Day 4: Oostwoud to Harlingen

Today, all our best laid plans fell to pieces. However, in good news, it was sunny. In bad news, the usual westerly winds had changed to easterly, which was the direction we were heading. Boo.

Our aim today was to get to Harlingen to go over to one of the Islands. Fed up with swamps, we had contacted a warmshower host on Terschelling and we were hopeful we might have somewhere dry and warm to stay for the next couple of nights. This, along with the sun raised my spirits.

And then we cycled on very long, very straight roads into a headwind for all of the day. This included the afsluitdijk dike, a 32km road which turned the sea into a lake.Straight roads like this and this

And the afsluitdijk dike which looks like this from the corner of your eye (nice) and this straight ahead (never ending).

(what looks like an actual road next to me in that photo is actually a segregated cycle lane, no cars, just bikes).

I’m sure it wouldn’t have been so bad without the head wind (which could have been much worse I’m sure, but it was bad enough). I had a complete sense of humour failure (can you tell from the photo?).

I cycled along wondering why was I there (Adam) and what was I going to do about it (kill Adam). It turns out you can pass an inordinate amount of time planning a murder, thinking about how to do it, what to do with the dead body etc etc. With that and singing to myself, the 2 hours and 40 minutes it took to cycle the 32km across this dike felt like, well, frankly, for-bloody-ever.

Just to prove Adam is still alive and that actually it wasn’t all doom and gloom on the dike:

Still, we eventually made it (the number of times I thought about turning around and giving up were too many to count) and cycled into Harlingen with plans to catch the 5:15pm ferry to Terschelling having just missed the earlier one. As it turns out, that ferry didn’t actually take bikes (WHA?) so we were faced with the option of getting to Terschelling at around 10pm (we hadn’t heard from the warmshowers host so it was going to involve camping), or going the next morning. Then we looked at how much it might cost (around £70), the ferry times (not very practical) and gave up on the idea of going to the islands. So we’d just cycled across that bloody dike to go to the islands, to then not go to the islands. I was bought an ice cream.

We found a campsite near Harlingen which wasn’t swampy, and it had a table, and bog roll AND A BAR! and it was sunny and warm and we could dry our stuff. Finally, at the end of a long and hard day, it felt a bit like a holiday. We laughed at the ducks.


Kilometres cycled: 73
Route: here
Dinner: Fresh four cheese tortelloni with arabiatta pesto and olives (cook as you might expect).


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