What a strange name for this blog and what is a Zutphen; all will be revealed.
We are now in the last couple of weeks of our trip and we have planned to visit some of our friends and family. Luckily we are friends with our family as well. On Friday the 19th we drove to Oelde to see our German friends the Motski’s. We met the 3 German brothers while we were in Hungary 2009, they were on motorbikes camped next to Lake Balaton. We had a great time drinking beer with them and formed a happy bond. That same year we went to visit them and their families and have seen them every year since, with the exception of our disjointed trip last year. Arriving at 5.00 in the afternoon we were greeted as if no time had elapsed since we saw them last. For the next two days we had a great time, of course we drank too much, ate too much and had plenty of laughs while we were doing it. They made us feel very welcome and it was nice to be surrounded by people who have become almost like a family to us.
The lights on the “Bunyip” needed looking at as the ones on the top had broken due to close calls with trees and others which had loose connections due to age. Although we very seldom drive at night the Motski brothers offered to help repair them and on Saturday we drove to get some new lights. After the third place we visited they had exactly what we were looking for. The rest of the morning and into the afternoon were spent installing the new lights and fixing others. Not content with the light repairs we also fixed other small niggling things which were on my “to Do” list of maintenance. So between beers the Men did what they do best, fiddle with mechanical things while the ladies went into the town to do some shopping.
Two days of beer, b.b.q’s, beer, schnapps, and much laughter we had to say goodbye. As usual we were thoroughly spoilt and overwhelmed by their hospitality and friendship. It was a sad farewell when we said our farewells and headed of in the motorhome on Monday bound for the Netherlands.
Back into the Netherlands
Our next destination was De Lutte in the Netherlands, this was where Aunty Jeanette lives and where Mike our cousin would also come to meet us. After coffee and cake and a light lunch we all decided to go for a walk to an arboretum located about 15 minutes’ walk from the house. This had been planted by a business man and is free to the public, it contains trees and shrub from all over the world. It was a nice walk in perfect weather along the paths through the trees and next to ponds with water lilies and ducks. The evening was spent at a local restaurant, eating outside as it was still warm and the threatened rain had stayed away. We had parked at the end of the street and stayed there for the night. Last year we were there in March and we woke to a snow covered van, this time it was warm and dry.
On Tuesday morning we drove to one of our favourite camping shops called Obelink in the town of Winterswijk. The huge site carries everything you need for an outdoor holiday. We love to have a look at all the different things and try not to be tempted with purchasing more for the camper. We wandered around and in the end were very restrained walking out with a couple of small things. We then took to the road and drove to the town of Zutphen.
Zutphen is a small city on the river Ijssel, it is a very nice place to visit which has a camperstop within an easy walk to the centre of the historic town. On our first trip in 2009 this was one of the first places we stayed. We arrived on the Tuesday afternoon and were not in the mood to go for a walk into town so we contented ourselves with having a quiet time in the camper. The next morning we walked into the town and after having a coffee in a small bakery we found the tourist information office. For 2€ we purchased a town map with a walking route and decided to see as much of the town as we could comfortably. Well Jenny really, you see she had a fall a couple of days before and has had a sore ankle and foot since which has made it difficult to walk a long distance.
We wandered the streets, taking in the atmosphere and seeing the most interesting places, but after a couple of hours we decided to do a little food shopping and walk back to the camper. We had our lunch then hung around the parking place for a little while because we didn’t have far to travel for our next appointment, only about 35 kms to Radio Kootwijk to visit Ewout’s cousin Tonnie and Remko.
Without boring everyone to bits, I will just say we had a lovely time with them, it was good to catch up and talk about lots of things. We then spent the night parked on the roadside outside their home, it was very quiet because they live surrounded by a national park and although we were warned about the wild pigs making noises during the night; we heard nothing. We breakfasted with them and spent a few hours there before we took to the road again, traveling in the direction of Amsterdam where we decided to stop in a campground on the edge of the city for the night. We are going to spend few days looking around Amsterdam next week and we thought we would check out the campsite. After staying here for 1 day we have decided to go to the city camp next week. Today we are off to visit our friends in a small village called Winkel north of Amsterdam.
At the end of our last blog we said that Ewout had modified a car tablet holder for the wifi aerial holder which can point in any direction. Below is a photo of his handwork. It works very well.