|English breakfast in Nijverdal|
One of the things Jos Coenen had said: "I am from the south but I prefer the people up here." He was referring to the people of Overijssel, who were perhaps more Germanic than Limburg's inhabitants. "Here they leave you alone. If you want to make contact with them, you can reach out. If you'd rather not, they'll leave you be. In Limburg, you don't have that choice; you're unavoidably tangled in the web."
|Rondje Salland en Vechtdal - Day 3 (ANWB map)|
Mevrouw Olthuis is that way. She is perfectly open to conversing on whatever subject (her grandchildren, computers, birds, Canadian war veterans), but she respects your space as well, and doesn't mind sitting there saying nothing. She lives alone, it appears, but one of her granddaughters lives just down the street.
|Wilde paddenstolen: "The dwarves' squat houses"|
Forecast called for 90 percent chance of rain but here in the woods it's let up. Junipers are a staple; I also noticed some birch trees. The path went through the forest, then emerged on heath, then penetrated deeper woods interspersed with hiking trails, though few people are out here this Monday morning, and the damp, unpopulated woods possess some mystery.
|Long-distance routes and knooppunten ...|
|... and plain old distance markers.|
|Beekwal - an old shipping canal|
I come to the town of Bathmen (other town names in the vicinity: Look, Enter), and lo and behold found a public library that a) was open, b) had internet access, c) had no one using a computer. Just one message: from Angelo Young, talking about starting a bike shop in New Orleans. Then I gathered some food from the Stunt supermarket and rode over here to the next stretch of the canal. Here the banks sprout tall reeds with purple tassels. Little piles of flotsam float down the canal and the coots float with them, pecking at their contents.
|Supermarket parking in Bathmen|
Alas, the best laid plans go awry. Coming into Deventer, I see that the path along the canal is blocked and I have to divert to the right. I follow Oerdijk west until I reach a plaza in front of a supermarket. Deventer feels surprisingly urban -- Turks, Moroccans, Indians and one incredibly beautiful Asian woman unloading her groceries into her bike saddlebags whom I ask for directions to the park. She pleads ignorance.
|Belligerent swans: Rijsterborgherpark, Deventer|
|My digs at the Bovencamp residence|
"Yes, very much."
"But there are some things you don't like?"
"Well, I guess, but more things that I like."