Around the Pond: 5000 km on the North Sea Cycle Route

For the german and dutch part of the NSCR I had guide books from BikeLine. There is also a book for the danish part, but I couldn't get it in time. (Well, I could have, had I thought of it earlier...). Anyway, I'm heading into Denmark armed only with a auto map with too little detail - like where the cycle routes are. Until I can get hold of a decent cycle map I have to rely on the signs. Which seem to be pretty good, at least for the first few kilometers. Eventually I realize that I haven't seen a sign for a some time. I must have missed a turn. But if I remember correctly, the route went through Tønder. I follow the road to Højer, where a sign gives the direction to Tønder.

On the 12 kilometers to Tønder I have a nice tail wind. That alone should have told me that Tønder was wrong. In Tønder I get some Danish Kronor from an ATM and buy some nice cycle maps for the way up to Skagen. These maps also tell me that I should have gone north from Højer, instead of east to Tønder.

I make my way back to Højer, this time against the wind. As a nice bonus I get a rain shower, which I sit out in the shelter of a bus stop. As I am back in Højer I already have 35 km on my odometer, but have effectively only made 10 kilometers.

In Højer I do some shopping, then I head further north, always against the wind. I'm glad if I can keep my speed at 15km/h, except for the parts that go over lose gravel. Here I can hardly make 10km/h.

My destination for today is Esbjerg, but shortly behind Ribe - my odometer shows something above 80km - I'm getting tired and thinking of calling it a day. It is already past seven. But the map shows no camping site near Ribe. I pick a site near Tjæreborg, and continue north along the dike. The same as the last few days: headwind, sheep, gates.

As I arrive in Tjæreborg it is nearly 9 p.m. Where the map shows a camping site nothing is to be seen. I stare at the map, trying decide what to do. Continue to the next camping site? Sleep at the beach? Ride through the night? While I am sitting there, a woman emerges from a house down the road, asking what I was looking for. I tell her about my problem. She informs me, that the camping site in the map is at a farm down the road, but the owners are away at the moment. But I can stay the night in her garden. She shows me where I can pitch my tent, and a restroom and shower in an annex I can use.

During the night it starts raining.

Day 8 - June 10th: Rudbøl to Tjæreborg


Rudbøl - Højer - Tønder - Højer - Tjæreborg


Distance: 104.82 km
Cycle time: 6:58 h
Average speed: 15.01 kmh
Total distance: 705 km
© Thomas Stets
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