(original date of this entry: Aug 8, 2016)
I've been cycling for five straight days. No reason I could not continue--I've been improving somewhat on obtaining nutrition on a budget--but I do have a significant meeting on Thursday at the gemeente (city hall) of Amsterdam. All my vrienden op de fiets have been quite friendly and communicative--memorable individuals.
|Winterswijk, Overijssel: haven for refugees|
Had a nice breakfast with Jantine. She generally sits on the couch watching TV; it seems to be her default position. We discussed various things, including the dire US election of which she is well informed. The woman is bubbly and a good conversationalist. And I appreciated her patience with my faulty Dutch. Across the street from this somnolent enclave is a refugee center. Though it seems peaceful, Jantine sets the alarm at night, fearing break-ins.
Today is cooler, mid 60s, a little wind. Very nice now. I stopped at a Plus to shop for picnic items. Continued south through town, stumbled on the Villa Mondriaan museum, boyhood home of artist Piet Mondriaan. But my Museumkaart was not accepted so I skipped it--I am not on assignment now. Went straight south to Highway 319, the ring road, and had to look around to find the way west to kp 19.
|Winterswijk to Doetinchem|
kp 19 -> 18 -> 23 -> 47 -> 45 -> 44 -> 43 -> 48
|Bredevoort, book town|
Had coffee in front of Bredevoort's sole cafe on the broad peaceful plaza. I started reading a collection of Isaac Bashevis Singer stories, The Seance. At the west edge of the village was a beautiful park with a gazebo overlooking a brook with coots. It was then an easy ride alongside big fields of high corn.
kp 19 -> 16
This stretch an unabated joy with sun streaming through old dark trees, and I wish it wouldn't end.
Now about 12km to Doetinchem. It is so nice sitting out here in the sun-drenched stillness of the canal, wind rustling trees. This stretch, on the last day of my tour, is certainly a highlight.
Sitting on a bench facing the canal by a small bridge. The sun high above a slowly moving row of low clouds. Tall trees on opposite bank sway gently. What a flawless combination. I am reluctant to move.
kp 16 -> 15 -> 40 -> 14 -> 13
It's 7:30 already. At kp 16 I finally leave the canal behind, take a few turns, then enter the Slangenburg, an old estate/forest. At first riding down a gravelly strip beside the horse trail into deep, still woods, then turning (toward kp 13) down a narrow tile path. I'm just outside Doetinchem now. Today was easy (about 35km). I sit on a rude, sawed-off log bench facing a meadow, the sun bouncing the greenery toward my face, then a gray cloud hovers in front of it.
The Slangenburg estate has a restful core with a tree-lined entryway to the manor house, a pond fringed by purple blooms and a meadow of frolicking deer. Only sounds of doves cooing. It is at a crossroads to Doetinchem (west), Varsseveld (east), Kasteel (south), Zelhem (north).
kp 18 -> 42 was equally pastoral and woodsy. I easily found Doetinchem station (Arriva line Winterswijk-Arnhem). A superb conclusion to a Twente/Achterhoek fietstocht.