Saturday 22 August 2009

The end of Holland

On Monday we got up, tried to wait for the dew to dry off the tent, gave up, and headed over to Vierhouten to collect Mike. After driving across the 30km dike through the Ijsselmeer, we were no longer in Holland, but still in the Netherlands. Mike's campsite was in a field by a lake, in the middle of thick woods. Although everyone else was packing up, Mike assured us we could stay there that night, so we set up the wet tent, then went to play in the lake and I went for a walk in the woods.

After I got back, we loaded the tent on top of a car and drove it to another field, where apparently, we really could stay for the night. We didn't unload it because this field was full of things laid out on the floor that people were trying to put away. Some time later, I discovered a field where people really did seem to be sleeping for the night, so we drove the tent over there.

At 6:30 am, we got up and began driving. We had two very full cars, which Mike and his friend insisted should stay together. I must admit that I don' t think much of this process. On the one hand, the fact that looking around to see if your friend is still behind you, or making sure you keep up with him is a distraction from the important things one should pay attention to while driving. For another, everything takes so much longer: you get to share in each other's navigational mistakes, stop each time the other needs to fill up the car whether you do or not, stop each time the other needs a rest or some food or to mess around with their car, whether you do or not. Sure enough, we were on the road for 16 hours (but only actually driving for about 10 of them). That's a nice solid one hour break for every two hours of driving!

I couldn't help feeling we could have been a bit more organised. Still, this is the first trip on which Antonia and I successfully kept up with her homeschooling and on which I successfully kept accounts. As a trial run for taking travel more seriously, that wasn't too bad.

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