What a day! - The Bartletts Bike the Baltics - CycleBlaze

April 28, 2019

What a day!

Three 3F’s: Festivals, Food and a Flat

It has been an unexpected pleasure to spend a few days in Winterswijk, a place that we knew nothing about before coming here.  As fans of Game of Thrones, we liked the name.

We chose to come here because of the accommodation and its price  and ended up liking it very much. Great hotel with excellent wifi in  a small interesting city which did the King proud on his special day. We leave here with our journal up to date and feeling rested, ready to go.  

Fletcher Hotel is well run, with exceptional staff at the front desk. We had a room on the ground level with a large patio and a view of the fountains and gardens.
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It is once again a cold day with a biting wind. It seems that no matter how much wool or layers we wear, we are still cold. Rain is predicted, so our rain pants are on and we’ll see how far we get. We ultimately want to get to Muenster,  but it is 90 km away, so it is unlikely. It is odd, even though we are rested, it is one of those days where everything is a challenge. The riding feels  hard yet we push on.  We call these days a “grunt”.

We never tire of seeing traditional windmills in the Netherlands
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Or the abundance of sheep and newborn lambs.
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We had just been commenting that we haven’t seen any RUST stands this time in Holland, and just then one appeared, just before heading in to Germany. A RUST is a self-serve rest stop for cyclists provided by a farm and quite a wonderful thing. They offered coffee and tea, slices of cake (50cents), ice cream, charging station for e-bikes, WC and lots of seating.
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Inside the well stocked RUST which has a cash box where you pay on the honour system. Forgot to mention that the ice cream, cakes, etc are homemade on the farm
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Adjacent to where we were having our coffee, we looked over the fence and the cows were curious and friendly
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They are clearly used to visits and affection. As we stood there, the cows got up from their stalls and came over, eager for attention.
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Duitsland (Deutschland) is close, just down the path across from the farm.
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Rural Holland offers so much to the cyclists: extraordinary “small” campsites on the farm, RUSTs, friendly animals and pretty countryside.
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We have been really lucky lately, being in the right place at the right time. Yesterday was a memorable time in Holland being there for King’s Day celebrations...and today, the last Sunday in April is Spring Festival in this area of Germany. We were lucky enough to encounter two Spring Festivals in villages along the way today.

At the Spring Festival, the local archery club was offering lessons and an opportunity to try the sport.
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Barry took up the challenge and did quite well. I didn’t realize that he had an interest in archery when he was young. However, it was humbling for Barry when a 12 year old boy, completely new to the sport, stepped up, had a brief lesson and hit the bullseye.
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This little dog looks sweet but a moment later it is snarling and barking like a crazed animal as another wee dog came along. Guess they have him in a cage for a reason.
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“Well, what do we have here on this strange riding machine?” There is nothing like the straight on stare of a llama to make you pay attention, not to mention the strangely endearing overbite and the fringe on top.
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The pack leader was across the road in a field by the house. He kept a close eye on us
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Someone on this farm is getting married soon. We wish them well.
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As we entered Osterwick we stopped to appreciate this fountain and the lifelike statues. Love the man’s clogs.
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At first, we thought that Osterwick was having a Tractor Festival. We have going to these events with Cora and Georg in the Westerwald area with their vintage Eicher tractors. But this is part of their Spring Festival.
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This small town was bursting with excitement and lots of entertainment. It seemed like everyone from the area had come to celebrate.
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I really liked the Lanz Bulldog tractor.
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Mark your calendar to be in Osterwick for a Festival as the ladies of the church had an amazing cake and coffee room. There were countless selections of incredible cakes to choose from and we did our best. Unlike many of our neighbours at our table, we limited ourselves to one piece of cake with coffee.
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I chose a Mocha layer cake with a layer of berries as well as mocha buttercream and Barry had a delicious cake with gooseberries, cream, delicate pastry with layers. Both were outstanding and cost 1.50 each and the bottomless cup of coffee was 1 euro.
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Rachael AndersonLooks delicious!
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6 months ago
We thought this Eicher would interest George as the owner has a rack on the side for his bike.
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We liked this idea.
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There were many highlights for us at the Spring Festival in Osterwick, but this performance by children at the Elementary School was a hit with everyone. In keeping with the theme of the EU at the festival, the children did a parade with their flags and then sang a peace song about sharing, acceptance and kindness. We found it very moving.
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The countryside has changed and to our surprise, the Muenster area is quite hilly. But isn’t it beautiful.
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Sharing the route with the four legged variety. We wonder how this horse can see.
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We had spent much (worthwhile) time today visiting with llamas, having a “rust” stop, visiting festivals, eating cake....and we thought that we should stop soon. But not because of this! The “air was blue” when we realized that our new Mondial tire at the front had a flat.  Not happy.

For 2 years and 8000 km we have not had a flat since changing to Schwalbe Mondial tires -we hope this is not the way it will go this year. Barry’s skills at changing a tire came back to him and I got on Booking.com and found a room for us about 10 km off the route. It will position us well for Muenster tomorrow.
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Mike AylingA front wheel is easier to remove/replace than a rear!

Mike
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6 months ago
Barry BartlettYou are so right Mike.
Good to hear from you.
Mary Ellen
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6 months ago

Well, we made it to our Guesthouse in Nutteln but it was a challenge. Pretty big hills all the way. The room was clean and well appointed with a kitchenette and comfortable bed. We were both so cold, that our priorities were hot shower, get in bed under the duvets and eat some bread and the cheese we had bought in Holland.

What a day!

Today's ride: 71 km (44 miles)
Total: 403 km (250 miles)

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