This is the story of a beach expedition that I started with Erwin Zantinga a month ago. Together we walked the 150 kilometers long coast of The Netherlands, unsupported with a cart in just 6 days. Today, a new part of this adventure. If you missed the previous parts, you might start at the beginning.
It took a while before I’d written a new part. I was on a tandem cycle-tour with my girl cycling Belgium and France. It was amazingly fun, I’ll write about that in the near future!
As I continue the story about our epic walk, this time with less miserable circumstances than in previous days. The great thing about a walk like this is that you’ve no idea what the day ahead will bring. We didn’t knew how far we would come and wether it would be raining or not. At this particular day we would be suprised with a broken cart and a 10 kilometers extra walk through industry area.
Each day we wake up, pack our stuff into the cart, eat some, organize, plan and walk off. Whether it will be raining or the sun will be shining we had to walk because staying in the tent was no option for us. Today was better, today we received some rewards for the last miserable days. After our first and only night at a camping we continued walking in sunlight.
As we walked 10 kilometers in direction of Ijmuiden, we knew we would encouter a big harbor. As we were walking to this harbor we heard some noice that didn’t sound nice to us. The cart was showing that it wasn’t made for a walk like this. A weak rust spot on the front axle of the cart had stopped holding it together. We could not steer the cart anymore as it was resting on its front wheels.
We could barely walk with this cart anymore but had the luck that we just walked into a big industry area where we might find some garage to fix it. And yes we did, after a couple of kilometers struggle with this broken cart we found a garage that wanted to fix the wheel.
As we just thought that this garage would help us for free we had to pay 10 euros for it. Still it wasn’t much money and we were happy to have a fixed cart again!
With a save cart and new motivation we started walking again and needed to walk this time along the harbor and not on the beach. After 5 kilometers we started to get nervous. How long will it take to get back on the beach? The IJmuiden harbor wasn’t easy. A 10 kilometer back and forward walk through heavy buildings and dirty industry smoke. Some people say that this industry area is actually the most impressive one in The Netherlands. We just wanted to experience one thing: get back on the beach before dark.
As it was in the evening we could catch a dinner at a small village after the industry area and later in the evening walked finally on sand again. As it was quite disturbing that a person later on told us that we could easily take a ferry at the harbor of IJmuiden to avoid walking through the industry area. Aargghh…
Before the night was falling we found a spot that I nominate as one of the most beautiful wildcamp spots I’d ever camped on. This is pure beauty in The Netherlands. Bright green dunes for as long as you can see. Areas you normally don’t encouter but if you’re walking the beach and get into the dunes like this, you might get this as a view when you creep into your sleeping bag for having a good night rest.
This beautiful spot turned into a very dangerous spot when we woke up at 3am in the night from flashes of lights and thunder! I looked on my smartphone and saw that there was a big thunderstorm coming down on us in not more than an hour. We definitely didn’t want to stay here as we were a spot in an open area for lightning to strike.
We packed our stuff and as soon as we could, we walked in the night back to the small village where we found some beach houses to sleep underneath. This excitement was heavy and after we putted our tent in good condition we fell both immediately in a deep sleep. As we woke up in the morning we both didn’t know what was really happened. Did we really encounter a thunderstorm or did the storm not encounter us? Or maybe walking had put too much weight on us. Either way, we did what we felt was good for us and slept the night like this.
The next day was a hot day. We just walked on and on but not without a nice swim in between. At this weather it’s all much better and doable than in the previous days. Only the blisters were starting to be really annoying. I counted around seven blisters and we needed to buy more blister patches to take care of ourselves. Luckily we had been sponsored with some really good walking socks by Antilope Outdoor that made it a little bit more tolerable.
At the end of this fifth day we walked into a friendly rescue guard who recognized Erwin for his documentary Two Wheels & A Hayfork. We end up spending time with him and his sister on a nice cozy couch beside his guardhouse.
As I look back on this days with writing it down, I feel that life can be very simple but rewarding after all. It feels good that we did this. I felt in the moment for that days. The point is that you must have the ability to get in the moment when doing something as walking for days, otherwise you’re going to have a horrible time.
When you can do that and enjoy something simple like this it’s going to be rewarding to spend some days or weeks or even months on something challenging. Forget about work, money, career or what might stress you out, just go there and experience something you want to do. For the sake of making a nice memory. I get energy from adventures like this, it made my feel alive.
Sometimes life is best when it’s simple. Travel does the good.
More on this expedition in the last part. If you’ve also any questions or want to know something, put it in a response, I’ll be taking time for it in the comment section. Also there will be following a short documentary of this expedition.