Day 355 – BELGIUM and THE NETHERLANDS: St Leenard to near Krabbendijke

Today’s distance / 今日の走行距離: 63.6km
Average speed / 平均速度: 11.4km/h
Time on skateboard / 走行時間: 5h 35m
Total skateboarding distance to date / 今までスケボで走った距離: 675.93km (plus 428.5km)
Total cycling distance to date / 今まで自転車で走った距離: 11,800km

Today it began. Before I even got up out of the cold dark building, I could see the trees bending towards the east. Considering that I had to travel to the west meant that it was not a good sign. A strong westerly wind. A wind in the face.

My spirits were high however. The wind so strong that one could only laugh. It was here that I realised that I had broken through the four week barrier. After four weeks on the road, I feel as though I am ready to knuckle down and do this. No more inner complaining that I’m moving so much slower than when I was on the bike. No more complaining about rough roads. Just acceptance. This is how it’s going to be. Headwind included. Just do your five and a half hours, Rob.

Boat on the Dessel-Schoten Canal, Belgium

I followed the canal up until Wuustwezel, where I sheltered in the public library on the computers for an hour. The friendly library staff fed me coffee, and almost apologetically kicked me out at noon when the library closed for an hour.

I carried on into the wind to Kalmthout where I cooked up spaghetti for lunch. Today I experimented with spaghetti and mayonase. Simple, heaps of energy, and tasty. I’ll keep that on the menu, I think.

From Kalmhout it was through the beautiful Stappersven Marsh area.

Stappersven Marsh, Belgium

Against the westerly that thretened to stop cyclists and skateboarders alike in their tracks, I managed to make it to Hoogerheide in The Netherlands – back to the friendly atomosphere of the Dutch.

From Hoogerheide it was on to Zeeland. This vast, windswept flat area reminded me a lot of Canterbury in New Zealand. Getting a good view from a high bridge over a massive canal, you could see all the windbreaker tree lines along the edges of paddocks on the flat land.

The view was moving. Everything on such a massive scale. Massive man-made structures pitted themselves against the unrelenting wind.

Huge lock seen from the Zeeland Road bridge in The Netherlands

Wind turbines in Zeeland, The Netherlands

It is everything I imagined The Netherlands to be. I unreservedly rate this country as one of the most fascinating and moving countries I have travelled through thus far.

By 6:30pm I was finished. Mentally ready to continue, my body was saying no. With the wind so strong against me, I have to push so many more times to attain the same speed as if there was no wind. This takes it’s toll on my feet, and I could feel blisters forming on the back of my heels. I found an empty shed in an orchard and settled down for the night.

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3 thoughts on “Day 355 – BELGIUM and THE NETHERLANDS: St Leenard to near Krabbendijke

  • Uncle Peter

    Thousand Island dressing is a kind of mayo with tomato sauce included. That's quite tasty too (even if I do say so myself).

  • Aunty Les

    Good use of wind power, I see. There are some proposals for more wind farms in NZ, which seems to me to be the most sensible way to produce electricity, but still there are people who complain about spoiling the countryside. I reckon the wind generators are rather elegant.

  • rob Luxton

    I went to a few Islands once whilst in Indonesia. I was eating a salad with a dressing whilst watching giant lizards scraing tourists… Suddenly I remembered I was on one of the Thousand Islands, and was perhaps eating the real macoy. It was horrible….Never liked the stuff anyway. Reckon it would taste much better whilst sleeping in a bush though.