After tightening some screws and greasing the bike chains, dry and rusty from the copious amounts of rainfall from the day before, we were ready to get back in the saddle. The winds had picked up and gave us a good work-out through the Noord Holland polderland. The route followed the river towards the North where eventually we connected with the Afsluit dike. This dike some thirty kilometers in length is an ingenious and ambitious Dutch water project from the nineteen thirties to safeguard the country from floods and water inundations. It is flanked on one side by a now fresh-water lake called the IJselmeer, formerly called the Zuider Sea, and on the other side the North Sea, and connects Noord Holland with Friesland. On top of the dike sits a four-lane highway with on the seaward side a separate bike path and herds of sheep grazing the grassy slopes. With a northerly wind this would be a tough haul, but fortunately this time around the wind was in our favor and pushed us at a comfortable cruising speed of 40 km per hour.
The route continued from the Afsluit dike through the Friesian polderland, populated by sheep, cows and world famous Friesian horses, and further inland through scenic villages like Bolsward and Sneek. After being douched by a cloudburst of rain a lunch break was in order and we found refuge at a fish store in Bolsward where we dinned on the new raw herring of the season. Still somewhat wet and cold we continued on our way, got drenched again and finally made it to Wygaart where we met our warmshower hosts Pier, Marit and Jelle.
When Pier gave us the choice of pasta or pancakes for dinner we opted for the later which turned out to be a great choice. The pancakes with home-made strawberry, cherry and plum jams were prepared to perfection and soon the rain and bad weather had faded from our memory. When my iPad, and Tanja's iPhone came on the scene, both Marit and Jelle were spell bound for several hours. Later that night Marit serenaded us with beautiful tuba music.