We were ready to enjoy some days on our bicycles, so we had prepared with a long weekend and the route was set. The weekend before we had bought some new gear which needed testing (later in this post we will outline what we specifically were testing). We packed the bags Thursday evening and were packing as complete as possible at this stage to simulate our load when we will be on our big trip. Friday morning we set of heading south to Breda and as always the bicycle paths here in the Netherlands are great, it was easy riding. From Ulvenhout to Alphen we crossed along the best bicycle paths through the forest of Chaamse bossen, we were all alone and the weather was fresh.

We arrived in Alphen, did some shopping for dinner and lunch for the next days. Outside Alphen we stopped and asked this very friendly farmer family if we could set up our tent on their lawn, they were surprised, agreed and we pitched our tent and started cooking. Their dog ran around freely and was a bit confused with us on their lawn, we both like dogs so it was alright with us having a farm dog around.
Night photo of our tent.

We had a short chat with the farmer, he was curious what we were up to and he explained that the feeding of the pigs would start at 22.00pm and at 04.30am so we were warned for the noise. We slept well that night and yes we woke up by the noise, an alarm going off around 05:00 am, and fell asleep again when the noise stopped.

Saturday we set of leaving 8.30am from the farm. We went through beautiful forest land and at one point during the day we got out on some real off roading which was great fun! We both agreed that our bikes handle great in this environment.
Susanne offroading in the forrest. Susanne offroading in the forrest.

Trees at the misty river.
We pushed on and got to the Maas where we needed to catch a small ferry to cross the river, it was getting dark in the misty netherlands and we were nervous that we would not make it before its last crossing. We got there and realized that the ferry was going until 22.00 so there was no problem at all.  
 We continued on the other side of the Maas and decided that we should look for a place to stay, we saw that there was a camping nearby and thought why not for tonight staying at a camping. We found the camping and realized it was more a kind of holiday resort and 20+ euros for a tent. Well not our thing, so we pushed our bicycles out in the dark searching for a place to stay, not recommended to drive on the road in the dark, but we had no choice.
We knocked on doors and asked people if we could stay on their lawn… They all said no? The last lady said: well go next left to the end of the road and there is a small camping, they can help you. We pushed further and found the place. Yes, the nicest people opened the door and said “well we have just closed the camping…” we looked at each other and asked can we stay anyway and they said yes of course. Great little camping D’n Dikkenberg. It was dark and getting cold. We camped and slept well there. They even made sure we had some chocolate croissants the next day from a German baker in the neighborhood. We were very close to the German border. 
Night photo of our tent.

Sunday and monday we pushed hard and followed the Maas for a while. For the night between Sunday and Monday we again had some issues with finding the right spot to pitch our tent as most land is cultivated or covered with roads in this region, we asked around and had no big luck so we decided to go a bit north to a small town Hurwenen. We came across this nice old villa and took a chance. We asked if they had a spot for us in their garden. Again they were surprised and found it daring of us to ask, they agreed and opened their doors for us.

They had a small shed where there was a toilet and shower we could use, we skipped the shower as this was our last night so would be able to shower at home the next day. The nice people from the villa made us tea and came for a small chat.  We slept great and had an early start. The polderland started and we pushed the kilometers which was hard for the legs but again great for the mind. We got back in Rotterdam Monday around 14.00 and had a total of 380km on the GPS which we found okay for the 4 days. 
Us in the morning.

During this trip we needed to test following:

New shoes both mid sized Merrell shoes see Packlist for links, they performed well and we will use these on our journey. Also we had new Craft thermal baselayers which performed well and kept us warm and dry. We also use woolen clothes but feel that the Craft might be better with moist control.

One set that did not work as wanted was our new Evernew pots from titanium. They are too thin and does not work well with the Primus Omnifuel, so here we need to find the right pots.

For more photos see below or go to the Photos page and if you want to use our route feel free to download it ‘under the map you see download‘.

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