Braintree to Utrecht via North Sea

Trip Start Jun 30, 2010
Trip End Sep 09, 2010

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Where I stayed
Julia's apartment

Flag of Netherlands  , Utrecht,
Friday, July 2, 2010

After a stressful 36 post Glastonbury hours the leaving event went swimmingly, a massive thank you to everyone who came and bought raffle tickets etc... We were really chuffed with the send off we received and it gave us a big motivational boost. The cycle to Harwich was tougher than expected mainly due to Jim's unnoticed half flat tyre and the post Glastonbury hangovers still looming. After 75km hard struggle we eventually arrived in Harwich with about 90mins to spare.

Having located our cabin we went in search for food, we found an expensive buffet so opted for the cheaper sounding truckers cafe only to be ejected due to the fact that we're not truckers. We thought the truckers only sign was just there for effect! We then played the charity ace card and managed to blag the works (free food and drinks) and instantly became honorary truckers! With a full belly we went to sleep in our surprising palatial cabin for a much need 6 hours.

The captain awoke us at 6am and we obviously returned to truckers cafe for breakfast, both of us dismayed by the emittance of black pudding, amateurs!

After being dragged away from the all you can eat buffet half an hour after the boat had docked we eventually made it on to dry land and on to the continent clearly the last off the boat. After some minor maintenance to both bikes we left the port at the hook of Holland and headed off towards Rotterdam. We took the cycle path which followed the river southbound to the heart of Rotterdam. This was a cracking option as the path was easy to navigate and was surprisingly beautiful once out of the port itself.

Getting in to Rotterdam we treated ourselves to a decent traditional dutch lunch as we had spent no money whatsoever so far... again cracking.

When in Rotterdam we managed to gain an accomplice in the shape of the tallest 17 year old in Holland named Maurice, who had a strange fascination with Tim Westwood. He then proceeded to give us an hour tour of the city although I'm not sure how accurate his guidance was as he seemed somewhat of a novice. We both decided Rotterdam had little to offer, in terms of sightseeing any way due to the destruction of most of its buildings during the war so we both weren't too bothered to move on.
Although Jim cycling into a bollard was a highlight.

Leaving Rotterdam we  headed for Utrecht via Gouda (as in the cheese) a quaint historic town with a medieval style open town square which was well worth a visit especially on seeing our first dutch windmill. The final push to Utrecht was tough as by the time we reached our friends apartment in Utrecht we realized we'd cycled 175km in 27 hours, Jim's knee hurt. Getting to the apartment in Utrecht though is just a small step of the many we have to come... this is gonna be harder than we thought.

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Paula Beavis on

Hi both
Glad to hear that you're having fun . . . . although that appears to be with everything except the cycling :-) The truckers meal looks like it could have fed you for a week!!! I have no idea where you guys put it all . . . . but then again it sounds as though you are going to need more meals like that!! - lol
Just to let you know that I'm getting posters done to promote the raffle so hopefully that will generate a lot more money and I'm sure if Kathy updates the pub with your efforts so far a lot more people will think about donating!!
Anyways, I hope it's getting easier and that Jim's knee doesn't give him too much trouble . . . thinking of you and sort of jealous as I sit here at my desk . . . uummm maybe not :-)
Stay safe and I look forward to the next installment.

Khio on


I had a great time with you guys the other days while traveling to Maastricht. The evening in the forest was hilarious and the name Mitch will never be the same again. I can't believe how smoothly those 96km's to Maastricht went (After cycling 60km today i was totally exhausted!)

So, have a good journey and keep writin' them poems Lint!

W/e blood.


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