Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Bike-ulele tour, part 4

Rainy Tilburg

Today Del Rey and I cycled from Den Bosch to Tilburg. It was another day of inclement weather though there were periods of sunshine. When we awoke, the rain was coming down hard. We had breakfast at Tiny's house on Jekerstraat, the usual bread and rolls and hard-boiled egg, cheese, cold cuts and jam.

(note: original date of this entry: July 19, 2012)

Tilburg after the storm.
Two days earlier, I made it to Den Bosch on my little folding bike, then, realizing it just couldn't cut it as a touring bike, put it on the train and went back to Amsterdam (about an hour's journey). The next day, I got the Gazelle and we went back to 's Hertogenbosch for a workshop with the Den Bosch Ukulele Club.

By the time Del Rey and I left the house it had stopped raining but after a few blocks started coming down again. To the south we rode through the Bossche Broek, a kind of nature reserve, and then it really started pouring. Groan, another lousy day for a ride. But then it stopped again and we were riding through suburbs. Soon we reached a park around a lake, De IJzeren, and skirted its north side to point 32. By now the sun was beaming deliciously through the trees. From point 27 we rode toward 83--not indicated on the map, but I'd guessed correctly that this led to point 25 on the east side of the dunes reserve. We rode happily into the woods, then the rain came down again, so hard that even the trees overhead were no protection. A sign said there was a fietscafé up ahead. Rather than waiting under the trees we ventured out to the storm, rode along the flooded path and got drenched. It finally let up as we arrived at the fietscafé (point 35), a rather formal place with a terrace. We had soup and apple pie and watched the sky, gray clouds hovering at the edge of a blue sky.

Den Bosch to Tilburg.

A break from the rain.
We continued along the southern edge of the Drunense Duinen and northern edge of De Brand, a sort of farm reserve. The path was muddy and puddly but the ride through this woodsy stretch was very pleasant. From here we made for Tilburg as Del wanted to drop off her stuff. She's carrying her guitar over her shoulder which must be quite a burden after 40km or so. At point 92, at the north edge of Tilburg, we stopped at a rustic picnic table. Delightful to hang out there in the sun but before long it was raining again. I donned my rain pants and we rode through the suburb of Heikant. We then followed the canal that rings Tilburg to the east, switching sides of the waterway via drawbridges. At point 66 we struck west into town. Then I consulted my new CityMaps2Go app and my Tilburg map worked. A very useful tool.

Tilburg impressions.

We found our pokey little house at a heavily trafficked intersection. Our vriend did not respond at first but then the door opened and our hostess, a pretty middle-aged woman, appeared. The house was among the most disheveled I've stayed in and there was an old dog whose smell permeated the place. Continued ...

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