Monday, July 14, 2014

Day 66: to Ijmuiden (82; 4379)

Not enormous mileage today as I am rapidly running out of land! But a very pleasant day of cycling through sand dunes in beautiful national park.

The coastline around this part of northern Holland is lovely, and generally protected by a couple of kilometres of sand dunes with scrubland and pine forest. Looks a bit like the sandy parts of the north Norfolk coast, and is grazed by ponies and Highland cows who are totally unfazed by cyclists.

The family holiday havens petered out soon after I set off, and while there are plenty of people around there's been noticeably less dense tourism today. I stopped for coffee at the splendid beach of Camperduins and also detoured inland through the classy holiday town of Bergen and the rather big town of Alkmaar. I was hoping to find a cheese market in the latter but turns out it's only on Fridays. Sometimes having a German-speaking map book lets me down... Still it was a pleasant enough diversion. And other than those diversions it's been just cyclists, walkers and pony trekkers all day. 

Took my second to last ferry into Ijmuiden where I am staying in <sniff> my last campsite in a wooded park on the edge of town. The cheerful Dutchman in reception ('I had an ex-girlfriend called Barnett.. She was from Lewes. Don't worry you can still stay here') kindly gave me a little clearing to myself to celebrate my last night under canvas. So I have pitched my little tent for the last time! What good service it has provided. With a last pasta dinner and a little unladen cruise around town, my camping days draw to a close.

If Khanum and I understand one another correctly, they are arriving home from holiday tomorrow afternoon, and I will detour inland to overnight with them before catching the ferry on Weds night.

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