DAY 03: Maassluis to Wijngaarden.
A little extra sleep was due this morning as it appears water taxis ran most of the night (it sounded like it) so we didn’t sleep as well as night one, but it wasn’t all that bad. We spent an hour or so pottering around, drinking coffee and rearranging some stuff we weren’t happy with. Some last minute checks and we were ready to head out for the day.
I did my usual walk around before moving Doris and it seemed there was a little leak underneath her last night. I know she’s a lady and don’t want to embarrass her, but it doesn’t seem bad or anything to worry about but more something just to keep an eye on to see if it happens again.
The drive across from Maasluis was relatively straight forward and it’s getting easier driving Doris, so that’s a good sign. We’d thought we’d try out a little farm that offers pitches for motorhomes at 8 Euro a night for the base for the day/night. When we arrived it was empty and the lady and gentleman who owned the farm were lovely and friendly. She even stopped his pressure washing session to help fill up our ever dwindling water tank.
From here we knew we had about a 10/12 mile cycle towards Kinderdijk to see the the Windmills. Out on the bikes was the agenda for the day, good job we’re in the right country for it! Cycling is so easy over here, one because it’s flat and two because there are dedicated cycle lines EVERYWHERE. Crazy to see how much they prioritise cycling here in comparison to the UK.
After a nice little hour or so pedalling North we made it to the UNESCO site of Kinderdijk. There are 19 windmills in total at this site and they were first built in 1740. They were built to pump water from the canals to reservoirs to control the level of water in the area. It’s obviously a little more complex than that, but that’s all my brain could handle. Fascinating and very clever.
Initially we headed straight through to the main entrance and were surprised we were allowed in on bikes, but what we didn’t realise is that it was 18 euros for the both of us to get in. I thought that was a little too much for our daily budget and insisted we turned around and carried on cycling. Fortunately, just up the road there was a couple of windmills with easy access that we could get up close to and have a look.
They’re so beautiful!
Nat had suggested we turned back because she liked a view she saw when we first cycled past all 19 windmills. Turns out you can access them this way… FOR FREE! That’s more like it. Up close they truly are beautiful. Canal ways filled with Lilly pads, coots, ducks and storks all amongst each other.
We spent 30 or so minutes cycling around and looking at the different individual windmills and taking various pictures of them. The cycle path we’d followed in, and eventually turned off of, comes right through the site so after dodging lots of people we managed to get through the windmills and in the direction of a jumbo!
Jumbo is of course a supermarket. We’ve not got the best tasting water at the moment so we’re stocking up on bottled water instead. That alongside some delicious dutch bakewell/almond thing that is tasty, tasty, very, very tasty!
It was another 10/12 miles back to Doris but it’s made easy when everywhere you look is like a postcard. Beautiful houses with their own canals, fields and forests everywhere. It really is a beautiful little place this. Doris has been parked up on the lovely farm all day, hopefully keeping out of trouble.
After a long morning/afternoon of cycling we decided to have a nap after lunch. It was welcomed! It’s great being in a motorhome again as travel is so much easier when you can cook your lunch, have a nap then wake up and take a shower. All in about 10ft of space!
We spent the rest of the late afternoon watching David Attenborough and playing some dominoes. Which is better since my Grandad taught me how to play properly, Nat didn’t beat me 10-0 today. She still beats me at every other game though.
After our dinner we went out for a walk locally to get some blood flow to the legs and help loosen us up a little. Otherwise I feel we might both be a little sore tomorrow. It was beautiful tonight, walking by the canals through the forests listening to bird song and watching coots and swans building their nests. I don’t know what I expected from Holland, but it wasn’t this natural beauty.
In the field next to ours are two little goats, it would have been rude to not give them a little scratch before retiring to Doris for the rest of the night.
Tomorrow we’re heading for tulips and somewhere east. Closer to Germany!
Tonights camping location: Wijngaarden, South Holland. (CamperContact: 14317)