And it rained…

We left Brielle early to stay ahead of the weather. Heavy rain was forecast and we needed to get as far as possible before it started. It had rained heavily throughout the night and we were relieved to set off in the dry.

Today’s route took us inland, across the islands of Voorne Putten and Hieksche Waard before finishing on the mainland at the fortified town of Willemstad. The first few kilometres set the tone, it’s been a day with very little respite from pedalling and that’s without the relentless rain. We’d managed about 20 of our 50 kilometres before the heavens opened and stayed that way.

Cycling from Zuidland to Nieuw-Beijerland we came across a queue of cars, an unusual sight in Zeeland. Then we noticed a ferry arrive as we cycled past, mystery solved. It headed back across the water just as we found the way-mark telling us we should be on board. It was only a 10 minute wait but, in the downpour, it was disproportionately long, cold and unpleasant.

We happily sheltered on the ferry, enjoying a brief respite from the rain , and seriously considered remaining on it all day. Before you critique the quality photo, we were that blurry in real life. Too much rain does that to you!

Yesterday, we didn’t refuel very well while cycling, preferring instead to push on and get the journey completed. Today, we were determined to do better and stop for lunch. However we found no cafes en route, eventually with only 15 km to go we saw a very nice department store, Konijnendijk, possibly the Dutch equivalent of John Lewis.

Inside the Grand Cafe Ritz was warm and dry which only served to highlight how cold and wet we were. The Dutch lady next to us recommended the Brie and Walnut salad and it went down a treat.

The last 10 kilometres were difficult. The rain came down harder, we cycled into a head wind and had the longest climb of the day over the Volkerak Dam. The route ran alongside the N29 motorway and it wasn’t pleasant. There was just a concrete barrier separating us from oncoming traffic. John stopped to take pictures of the series of locks built to keep the main shipping route between Rotterdam and Antwerp open when the dam was built. Kim kept plodding on…

We arrived at Willemdam at 2pm, dripped and squelched into the hotel where, thankfully, our room was ready.

Further exploration uncovered a Chandlers where we found the ideal outfit if it continues to rain tomorrow. No, we’re are not being over dramatic.

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