Saturday, May 23, 2015

Late bloomers

Today was another long day (62 km), but at least we get a good rest now. And we lucked out with the weather again. We started out from Leiden a little later than we had hoped, because we slept in after a late night at the wonderful concert last evening. Turned out to be good "planning" on our part, since the showers basicaly stopped just as we got on the bikes. I had been expecting a wet day, but it turned out to be quite nice weather. 

Today's route took us north, past Lisse and the Keukenhof gardens, the area of Holland famous for its tulip fields. Alas, we are a week too late to see the fields at the height of their beauty, but on the other hand, I now have a clear understanding of where the term "late bloomer" comes from. 

Yes, I know these aren't tulips. You get the idea. There were still a few fields that had some lovelyl flowers though, so it wasn't a total loss. Also, did I mention we were cycling in Holland? Yeah. So not so bad, really. 

The winds today, though light (about 20 km/hour) were from the NNE, so we had them against us more or less all day, which makes Sonia's effort that much more impressive. The last 60+ km day we had, the winds were at our back the whole time. Today, I did my best to act as a wind break as much as possible, but it was still a pretty tough ride for both of us. We  rolled into Haarlem at about  2:30, tired, hungry and knowing we still had a solid 17 or 18 km left to go. Happily, I had heard that there's a good brewpub in Haarlem (Jopenkerk, run by the Jopen brewery), where we were able to refuel and try some very nice beer. Then it was back on the bikes and due east toward Amsterdam on the LF 20, where a friend's appartment was waiting for us. We'll stay here for at least 3 nights, I think, so the daily rides are behind us for a bit. I'll miss being on the bike every morning, but I think a break will do us both some good. Time to see what Amsterdam and environs has to offer. 

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