Week 2 : Almere (NL) – Bremen (D)

After the ride through a tremendous thunderstorm from Amsterdam to Almere, which I described in an earlier post, I cycled on to Nunspeet in the Veluwe region, Dalfsen just beyond Zwolle, Coevorden, Meppen and Thülsvelde in Germany.

Almere – Nunspeet (56 km) was a quiet ride via very long straight lanes through the fields and along canals under a scorching sun. A session of Zen-cycling: thoughts switched of and only pedalling.

In Harderwijk I treated myself on a tasty ‘lekkerbek’ (cod filet) By the time I reached Nunspeet, the heath took its toll; I decided to go to the local camping. When I finished pitching my tent, I heard another thunderstrom, but fortunately it passed beyond Nunspeet.

During the rides from Nunspeet to Dalfsen (45km) and Dalfsen to Coevorden (60 km) I hit some rain showers.  After traversing Zwolle, I wanted to go to Ommen 15 km further, but I did not make it. 10 km before Ommen, the sky turned black and I was so lucky as to come across a very nice rural camping, camping Boerhoes in the village of Dalfsen. While I was waiting for the rain to stop to pitch my tent, the owner treated me on a cup of tea and cookies. Moreover, I did not have to pay for my stay. Camping Boerhoes is the place to be for people who love peaceful camping in a natural environment.

Dalfsen – Coevorden (60 km): It was very hazy in the morning, so I had to pack my tent while it was still wet. When I reached the city of Coevorden near the German border, I wanted to continue to a minicamping 12 km further, but I did not make it before another thunder storm broke out. Fortunately, there were houses along the road, so I asked in one of them whether I could hide for a while. The nice hostess treated me on a cup of tea. After the thunder subsided, I went on through the rain until Minicamping and Tea Garden De Vlinder. Again I was welcomed with many enthousiasm and I was allowed to camp for free underneath a cycle shed so that my camping gear could dry. Minicamping De Vlinder is very nice: you camp in plant-shielded places in a idyllic garden.The owners are socially and environmentally committed people: They accommodate a group of persons with a non-native mental handicap in their tearoom for creative activities and they nurture fledglings who fell out of their nest until they can fly.

Coevorden – Meppen (35 km): I was still drizzling in the morning, so I decided to go for a short ride until the German city of Meppen and take some time to shop for food and update the website.  The camping is quite nice, situated along the border of the river Ems, but unfortunately a bunch of noisy drunken Britts kept everybody awake until 4 o’clock in the morning …

Meppen – Thülsvelde (62 km) was a highly enjoyable ride in dry weather with backwind. In the villages of Lahn and Werlte, Geschützfeste were going on with popular games and much food and drink. I stayed at another very nice and quiet camping in Thülsvelde, 11 km north of Cloppenburg: Campingplatz Wilken, which also granted me a free stay.

Thülsvelde – Bremen (75 + 10 km): The internet connection of Campingplatz Wilken was uncooperative, so I went to bed early for a long ride to Bremen the next day, with one stop in a tea room in Cloppenburg to check GoogleMaps and Osmand for cycling routes. A day of 85 km, but my Strava kilometertracker skipped part of the ride and drew one, straight line.

Underway, I met a hiking group from Cloppenburg who donate €27 for the Bubaque project. I made a picture of them, which I unfortunately lost later on. I feel very sorry for this…..