Time: 3h 2m
Average speed: 19 kph
Song of the day: Straat Life
Click here to see today’s route
First, an overdue picture of the captain with yesterday’s pancakes:
We were pretty tired last night after our long day in the saddle, and our conquering of the mighty Afsluitdijk. A long hot shower, and then we hobbled out into Medemblik intending to walk past the harbour to a restaurant recommended by a well-known reviews website. But then we passed a Chinese restaurant, one whiff of five-spice powder and we’d changed our minds. The prawn crackers (‘kroepoek’) were big rectangles rather than little circles, really tasty. And no chopsticks, maybe only the Brits are foolish enough to attempt them!
A good night’s sleep, and then a much later breakfast this morning, with under 60km on the schedule. Our hosts joined us and we chatted over breakfast, about the house (400 years old), Brexit (inevitably), and life in modern Netherlands. They seem a very ‘sorted’ country somehow, relaxed, confident, and well looked after, and with low unemployment and stable finances just reported again for this year, our hosts told us, it seems like a good place to live.
They saw us off, and we navigated flawlessly out of town (for a change), both feeling a little creaky after the exertions of yesterday. It didn’t help that we were facing something of a headwind, but it was dry and we’ve been incredibly lucky with the wind direction to this point, so we didn’t mind too much. We were soon out at the coast again, the sun sparkling on the IJsselmeer.
We cycled along the coast pretty much all morning, sometimes with a view of the water, sometimes behind a dyke a few metres high, like this:
After 40km we arrived in Edam for lunch, now knowing that it is correctly pronounced ‘Ey-dam’. Must remember that in Tesco… Strange, though, that what we know of as Edam cheese, with the red wax covering, doesn’t really seem to be on offer here. This is what Edam cheese in Edam looks like:
It was sunny and warm, and we managed another lunch outside – for the stoker gorgeous black bread and cheese (Edam? Not sure, the choice was ‘young’ or ‘old’ (mature), but it wasn’t clear if it was local!), and for the captain a delicious flammkuche. We had a walk around after lunch, bought some chocolate, marvelled at the wonky houses and enjoyed the sunshine.
With only 16km remaining (the psychologically important ’10 miles’), we didn’t have to rush, and it was just as well, as we got a bit caught up with the school run:
One last windmill, and we were pulling into Broek in Waterland. After a bit of faffing around we found our digs, a lovely hotel right on the water.
And for the first time since Dunkirk, a bath! There will be much wallowing…