Â On this morning The Zeeland pushes off from the dockside of the Ijssel river, in Kampen,Â promptly at 7:00 am. Headed northe, downriver to the Ketelmeer, and then southeast through the wide canals to Harderwijk. Today would be loop ride out and back in to Harderwijk.Â The boat cruised as we dressed, had breakfast, and then prepared for the days ride.Â I had enough time to get soundly thrashed by George in a game of chess.Â He began the game by admonishing me for my bad choices in opening moves, explaining to me the different opening gambits.Â It was at this very early point in the match that I knew I was in trouble.Â The boat soon docked in Harderwijk, on the outside of another cycle tour boat.Â This was one of several days that we docked against another boat, which required us to take our bikes off our boat, then across their boat and down to the dock.Â No on seemed to care, just business as usual on the waterways of The Netherlands. Â The early parts of the ride took us in to the National park lands again.Â A beautiful area to ride through, with lots of trees, which helped to some degree to shelter us from the torrential rains.
At this point I began to ponder the wisdom of not installing fenders.
Paul slipped off the roadway and fell to the pavement quite hard cutting his knee and bruising his shoulder.Â This was the second and last fall for the group. Â The rain fell quite hard for about two hours until we found shelter under the windmill in Ermelo.Â This windmill was a working grain mill, and we took a tour up through all four floors.Â There was a couple of workers there happy to show us all the intricacies of the mill.Â They demonstrated the braking system, the technique for re-grooving the worn stones, and how to winch the upper section of the windmill around in order to face the wind. Hannameike, our cycle guide released us for a 15 minute tour of the town, while she waited for us at the windmill.Â We promptly setÂ off to find coffee and pannekouken.Â Pannekoeken had quickly become a group favorite.Â Essentially an ample plate sized, thin pancake, embedded with something good, like apples, chocolate, etc.Â After a fair bit of time, spent with coffee, and hiding out from the rain.Â Hannameike was spotted riding through town in search of us, since we were once again,Â behind schedule.Â Soon the group mustered and we set off again.Â Paul, once again showing his unique lack of awareness, dawdled until we left, then went the opposite direction and promptly got lost.Â Another wait while Hannameike goes out and tracks him down.
We saw many barn structures with tall poles, which allowed the owner to winch up the entire roof, I supposed to allow for feed storage.
The rain finally cleared up about the time we got into Harderwijk at about 5:00Â Â Our dinner tonight was pasta, which finally made the Italian Nadia feel at home.Â After dinner we showered and walked around town as the sun set , somewhat saddened in the realization that the next day is the last riding day of the tour.