A little update after having spent two weeks on the road already..
So far we have been extremely fortunate with the weather. Only a few days before our departure it was still cold `n rainy.. On the 21st however the sun was shining and summertime finally really started to kick in. Until now we have only had 1 day with bits of rain. Usually we are complaining about too much sunshine and wish for a heavy rain to relieve our overheated bodies.
After leaving Amsterdam we went down South smoothly.. We stayed with my friends Robin and Edmee in Utrecht for a night to say a proper goodbye. They have once been roaming the countryside of NL, Belgium and France with horse and wagon (www.slakkengang.nl) For some 2 years they have been on the road but finally decided on settling down for a while close to Utrecht. I guess it`s just a matter of years now that they will be on the road once more with their little girl..
From Utrecht we went down to Nijmegen and got joined for a bit by our friend Eelco who earlier cycled all the way from Amsterdam to Bali (www.backtobali.net) I am sure the future will lure him in yet another bike adventure! In Nijmegen we had our first couchsurf spot (www.couchsurfing.org) and enjoyed the pleasure of a warm shower and cold beer. During our trip we plan to do lots of couchsurfing next to sleeping under the stars outside. We both are avid stealth campers but at the same time we really appreciate having a place to stay every now and then. Its a nice prospect when cycling to know that there is a destination at the end of the day with a usual friendly host welcoming you and a warm shower to get them dirty `n sticky bodies all clean again. Most likely couchsurfing will become less and less as we are heading East. But then again, out in Asia the hospitality is often so enormous that one needs no couchsurfing to have a place to crash and an oppurtunity to interact with a local.
Our first day in Germany immediately showed us that i have been quite prejudiced concerning our neighbours.. I expected the Germans to be rather conservative and not very outgoing. One of our first encounters was with an old man who showed interest in our trip and insisted on donating a couple of Euro`s for us to buy a breakfast from. After 2 weeks of Germany we had many similar experiences with German hospitality and friendly, mainly old, folks. The rarest encounter for sure was in Augsburg where an old man approached me and enthusiastically told me that he also once made a biketrip from Amsterdam to Augsburg.. I replied i was impressed and asked him when that was.. “After WWII when i had to leave Holland and head back home..” Any chance we can have that bike back..sir?
Currently we are having a little rest in Salzburg before tackling them big ass mountains in Austria. The first weeks have been very pleasant and my body is slowly adjusting to the rhythm of a daily 90-120km. Thanks to the many friendly couchsurfers that went out of their ways to make us feel welcome and the many nights we spent under a clear starry sky dreaming about what is yet to come..