Last night I did a test drive to see whether that whole knooppunten theory of mine (= you can cycle all around the Wetlands even if you have sense of direction of precisely 0%) works.
I'm very happy to be able to tell you that YES! - it works perfectly!
Even for such a notorious 'lost-my-way' person as myself (I was once lost in London for more than 6 hours, resulting in angry phone calls to my boss about where on earth those ordered bouquets were), it is an easy to follow method.
(Um...about those 6 hours in London: do you know how many High Roads there are in London?! I ended up crying near Shepherds Bush and then after another 1 1/2 hours turned the car around when I saw a road sign pointing towards the North Circular...at least I recognised that. Those bouquets were subsequently delivered by my extremely pissed-off boss himself. Who was also my partner. It was complicated)
So...I started from home (obviously), and my first knooppunt was number 48. By looking at the very thoughtfully provided map, I could then plan my route, cycling from point to point. It seems a bit illogical at times, for instance when you are at 34 and the next one you need is 11, but it works, it absolutely works!
Relieved from the nagging thought that I would probably get lost even though this is my home turf, I could enjoy the landscape around me.
I cycled along pretty dykes I had never been at before...and I have lived here for the last 27 years; it was an eye-opener.
As it was early evening, the hares were out in force...I spotted more than a dozen along the way. And I saw a family of partridges, as well as quite a few pheasants. And the usual cows, horses, goats, geese and sheep of course, there's no getting away from them around here.
Just after I had left the village of Tinte (nothing amazing to add about the village of Tinte, sorry, except that they have a village festival every Summer where they drink themselves silly for a week) I passed a wooden fence and there it was: a huge gorgeous buzzard. It sat there, contemplating Life. Or digesting something. Anyway, it just sat there watching me watching it.
Immediately I had this dream about how that buzzard would fly to my fist, and that I would ride and stride triumphantly home, carrying my buzzard friend for life. I tried ESP. But it simply continued to sit on the fence. So I rode on.
(No, not that buzzard...this is a photo I found on the web. It probably isn't even a buzzard. And it has copyright, see? So if and when I ever to get to make some money from this blog...I'll be philosophical about it)
Only a km after my encounter with the bird of prey I saw a young man being instructed in how to drive sheep. A small herd of 8 lovely exotic sheep (not a native Dutch race, I mean) was being herded around traffic cones in a small meadow with the aid of a long staff and a border collie. It was immediately apparent to me that the collie was more experienced than the young man. Whenever a sheep would start to wander off, it would start to quiver, all the time looking from the sheep to the man and aching for an instruction. ESP worked fine this time. I got strong thought patterns screaming "hey! dude! that sheep should be snapped back into group! hey! for crying out loud, give me the command to go get it!!!!".
It was entertaining, that's for certain. After watching the dog get more and more frustrated, and eventually disobeying the command to lie down, it raced around the herd instead and drove those 8 into a tiny mount of wool, I rode on, silently cheering the collie. Well done, girl!
The remainder of my 25 km passed without anything of interest. The sun sank behind the bank of cloud introducing the end of our amazing 4 weeks of wonderful sunny Summer weather.
My butt hurt, a bit. I need to build up tougher skin there (Frith knows it's big enough), that's for sure! But I felt great.
Got you a nice photo, courtesy of the web. (My Samsung only takes mediocre pics)