|Heather on the dunes|
|Brabantse Land-route - Day 2 (ANWB map)|
The Dutch bike network is to me one of the great achievements of western civilization. It takes as its tenet that humans must interact with nature, that it is a basic human need, so they incorporate it into the plan. To have a neighborhood without park lands, bike paths and walking trails would be unthinkable. What would be the point?
|Outside Oisterwijk, it's a ... tree ball farm?|
|Lunch break, Oisterwijksche Heide|
|The new equestrians|
This has been a day of almost pure pleasure, not least because of the cool temperatures. Out of the Oisterwijk Heide, I am again navigating farmlands, mostly down narrow, empty country roads.
I say "almost" because as usual I got deviated off course at various points. Diessen was tricky. Supposed to head north to point 5 but I saw no indication, so I went past the turnoff, then later figured it out from a map. The road to 5 was downright dangerous: a narrow but heavily used thoroughfare with a fairly constant stream of cars and trucks and the occasional mega-tractor (and I never wear a helmet). They must slow down behind a bicycle but clearly don't want to. Driving seems to bring out the beast in people. Perfectly nice, middle-class folks are possessed by demons once they get behind the wheel and civilization breaks down.
|Coming into Goirle, south of Tilburg|
The old couple Maria and Jan were certainly nice to me. It was as if they wanted to befriend me. I was sitting by the side of the path into Diessen and they asked if they could share the bench. (Well, whatever they said was mostly conjecture since I only got every fifth word.) I magnanimously assented. Then they wanted to know where I was going (Goirle), where I'd come from (Kaatsheuvel, but they didn't understand my pronunciation of it until I mentioned the amusement park), and what kind of accommodation I had (fiets friends). They told me they were caravanning outside Diessen. I appreciated their warm overtures but really didn't know how to respond.
|My digs in Goirle|