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Going Dutch in tandem

If you look up idioms using the word ‘Dutch’, you will find a plethora of widely dissimilar expressions. So, when you ‘go Dutch’, why is it that you pay for our own food and drinks? And what about ‘Dutch courage’ (a stiff drink before you leap) or speaking ‘double Dutch’ or having a ‘Dutch uncle’? As you’ll find when you read my coming entries, each day’s ride had a ready-made theme.

Anyway, after an overnight ferry crossing to the Hook, when sleep was cruelly interrupted by a 5.30 announcement that breakfast was being served, we wobbled off the ferry ramp suffering from sleep deprivation, and desperate for a second ‘intravenous injection’ of caffeine….which we found in a beach café called ‘Moments’ some 10km along the North Sea route. Well actually, Jenny had the coffee, but I was sorely tempted by an iced beer….believe me, iced beer before 10am can be a tonic….if you get my meaning.

“Oh, you’ll want to take two diversions along the dunes…..perfect cycling routes”, said a kindly passerby, taking a spin with his wife. So we got up onto the head of the dunes (and yes, the track over the dunes is very ‘lumpy’, believe me) and discovered a strong south-westerly breezing up our backsides…. couldn’t believe it….this only happened in dreams.

Destination Den Haag, better known as The Hague, architecturally one of the least interesting cities in Holland, but historically of huge significance. But it has its beauty spots: all around the Binnenhof and the café-strewn streets,

the Peace Palace and its gardens, the stunning floral displays along the leafy avenues….oh yes, there’s money in these parts. And it is flaunted…. But then, everyone rides a bike…..so who could fault them?

Before we said goodbye to Eric and Harma, our Warmshowers hosts for the night, we enjoyed an extraordinary breakfast of wheat-free banana pancakes and strawberries….one of the many reasons we chose to ‘go Dutch’ on this trip…….