When I last wheeled onto these pages I wrote how my plans to cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats with Molly and Daisy had suddenly veered rather dramatically off course: instead of heading for Cornwall we headed for Harwich to catch the ferry to Hoek van Holland. This is because at the eleventh hour my mum expressed her concern at my plan to tow two-year-old Daisy and five-year-old Molly on the back of my bike from one end of this land to the other. Mum liked the idea of the ride but was worried about some of the awful drivers on the roads. So to lessen her worries I swopped this car-crammed land for bike-filled Holland – and across Holland, Germany and Denmark we cycled.
And instead of three of us there was four of us, as back at home while hurriedly sweeping up panniers and tents and sleeping bags and camping stoves and toys and books and buckets and dollies and potties I swept up Gary too to drag along for the ride. I’m not sure he was too happy about suddenly finding himself boat-bound in the middle of the North Sea, but I thought another pair of hands might be useful and what better than your husband’s to join the frenetic fray?
126 croissants, 53 packs of cheese, 30 bags of porridge oats, 180 bananas, 206 bread rolls, 47 tins of mackerel, 94 icecreams, 15 very large thunderstorms, one broken spoke, zero punctures, one birthday (Molly’s) and 787 miles later, we arrived in the Danish port of Esberg just a few days ago to catch the ferry back to England.
For six weeks we lived constantly outside – just cycling and camping. Molly and Daisy looked like grubby urchins and seemed to love every minute.If we hadn’t had to put a spurt on to get Molly back to school in time for the beginning of the autumn term (which we missed anyway – we were busy camping and rummaging around in open-air Viking museums at the time) I would happily have kept going on to Sweden, Norway, Iceland and beyond.
Long straight cycle paths along long straight dykes along Holland's north-west coast.
Gary disappearing at speed down a cycle path across the Dutch dunes.
To give Daisy a break from sitting in the trailer we would have regular stops (when she wasn't asleep) and have bike path running races.
More bike path running races. And potty stop.
Propped up against one of Holland's many Fietsroute (bike route) maps.
When we weren't on bikes Molly and Daisy were running on beaches...
...and more beaches...
...and more beaches.
More traffic-free loveliness
Molly standing to attention near a windmill near Winsum.
Another potty stop.
Bikes, bags and tents. Packing up took a very long time!
Click on pictures to enlarge!
PS: I am still planning to cycle from Land’s End to John o’ Groats next year in some shape or form – probably on my Nihola trike-bike contraption with Molly and Daisy as support in the camper van.
I am also still hoping to raise over £2000 to give Dreams Come True (the charity for children with serious and terminal illnesses) a Nihola trike. A very big thank you to all those who have sponsored me so far. Should anyone like to sponsor me then please go to: www.virginmoneygiving.com/dewuk