Last night stayed in the fabulous home of Tinake (the "ke" being an affectionate suffix, just like the Spanish "ito"), with a deck built out over a canal. My room was a dormer at the top of the house approached by steep narrow steps.
|"11 Cities Route" - Day 4 (ANWB map)|
|East of Harlingen - at the horizon is a protective sea barrier|
The path then skirts the dike. A staircase goes up over this and I climbed up for a look. Not a beach but a long jetty of boulders and a sort of rock pier, at the end of which some guys are fishing. The water is brownish, rippling rather than crashing, perhaps because there is a breakwater out a ways.
Then I'm laboring in the hot sun through vast fields of spinach and other crops, and then a veritable grove of eolic windmills, though a few of them seem offline. Out here, you can hear the whoosh of the blades turning. Reach the highway, go underneath it (passing an elderly woman in shades who might be Laura Bush), momentarily blinded in my sunglasses, and emerge in deepest suburbia.
|Franeker: alternative suburbia|
Time has somehow crept up on me and it's after four. This is one effect of cycling all day: I seem to perceive time differently and I'm a little better at bending it to my will though still not entirely of course. I'm at a fairly busy stretch of a country road outside of Ried (Rie, in deference to my Frisian readers). On one side of me the road, trodden by tractors, on the other a great field being worked by a tractor with spraying implement at rear, some kind of misting procedure. The field is so big that as the tractor recedes into the distance I can no longer hear it.
|Escape from Berlikum|
|Livin' small, along the Oudebildtdijk|
The café, one of the few places open along this stretch, is a squat wooden structure and has a neat terrace with beat-up oak tables looking out over a vast field of spinach. I got the special, the Uitsmÿter Compleet (€3.50) and two strawberry milkshakes. The uitsmÿter was like none I'd ever had. Definitely "compleet": fried eggs over a bun, topped with bacon, mushrooms and melted cheese. I asked for salt and the gruff proprietor brought over a container of rock salt, then ground it into my eggs for me, apparently because he needed it back. The supper really hit the spot: Dutch comfort food.
The place was called Snackhut De Amsterdammer. They spoke no English, not even the young blonde woman behind the counter. Despite the café's name, this really did seem a world away from Amsterdam.
|Mess o' eggs and shake: De Amsterdammer Café|