Nineteen: Leeuwarden to Groningen. - Lookin For John Fairweather - CycleBlaze

June 27, 2013

Nineteen: Leeuwarden to Groningen.

The weather was on the change today. A brief burst of sun through the trees above my tent at seven this morning was the last I'd see of the sun until Saturday. During the morning there were spots of rain but nothing much. The road was a straight run of fifty kilometres to the next city, Groningen, in which I expected to arrive no later than eleven. But there was the odd little drama. At around ten I spotted an Aldi while passing through Zuidhorn. There were actually two supermarkets side by side. I shopped in the non-Aldi first and ended up spending fifteen Euros, as I bought razors and soap. I needed to buy muesli and a few other things I don't buy everyday; and because, I was hungry, I put some pastries from the bakery in the basket too. Then outside put the box containing my purchases down beside my bike and went into Aldi to buy cheap soft drinks for the day, plus a pack of six peanut and carmel chocolate bars. When I'd finally finished, I sat down by the bike to eat my second breakfast of pastries. Because of the cloudy gloom I was feeling cold. And it was the first day since I arrived in Holland which I wasn't enjoying. I was thinking, a sure sign of fatigue and the necessity of a few days rest.

I finally shifted myself and rode towards the road, seeing a blue sign: Groningen 8km. But turning right was struck by how wide the cycle-road was. Then realised I was on the vehicle road. I really should be getting more sleep at night. The next instant a car came along sounding the horn and the woman passenger leaned out the window shouted something and pointed across the grass verge. But there wasn't a cycle-road that I could see, so I pushed the bike the fifty metres back to the supermarket entrance; where, I found the way for cyclists turned back from the road and passed by a housing estate. I was then cycling behind a stunning bespectical woman; whom, when I pulled level-with to a halt at lights, smiled and asked was I cycling to Groningen. I replied yes. "You look a little lost!" she said with empathese on the lost. "I am lost" I replied and she laughted, and said "Do you know the way you are cycling comes to a dead end" "No!" she when on to direct me on to the right path which led back to the main route into Groningen.

It had gone twelve when I arrived in the centre of Groningen and I found a café so I could use the Wi-Fi. But then I'd a problem with the Netbook. The photographs wouldn't upload on the CGOAB edit form. I would go through the normal procedure; browse, open the file and press finish. But after a minute of the spinning icon, the Windows "THIS PAGE CANNOT BE DISPLAYED" page popped down. I tried four times more but no joy. I decided instead not to waste any more time and spend my time in the café writing a page.

The man behind the bar didn't bother me with, "Would you like something to drink?" when I'd drank my coffee. It was the type of café that served mainly beer; the equivalen of a Pub in English speaking countries. And when I'd finshed at around two I ordered a glass of beer. The music was soothing: Robert Plant's early solo album; the song with the beautiful Spanish guitar solo.

Seven AM. in a park.
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A row of vintage tractors.
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A rural Dutch house.
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The famous Dutch bicycle: Gazelle.
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Bicycle park in the centre of Groningen.
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Expenditure total: 33 Euros 45.

Supermarket: 15 Euros.

Aldi shop: 2 Euros 75.

Café in Groningen 4 Euros 70.

Map 9 euros.

Supermarket """ 2 Euros.

Today's ride: 57 km (35 miles)
Total: 1,500 km (932 miles)

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