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

Around noon the ferry arrives in Zeebrugge, Belgium. The weather is cloudy, with intermittent rain. I have no maps for Belgium. That shouldn't be a problem, though, since I'm just 20 km south of the border to the Netherlands. For the dutch part of the North Sea Cycle Route I have the BikeLine book. However, I discover that this starts in Rotterdam, which is at least one and a half days of travel north of me. The descriptions I have read say that I should follow the bike route "LF 1 B". Knowing the quality of the dutch cycle network, I'm sure I'll manage without a map for a day.

It takes me some time to find the right way out of the harbour and on the LF1B. Once found it is pretty easy to follow. After a while the signs look slightly different: I have crossed the border into the Netherlands without realizing it.

On a ferry crossing the Schelde I accidentally drop my Garmin GPS. As I pick it up it has switched off, and can't be switched on again for the next 20 minutes. For the rest of the day the device switches itself off intermittently, but with decreasing frequency. Self-healing electronics? After that it seems ok, though it seems to consume more batteries than before.

After about 70km I start looking for a camping site. The first one I find has closed its reception an hour ago. I search the site, but find only campers and caravans, no tents, and no spot that looks like its dedicated to tents. The next site is not much better: only caravans, not even a reception. Is nobody in the Netherlands camping in tents anymore? Only 20 km further on, at the fifth camping site I check, do I have better luck and find someone still at the reception. It is nearly 8 p.m. by now, and the reception officially closed, but I am still received friendly. They assign me a spot for my tent. There are even other camping guests in tents!

Day 79 - August 20: Zeebrugge - Schouwen -


Zeebrugge - - Schouwen


Distance: 87.74 km
Cycle time: 5:10 h
Average speed: 16.95 kmh
Total distance: 3934 km
© Thomas Stets
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