Monday, December 22, 2014

Zomer in Zeeland 2

From Rockanje I rode south alongside farms, then went up on the Haringvliet Sluizen, the northern section of the massive Delta Works dam, to reach Goeree, a finger-like peninsula that looks like part of Zeeland but is actually Zuid-Holland. From the east end I took the coast trail. It is as beautiful as the last time I took it in the reverse direction, a packed white sand path rolling through the dunes, fringed with shrubs and some raspberries, glimpses of the deserted beach and open sea between gaps.

Goeree beach
(original date of this entry: July 17, 2014)
Now I am at the beach at Goeree. The entire north shore is a protected area (no windsurfing or jet skiing allowed), a vast flat sandy beach rolling on endlessly, the smokestacks of Europoort visible to the northeast. There's a public beach with cafe at kp 55, quite busy on this hot sunny Thursday. Now it seems the tide is way out, maybe 300 meters between the edge of the beach and the water, with tidal pools in between.

From here the route splits, running up on a dike and down behind it. From up on the dike you can look at the beach as you ride and wind is not an issue. Many turnoffs for beaches, all of them crowded, all spectacular and undeveloped. When the sun decides to shine, Goeree is truly a holiday paradise. The only significant town is Ouddorp, on the west half of the peninsula.

Goeree to Schouwen
After cruising the whole north coast, I ride along the west edge, with more wonderful white sand beaches, and proceed along the Brouwersdam, which connects Goeree to the adjacent peninsula of Schouwen. It doesn't feel like a bridge but a narrow strip of land between the sea and Grevelingen Meer, all along the way lined with RVs and fringed with crowded beaches.

The LF-1 continues along the north coast Schouwen. The path turns to sand and winds appealingly through dune forest. I arrive at Renesse and relax on the beach.

Goeree trails
Almost everyone had left by 6 so I came up to the cafe for a beer. Afterward I found my vriend op de fiets in town. A rustic rambling spread north of the center, and I got my own little apartment with terrace and arbor where I sit now to write this. Mevrouw Klosterman is a cheerful woman in her 60s--she reminds me of my fifth-grade teacher, Mrs Wiener.

Goeree beach
I showered and headed back to the center of Renesse to look for dinner. A lively attractive place, now full of German families licking ice cream cones. Zeeland becomes the domain of German tourists in summer (and now they're feeling pleased with themselves for winning the World Cup). I browsed the restaurants: the usual pizzerias, crummy Chinese joints and eetcafes, and settled on a platter of kibbeling, fries and salad: €11.45. I sat at a terrace and had my dinner while reading Joseph Mitchell's early journalism, beautifully written and very funny. Continued ...

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