„finally arrived at the beach, even if its not the ocean… not yet …“, I thought.
Anywhere, a few kilometers behind the Dutch-German border, I built up my tent with an awesome view over the Rhine-river while enjoying a cup of red wine and watching ships passing by.
Listening and harkening is my motto for tonight.
The waves are smoothing the sand before my feet so I really would like to jump insight the water right now. But just one of us has this courage to do so… Woody doesn’t care about the cold. He is hard-boiled, cavorting around the riverside and often watching towards me as he would like to say how happy he is. I’m taking another chocolate biscuit and watching at a swarm of migrating birds hovering over the river.
Beeing free as a bird, flieing to wherever you want to be.
That’s how I’m feeling at the moment and also imagined before the journey. Of course, I knew that this wont be a summer-beach-bathing- Bike-Out -holiday but as my good friend Luiz told me the evening before my Tour started: „Gladly you are not affected by the cold that much!“
Nonetheless, I want to go swimming!… Not today but when I am at my destination – Hoek van Holland, the end of the Rhine-river-bikeway – I will jump into the ocean. That’s why I got my bathers with me!
„It’s too bad that I lost my only greater towel today while driving…“
I take another big sip of my cold 2-Euro wine and ask myself why I havent felt that free in the past. Doing what your want to do, things that really lie close to your heart, going where you want to go, having the people (or pets) on your side which mean the world for you and telling it to them… all this is pretty uncommon and too hard these days, I’m thinking. But, I did it! At least at the moment, at least for a short time…
I m already planing the tours in my thoughts which i want to do next.
The way of St. James from Germany to Santiago de Compostela would be one of it. Though I already hiked a couple of Kilometers of it with my Host from the Nature Conservancy Center Kleve/Bienen and his friend which told me not to anounce him as Brother Luke in my Blog. The Saint James scallops inspired me such a lot that this definitely will come anytime.
Norway, Scotland, Ireland, Belgium, Spain, France, Asia, Africa, and many more…
I m brooding about all these destinations and getting excited by the thoughts of all imagined and upcoming experiences.
But, I don’t want to live in the future. So I am watching Woody who meanwhile is sitting next to my feet watching along the shore like there would fly a treat…
up and down… up and down… here and now…
The quiet, the calmness which is casted by this place overlaps all things which rumored inside me for the last month, even the last years and stopped me from not-beeing-able to stand-still. Woodys tranquility, his slow and calm breathing which I can see and I’m almost able to hear is making me calmer more and more.
I‘m coming back to my thoughts of the last two days. Yesterday evening, I was biking through one village after another in search of a good place to build my tent up. Just before I found it a group of some guys pulling a handcart with loud pop-music on it and a beery breath were crossing my way.
„come, take a bottle of beer in your hand!“, one shouted at me.
No sooner said than done! One bottle in the left, the Bike in the right I was strolling with them.
„Where do you sleep with all your stuff?“
After I explained that this was what I was actually looking vor one of the guys offered me a bed in his house. The only condition was: I had to drink beer! „I can do that“, I said with a wide grin and took another big sip of my bottle. The Group known as „Boßeln“ which I have never heard of. I just realized that it was about two teams, each of them having one wooden ball, rolling them over the street like you play bowling. I did not understand more of that and I was also thinking that nobody of them did. After that, we went to a farm with some bar tables, more beer and some sausages. I took at least five of them. Of course, I took some sausages as well.
In the night, I went to the Nature Conservancy Centre with my Host Johannes where I could sleep tonight. A real bed, warm shower in the second day on my trip! Amazing, warm, wonderful!
Instead of directly biking-out more in the morning, I had a blast with the hobby-biologist Johannes and his friend Luke who wanted to see and photograph an ordained bird and an alpine newt. So we stow my bike and trailer away in the back of an old T3-Volkswagen and went toward… anywhere. If I had to describe the „Heath Lark“ which we found pretty fast and not only once I’d say it is a hyperactive chubby bird which has lost all his Ritalin supplies. Somehow, it reminded me of Woody in his puberty…
After hiking a hour on the way of St. James we finally found the swamp which was actually just a small pool of black water with limbs in the middle of a forest. We also found one an alpine newt which was photographed with a lot of enthusiasm. I will also try me as a Bio-layman here: I would say, that it was a beautiful and elegant amphibian which I would classidy to the emo-pets: Main thing is to get back into dark.
On the way back we wanted to eat something small. Everyone who really knows me will also know what is meant if I am telling to eat „something small“. After two portions of Chips, two Schnitzel with Zingara sauce and a bottle of beer, we were going to dyke where I wanted to start from.
After a warm hug and the obligatory „I want to shoot some hotos of you“-photos I was going on my way to the Netherlands. maybe a hour later, it was 6 p.m. already, I found a very special place for my tent. It is behind a dyke so that nobody can see me from the streets while having a fabulous view on the Rhine-river when I watch out of my tent-window. I m very excited to drink my coffee while watching the sun rise above the river.
Let’s see where I will be in the next days and evenings, what people I may meet and experiences I will have on my future trip.