Rendezvous with friends

This year was not a good one for us. From a family tragedy to several other unavoidable reasons we could only time for a small ride to Epe in the Gelderland province. A couple of friends rented a cottage and we rode their for a beer spend the night than ride back.
At just over 200 kilometers from Maastricht, it took us two and a half days to get there and the same coming back.
It was a nice ride, the weather was fantastic and we truly enjoyed being on our bikes again.

From 06/09/2016 till 11/09/2016

Day 1 – Maastricht to Camping Boszicht (near Lottum) +/-100kms

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All packed and ready to go

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Crossing the Julianakanaal near Bunde

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Ok Monique could be mistaken of having taken something but it’s just the natural high of being on the road again 😉

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Riding along the canal to the right. We’re actually below the water line

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Many great cycling paths all along this route. Here we are nearing Grevenbicht

2016090608Crossing the Maas river next to the A2 at Maasbracht

Looking south at Maasbracht from the A2 bridge

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After Maasbracht we rode through wooded areas

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And along the N273

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Before Venlo we came across a sort of airforce museum

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With some impressive looking aircraft from the cold war

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Venlo

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And still we rode north

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Through fields of flowers

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And lets not forget the typical Dutch windmills

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Before reaching our destination at Camping Boszicht near Lottum

Day 2 – Camping Boszicht to Camping Molenallee near Loenen – +/- 100 kms Total +/- 200 kms

Another great day cycling, perfect weather and fantastic car free cycling paths. According to maps.me app there was a camping near a private airfield a few kilometers after after Arnhem but the camping was also private so we were told it wasn’t possible to camp there. A bit disheartening because we were running out of water, but we were allowed to refill our water bottles we moved on.
Near Woste Hoeve we turned right on Groenendaalseweg towards Loenen because there were more camping possibilities there. Going streight to Beekbergen was not really an option. At Lonen we found a super market, got some supplies and headed to the camping. Camping here is pretty good and reasonably priced.

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Waiting for our ferry to cross the Maas to Arcen

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Promising to be another clear and hot day

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Monique all ready for another day touring

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Just north of Arcen

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Next to the N271

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Another windmill while passing through in Heijen

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Town hall in Gennep

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Right after Gennep the cycling route took us through cow pastures

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By mid morning it began to get quite warm

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Later on we found a nice bench with shade so we stopped for lunch

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After Plasmolen we decided to take a cycling path that avoided going through the center of Nijmegen

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through the Groesbeekse forest

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Where we encountered a traffic jam of sorts

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Crossing the Waal

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The cycling path to Arnhem generally followed A325

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After Malburgen-west we rode over an old bridge that is used only for cyclists

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This place looked like a flood area for the Nederrijn

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Crossing the Nederrijn with the cathedral of Arnhem center picture

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Thanks to the well-organized cycling paths we avoided some major junctions after Arnhem

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But after a steep hill getting out of Arnhem and some difficult suburbs we found this really nice cycling path next to the A50 and N784

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This path lasted for about 10 kilometers

2016090780We even saw this amazing nature or animal bridge. They are made specifically for the wild life of the area to be able to cross the busy A50 motorway

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By the time we were nearing Loenen on the Groenendaalseweg the shadows were getting longer

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After a quick stop at the Spar supermarket in Loenen we made it to our camp for the night. It was truly one of the nicest days cycling

Day 3 – Loenen to Bungalow Park Rietberg – +/- 35 kms Total +/- 235 kms

After a very good nights sleep we rode back to Loenen than got on the N786 heading to Beekbergen than Apeldoorn and onto Epe.
It was a short ride and with warm sunny weather.

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On the N786 before Beekbergen

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The strange statue of Hunter and Stag in Apeldoorn

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Castle Cannenburch just north of Vaassen

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Finally around noon we reached the Bungalow park were Moniques friend Lisbeth, her friend Henk along with their two Labrador’s were staying.
It was nice just to meet up with them and catch up over some drinks.

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In the evening we started the fire and just sat around and chatted. The bungalow they rented had an extra bedroom with bunk beds so Monique and I decided to sleep indoors this evening.

Day 4 – Bungalowpark Rietberg to Camping Wighenerhorst near Alverna – +/- 90 kms Total 325 kms

After an uncomfortable night in the bunk beds we slowly got up had breakfast. We would have prefered to pitch the tent but our friends insisted on the bunk beds so as not to insult them we accepted. The day started a bit cooler and misty. But as soon as we got some kilometers in our legs the sun came out and we soon forgot about the bad nights sleep and enjoyed the day.
Camping at Wighenerhorst is ok, huge family oriented camping.

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The first couple kilometers was on packed dirt

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But after while it turned to proper cycling paths

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After Beekbergen we had a hill to climb to get back on the nice cycling path next to the A50 heading for Arnhem

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Another wildlife bridge over the cycling path and the A50

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Sun shining and a tail wind what else does anyone need?

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Some great music

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But always have to keep an eye on Monique because when she’s got her headphones on

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She just takes off 🙂

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Just after DeLaar-west (a suburb or Arnhem) we stopped at restaurant De Klomp for a coffee and pie before continuing south on Rijksweg Nord.

Crossing the Waal on the railroad bridge into Nijmegen center

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So warm many people were swimming

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Got to love the Dutch cycling paths. Here a lot of people parked their bikes so they can go down for a swim

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Our home for the night at Camping Wighenerhorst

Day 5 – Camping Wighenerhorst to Farmers camping Poolhof near Grathem – +/- 100 kms Total +/- 425 kms

After a good nights sleep we yet another great start to the day clear skies and warm weather. We are just heading home now so there isn’t really anything new to see just enjoy being on our bikes on a great day.

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Crossing the Maas river once again on the or next to the A73

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Lot’s of pleasure boats out

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One of the many great cycling paths along the river Maas

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Had to take a picture of this elaborate mushroom growth

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On the N271

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Great day, car free cycling, some chilled house on the headphones, all we need now is to remember to stop for lunch.
Life can be good at times

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One of many land houses we passed

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Still following the Maas south this is after Venlo and the shadows were getting longer

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By the time we neared the camping we didn’t have much time to pitch the tent

Day 6 – Farmers camping Peelhof to Maastricht – +/- 50 kms Total 475 kms

Last night we were woken by these strange sounds coming from a very aggressive lama. The owner of the camping has several but one is very aggressive and attacks the others so he had to get up in the middle of the night and separate them.
Anyway we got on the road on a slightly overcast morning. We knew we only had about 50 kilometers to cycle so we just got on with it. We have done this many times before so we didn’t bother with many pictures.

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Leaving the small hamlet of Grathem

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Not so pleasant anymore, overcast and very familiar cycling routes

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Cycling back over the Maas next to the A2 near Maasbracht

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Next to the Julianakannal after Maasbracht. The rest of the ride was pretty much boring so no more pictures.

Epilogue:
Even though this tour was about a week-long it was still great to get out. Once again the weather gods were good to us and we had a ball just cycling along car free paths in great weather.
Something tells us we would be doing this sort of rides more in the future as it’s getting difficult to have more than three weeks off at a time.

 

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