Monday, June 5, 2017

Twente 3.2

Breakfast included at least three varieties of hagelslag (yes, grown-up Dutch people eat chocolate sprinkles to start the day) plus locally picked tiny raspberries. The day is "good for cycling," as Jan Knol described it: a slight breeze pushing the cool cloud cover which periodically parts to allow the passage of the sun's bright rays. There may be a bit of rain.

(original date of this entry: Aug 5, 2016)
My morning workout: the farmlands north of Denekamp. Deserted. Not a soul comes up here. You have to wonder who's tending to all that corn, which now grows tall in large tracts. Rather dull cycling these narrow country roads. On the way to kp 10 a fietspad leaves the road paralleling the Dinkel river.

kp 10 -> 14 -> 15 -> 54 -> 52 (LF-14a)
Singraven watermill
Picked up the LF-14a (aka the Saksen route) south at kp 14, which traverses various estates, a dirt trail through lovely forests. Here at kp 54 is a fine bench facing a stagnant bog carpeted with pea-green detritus. Very still.

I just passed a tourist attraction, the watermill of Singraven with a tony restaurant and terrace by a dam. The lot is crammed with BMWs and Audis.

The route now heads back toward Denekamp, from where I hope to set up a bed in Enschede, a formidable task in 'high season'--though I see few cycle tourists on these paths.

Denekamp -> Enschede via LF-14

kp 53
At Beuningen, south of Denekamp, hanging at a fancy cafe at a crossroads, plenty of cars and cycling families. I get a call from Elsbeth Cochius who informs me, rather formally in English, that she has a bed for me. The booking gives me the impetus to keep going. Now the journey to Enschede.

kp 55 -> 58 -> 62 -> 61 (LF-14a)
The Lutterzand is a highlight. Another nature area salvaged from 'destroyed ground'--sand and heath--but this one seems lusher than, say, the Hoge Veluwe. It's just rained so the dirt trail that winds through is muddy. A lot of fun to ride the twisty trail through the forest. Thin trees with spiny leaves dripping moisture. Within the forest is an attractive cafe; at southern entry (kp 61) the tony/snooty Paviljoen Lutterzand.

Livin' large, Lutterzand

Most of the Dutch cyclists I see wear grim, dogged expressions. Some kind of tandem vehicle going over a bridge could've been lifted from the set of The Prisoner. Much as I enjoy cycling these trails, I still find something sinister and inert about these dual units -- the couples I mean, not the tandems.

kp 60 -> 67 -> 17 (LF-14a)
It's a climb to the Hoogte Lutte. Pulling the curtain of woods aside reveals a row of sunflowers on a ridge. Then a blissful descent. In De Lutte a 19th c somber church with beautiful Bulgarian Orthodox-style mosaic in an alcove. Around the right side of church and I enter the Lutte forest, or Lutterveld, a righteous ramble, then a seamless approach to and over the A1/E30, then a joy ride through dark forest, roller-coaster style, emerging at a big sunsplashed field of grass.

On my first attempt to locate my vrienden op de fiets in Enschede, I overshot the way to the Cochius place, went over the viaduct, ending up at a block of flats with high numbers. Phoned Elsbeth and she gave me explicit directions in Dutch, which seemed strange since she had taken pains to speak to me in English earlier. I returned to the viaduct and spotted Elsbeth and granddaughter waving from below.  Continued ... 

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