When I switch on the maching the light flashes to indicate the water is heating, but it just keeps on flashing so eventually I just give up… bought the milk for nothing then, well I’ll give it another go in the morning.