On my bike-tour throughout The Netherlands I cycled a part together with Erwin Zantinga. We shared some great time when cycling the North Coast of The Netherlands. During this bike-tour he came up with an idea which he called a beach expedition. He asked me to join a 150 kilometer walk of the entire West Coast of The Netherlands.
Of course I couldn’t say no because we share the same adventurers soul. This would be a perfect beach expedition.
People frequently asked why we wanted to walk this long distance journey just for fun. So, before I start telling the story about this great challenge I share a couple of reasons that should give an explanation to this question.
- For the sake of adventure, just say yes, go and see what happens
- To challenge myself with something new that I never did before
- To make a film and write about this journey to entertain and inspire other people
- I had no idea were I got myself into and that thrilled me, I knew that I would never regret to give this expedition a try
Last week we started this expedition on Monday and the plan was to arrive 150 kilometers and 6 days later on Saturday. I’d never thought that so much challenges would fit in just 6 days. We wanted to challenge ourselves with doing this trip unsupported with a cart. We wanted to be in the moment more than ever. That is what adventure is all about right? Something that make you feel fulfilled, something that make you feel alive.
In all the thoughts I had about this adventure, I’d never thought that this beach expedition was becoming the hardest adventure I’d ever done in my entire life.
On Monday 7 july we started our 6 day journey. WORM Rotterdam sponsored us with a wonderful cart which we used to carry our clothes and camping gear. We started this journey with a beginners mind because we both had no experience in long distance walking watsoever.
We would see what it is like and what was coming on our pad. We wanted to feel alive for a bit. Just do something crazy.
And there we go! On a beautiful Monday afternoon we started walking the West Coast from Hoek van Holland to Den Helder in The Netherlands. A walk that would become a not expected big challenge.
We directly noticed that pulling a cart through sand was actually a lot heavier than we thought it would be. The stear on the cart was too low and for a 10 kilometer walk it should be ok but not for a 150 kilometer walk! Still we managed to walk for 25 kilometers and found a place to camp in the dunes after The Hague.
We knew that the second and third day would be a lot more challenging. Rain and storm were coming down on us for two days in a row. And yes, at 2am in the night it started to rain. Rain that wouldn’t stop for almost 50 hours. Together with rain and storm on the second day the sea came in and it started to be heavier and heavier to pull the cart through a narrow strip of sand. We needed a new way to pull the cart and found that new way. We used drawstrings on our hips and that worked a lot better!
Right now things became miserable. At this speed of 3 kilometers per hour we would never arrive in 6 days at our destination. We moved too slow. We didn’t smile anymore and ask ourselves why we were doing this. This was hard, our feets were wet and after 2 hours we needed a stop more than ever. At this time a little faith in humanity comes handy because we needed a place to warm up.
At beachclub De Golfslag near Wassenaar we found this faith. The club was closed but this people helped us out with a warm fire and gave us a cup of coffee and some food for free! We felt alive again and had energy to continue the walk.
Time flew in this rainy and stormy days and we could do not more than 45 kilometers in 2 days. We became cold and our jackets couldn’t stop the rain anymore. My hope that we could make it went slowly away. The next days would be critical.
Things changed quickly and we got other challenges. Blisters on our feet, a thunderstorm at 2am in the night, strange people an our way and much more! Read more on this adventure in the next article right here. And, if you have any thoughts please share them in the comment section!