Another Dutch Weekend

Another trip on the Newcastle - Ijmuiden ferry! This time for a few days cycling on North Holland, the area including Amsterdam and north. Accompanied by my friend David on a Claud Butler hybrid towing a Burley Travoy trailer.
Here's my Brompton touring set up as we left the ferry terminal at Ijmuiden. Rather wet so had the waterproof cover on the Brompton front bag!
After a wet couple of hours cycling alongside the Amsterdam canal we reached the city but all very easy as always in the Netherlands.

Once in Amsterdam we visited the fantastic 'Work Cycles'.
The bell on the top right is missing because I bought it!

Then a short cycle to Cafe t'Small for lunch. Been there a few times before, when lunch arrived it started raining again so we moved inside up the steepest curving stairs you'll find! Can't imagine it being allowed in the UK. Best not to drink too much.

With lunch finished we reluctantly descended the stairs to find the rain had finished again and we set off along the canals and the tunnel under Centraal station to catch the ferry over the river.

The route then went through Broeck in Waterland where everybody seems to live on these houseboats with their own little ferry. We crossed a canal by another little chain ferry!

After an ice cream (it was now rather warm!) in Monikerdam we reached our farm campsite just north of Edam. We both use Go Lite Hex 3 tents with Ooknests. Note the folded Brompton inside.

The next morning we cycle alongside the Zuider Zee for about an hour but rarely saw it due to the tall dyke holding back the sea.
We reached Hoorn where we hitched a ride on the steam railway, of course there was provision to carry bikes. To get them up on the wagon from the low platforms the train carried a long u shaped metal trough! The train takes about 40 minutes to get to Medemblick where we had lunch and sat out another rainstorm.

Once it cleared we set off into a strong headwind to our next campsite. Probably the only drawback of cycling in the Netherlands is when there is a headwind! Our average speed halved.

Next morning we set off early wondering if a headwind would be an issue but it had dropped and we shot along paths through woods and alongside lakes into Alkmaar where we stopped in the deserted town centre for coffee. After riding along bike paths and quiet roads we got to the north sea coast and turned left on the North Sea Cycle Route - miles of brick paved cycle route through the dunes. Lots of other cyclists including many pelotons going really fast - 'hup hup' shouted as a warning. Mind you everybody else seemed to be going faster than us too - most on electric bikes!
When we reached Wijk aan Zee we stopped for lunch, had a potter round a market and then set off to cycle across the huge ship locks at Ijmuiden, suddenly once again into a strong headwind but immediately after the locks we arrived back at the ferry port, had a chat to some fellow cyclists and them boarded the ferry.

North Sea Cycle Route                                                                Lashing our bikes on the ferry

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