Tuesday, 7 August - Day 6: Dordrecht, NL - Hoek van Holland, NL
Today: 52,44 km (32.6 miles)
Trip to date: 547,61 km (340.3 miles)
This day was not a very good day. At some point the previous night I was feeling quite ill. I'm not sure if it was something I ate or the cumulative effect of five days of long hours in the sun and heat. At any rate, after having slept two hours longer than I usually do, I woke up feeling lousy. I had a mild headache, was somewhat queasy, and I had no appetite. This was a point where I would normally have taken a rest day. But, with plans to meet Gudrun in Bruges, BE on Thursday, staying in Dordrecht wasn't an option.
Despite not feeling so great I got on the bike looking for the ferry to Papendrecht. I had already wasted quite some time with the late start and added to that getting some bad directions to the ferry. It turns out people in the Netherlands will be much more likely to understand what you're after if you say water bus. To them a ferry is something that takes you to the U.K. or Norway.
I finally got to the landing for the water bus across the Beneden-Merwede (again not the Waal / Rhein) to Papendrecht where the route would continue to Rotterdam. While waiting I noticed there was also a water bus to Rotterdam. Feeling the way I did, I caved in and chose that option to allow me to make some of this day's planned distance sitting around and resting. Most of the pictures from this day are from the boat.
Once I got to Rotterdam, I still had about 45 km to ride. The total today was 52.4km. I don't know what my miscalculation was, but I thought it'd only be about 50 km from Dordrecht to Hoek van Holloand. Had I taken the water bus to Papendrecht as planned, the day would likely have been close to 100 km. It's a good thing I took the water bus to Rotterdam as this day was the hottest of the year in the Netherlands.
After I checked into the campground at Hoek van Holland I met a young German family as they were headed to their pitch. The guy was also riding a Norwid expedition bicycle, so we stopped to compare bikes and just chat. They were from Jülich, also not far from Aachen. During the course of our conversation I mentioned that I had retired from Ericsson in Kohlscheid. The woman's brother works for Ericsson, and they asked if I knew him. Herbert Cremer! Ha! Of course I know him. I've known him since the day he started at Ericsson. It's a small world.
The night was forecasted to be pretty warm, thunderstorms were also forecasted for around midnight. The daytime temperatures for the next days were forecasted to be almost 10°C cooler. Also, rain was forecasted during the day on Thursday. I was really looking forward to the cooler temperatures.