|The Di Blasi, ready to roll.|
(note: original date of this entry: July 16, 2012)
So all this preparation and Del was ready to abort the first day. True, when we awoke at Elli's place in Tiel it was drizzling. But by the time we got to Tiel station it had stopped. "You're just being suckered by the weather," she said, only a matter of time before it starts pouring again. I knew better than to press her: Del makes up her mind, that's it. Then she suggested I just push on myself and she'd go back to Amsterdam. That seemed a good solution though I felt unhappy that Del would not join me. I gave her the keys and she got on a train to Utrecht. I biked into town, got some food and cycled down to the Waal, through an old city gate. I quickly found the ferry to Wamel (€1.60, runs till 8 or 9 pm) and am now pedaling along the south bank of the Waal. It's peaceful and beautiful along this trail with sunshine filtering through the clouds, a row of rustling ginkgos between me and the river, a pasture where little black goats graze behind me. Now it actually feels like summer. Banks of clouds move across the horizon, drifting eastward, and the ginkgos reflect the sun.
If I find a spot like this one, overlooking the Maas on the edge of Lith, I'll sit for quite a while, watching the boats pass, munching a tuna sandwich and cashews, looking at the cattle munching grass in the thin strip of pasture between me and the landing. Rain has fallen on and off through the day but it's mostly breezy and cool with occasional bursts of sunshine.
"Lith has gained national fame through the book by Antoon Coolen, Dorp aan de rivier (Village on the River, 1934) and the film adaptation of the book by Fons Rademakers (1958)."
|Tiel to Den Bosch. This is from a "Vrienden op de Fiets" map, so each of the yellow circles represents a cycling friend, i.e. place to stay.|
The lower bank of the Maas is a great route, and a fine three-day tour could be made from Cuijk (to the east, south of Nijmegen) to Den Bosch. Another tour could be done: the Three Rivers tour, covering the Neder-Rijn, the Waal and the Maas.