Gra Nomad Wanderings

Monday, October 22, 2012

ELODIE - end Week 7

[Written Friday 19 Oct]

Probably my favourite day of the whole week (even though there’s still the weekend to go.) Weather – fine! No rain! No hills! Minimal traffic – guess there were quite a few bikes now I think about it. Heaps and heaps of canals – some big, some small. Even a river that looked like a large canal. The traffic on the canals was quite busy. All sorts of traffic going this way and that. Huge tankers, small tugs, the odd sailboat struggling in amongst the big timers.
We did about 60 km today. It was very pleasant. Weatherwise – our best day. 

Our group stopped at Kinderdÿk to check out the wind mills. We called in to a pub at Molenaarsgkaaf for coffee or hot chocolate (and the usual biscuit as Mary Kay was quick to remind me). Janice has developed quite a connection with hot chocolates on this trip. Belgian chocolate of course. Then lunch was at Schoonhoven (quite a lovely little town) and finally reached Vianen at 5:10 pm where the barge, Elodie was waiting for us. 
Nina was very say the least
I asked the team if they’d like to contribute to this “post” but I was not very successful I’m sorry. So, you’ll have to hear from me again.
Trimmed hedges, manicured shrubs, beautiful gardens, extensive vegie gardens, lovely houses, cobblestones in the towns, cycling past people’s front and back yards. Every now and then our feared leader, Nina, would stop, all cyclists would assemble and she would gather us together; “I make you short story.” She would then tell us something educational about the land or its inhabitants. She was always saying things like, “You can not arrange the weather!” Or “I show you secret route now!”
Nina makes a short story
Each day our tour leader/guide Nina would appoint a “sweeper” who would ride at the back of the group and be responsible for rounding up the stragglers. The sweepers did a great job (see Curt below). She would also ask somebody to stay at a corner and be a “corner” till all had found it and got on the right track. 

 Go Curt!
Great to see Alicia and Mary Kay (below) show off their legs today. 

When Fay and I got in, we enjoyed a lovely shower in our cosy cabin and then sat on the deck of the Elodie and shared a white wine.  What a lovely feeling. It was a ride of about 60 km today.
While I have focussed on our riding, the actual boat trip is just excellent. Here we have to thank Michel (our great, reliable skipper) and Sander (our magnificent, creative chef.) The two blokes have helped make this trip such a great success. We are all so glad we came on this bike n barge trip.
Here are 3 dishes from Sander..... delicious!!
 Michel, Fay and Sander.

Michel - the great skipper!!!
Next blog will be about Amsterdam (with a bit of luck.)


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