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.
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.
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.
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.