Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Third Day Bicycling in Holland

The weather when I woke up was gloomy. The famous strong winds of Netherlands is here. It was raining slightly and there was some snow as well. Never mind..I will decide after I had  my breakfast at the hostel. Breakfast was a simple affair with good healthy food.

While I was having breakfast I met up with another bicycle tourist from Germany. He had just retired at 60 years old and is seeking some adventures in his life. we were heading in almost the same direction towards Hoofdroop. The distance from Den Hague is about 55 km. Now that I had completed my breakfast and the wind is howling, I decided to take a train to Laden which is 25 km away. that means i will have only 30 km to cycle today.

So it is pedal back to the train station where I came from yesterday, bought a ticket and boarded the train for the 20 mins ride to Laden

While standing on the train I met a young lady doing law at the Laden University. We started chatting about the Dutch education system. Soooo good. They were paid quite a sum of money to study in the University. No need to burden the parents. It is all inclusive..fees, food, transport and accommodation. I only wish it were the same here in Malaysia!

The GPS bicycle route on my Garmin seems to be playing havoc when I started to ride my bicycle again from Laden to Hoofdroop. It kept pointing me towards the car highways (which do not allow cycling). I had to use my cow sense to get back to the bicycle path. While struggling to get the correct path GPS assisted, I had to ask for direction. There comes this lady on a bicycle at  the deserted country road. She was heading towards her house boat. Looking at the bicycle path map located by the road side she explained to me how to use the Dutch bicycle path to travel along the most scenic route. All you have to do is to join up the numbers on the route and follow the signs joining the numbers. Simple enough but when I rode along I found that locating the road numbers were quite difficult...esp when the weather is less than cooperative
This is how the road side map looks like

Dark clouds were looming again in the horizon. Within an hour it started to pour. GPS says I ma about 5km to Hoofdroop my destination for the day.Then it poured and the wind speed picked up. It was impossible to cycle in this weather and also it became VERY cold. There were no shelters around. My good friend Keith Yim had told me many time he will be standing by for me to call if the weather turns sour and he will just drive up to pick me to the comforts of his home. No..I cannot give up when it is so near.I decided to fold my bicycle(advantage of a folding bike) and started to hitch hike. Within a few minutes a van stopped and offered me a lift to Hoofdroop. This kind soul says it is the first time in his life giving a lift to strangers as it is not a safe thing to do in Holland. I told him I used to give lifts to hitch hikers in Malaysia and this must be some sort of repayment for me! Well he brought me to the village center in Hoofdroop. After a meal of Mac Donalds I cycled to my host Keith Yim's house. Sorry for not having photos of the bad weather but I did not want to damage my camers. believe me....the weather is real bad!

Here I did my shopping for some cheese to bring home. Next moring Keith drove me to the Schipol airport and I departed back home to Malaysia.


  1. Well at least the food looked good!!
    Saw a couple cycling today using the Surly. Simple looking bike, but cool drop handlebars.

  2. You should be my partner in crime one day!

  3. I am a mere apprentice sir!!! :P