Well, that was a long day. But not in the bad sense. Just in the distance sense. We started out from the B&B this morning at 9 am, with our first stop Roosendaal, where I needed to get a Dutch SIM card for my phone. The wind was blowing quite briskly from the south as we left, and it was quite chilly. Luckily, our route soon turned north, and with the wind at our backs, the ride soon becaume much more comfortable and quite a lot speedier. Nothing much to see in Roosendaal, other than the phone shop and a nice market, where we picked up some excellent local cheese. Then it was back on the road again. The LF2 took us mostly along quiet farm roads, and most of the scenery consisted of potato fields. So we didn't stop much other than to get our bearings from time to time.
A word about the bike paths in Belgium and Holland. Over all they are very well marked. The major cross-country paths, the LF routes, are quite scenic (so far) and generally very easy to navigate. That said, I'm very glad to have my iPhone with me. Before we left, I downloaded a program called MotionX, which allows you to pinpoint your location on a map using GPS. It differs from Google Maps in that you can download custom maps and use them without an Internet connection if necessary. So I had previously downloaded 3 Gb of cycle-route maps of Belgium and Holland. Turned out to be a great decision. Several times an hour, if ever I'm in doubt, I'll pull out the phone and make sure we are actually on the right road. It only takes a second, but it's very reassuring to know we're going in the right direction, and it's aready saved us from going way off course a couple of times.
40 km into today's ride found us in the little town of Zevenbergen, just in time for lunch. We had a very nice meal (Me: meatball & fries plus a nice Dutch wheat beer, the name off which escapes me at the moment; Sonia: chicken/bacon sandwhich with a Belgian blond that turned out to be brewed by Het Anker in Mechelen, which was VERY nice). It was a welcome break. Before we started on the last leg, I put on another layer of clothes, since even with the wind at our backs, I was starting to get chilled. 23 km later, and after crossing the impressive Hollands Diep River, we arrived at our B&B in Dordrecht. Total of 63 km for the day. No big deal for most real cycists, but neverthless, the longest ride ever for Sonia. Even I was happy to have a tailwind.
After a short nap and something to eat, we went out to expore the town, billed as Hollands oldest city. Since it was after 6 pm, the old centre was deserted, but it looks like quite a beautiful Renaissance town that has a nice mix of old and new. We've been on the bikes for 4 days now, and the forecast for tomorrow doesn't look great, so we've decided to stay here an extra day. There are lots of things to see around here, and there's even a craft brewery in town that I'd like to check out. The break wil do us good. Gouda can wait an extra day.