On Wednesday night we finally left Amsterdam after the roadside assistance started the “Bunyip”, this is now the third time we have used the Ford roadside assistance, which came free after they did the service on it before we left. Each time the service has been quick and the staff have been friendly, we are now booked into a garage to have the problem looked at. The camperstop at Ouderwater, tucked away behind a skating arena it was hard to find but was next to a canal and we had a quiet night with only one other motorhome on the site. Unfortunately there was a low hedge which I scraped with the back corner of the van, this was the second time this trip that the corner took a knock and a piece was now missing so a job to be done when we return to Martins house.
In the morning we walked to the historic town of Oudewater. One of things the town is known for is the witches’ scales. The superstition was that witches had to be light in order to ride the broomsticks, to prove that a person was not a witch, they would be weighed on the official scales receiving a certificate if their weight corresponded to their build. Many people from all over Europe would travel to Oudewater to obtain their certificates declaring that they were not witches. We have visited the town before and you will be pleases to know we passed the scale test and are not witches.
It was early and the place was very quiet and after obtaining a walking route from the tourist office we strolled the streets and took in the picturesque sights of the village, finishing off with a coffee and cake in the town square. Then it was back in the “Bunyip” to our final stop of this trip, Martins house in s’Gravendeel. Martin is our cousin and he looks after the motorhome when we are not using it and it is at his house that we stay when we come to Holland, and when we leave again for Australia. In addition he looks after the paperwork, for all these things we are eternally grateful. [Thank you Martin]
We arrived back on Thursday and as were leaving for Australia on the Tuesday it left us 5 days to get the motorhome ready for hibernation. Ewout made a start to the repairs on the bumper bar but couldn’t quite finish as the rain stopped the work, so it will be another job to do before our next trip. At least it is once again solid ready for the next bump or scrape.
Friday : In the morning we went to Dordrecht [Ewout birth town] where the it was market day, it was raining so Martin went with us taking his van so we wouldn’t get wet. (Again thanks Martin) We took the opportunity of having a local favorite ‘Kibbling’ or fried fish bits for lunch and then later Poffertjes and coffee for a last Dutch treat. After doing a bit of shopping and looking around the shopping streets we headed back ‘home’ to continue doing our chores.
Saturday: More Cleaning up of the van as well as some shopping for a Barbeque that evening. Martin had invited Family members to come for the evening and share a BBQ with us. We had a lovely time catching up with everyone.
Sunday: We spent most of the morning working on the Van, cleaning, packing up the bikes for storage and more sorting of our gear. We had a lovely surprise phone call from Nienke (granddaughter of a cousin) inviting us to their home for coffee that afternoon. We were happy to go along and see them again one last time before we left.
Monday . Ewout spent more time on the repair of the corner of the van, not quite finishing it but leaving it to do when we return and Jenny spent some time sorting out all our gear, packing away the things we were storing at Martins and getting our luggage packed for our flight home. With 60 kgs. luggage limit we were confident we would be ok, but with some extra parcels to take home for family members it was still a tight squeeze to get everything into our 2 luggage bags so we added another bag into which we put the overload. Still we were under our luggage limit and we think this is quite surprising. We had nearly 4 kgs of Schleich toys thanks to our friends in Oelde to give to our grandchildren.
Tuesday: D-Day, always a day that comes too soon. Final checking of luggage done, weighed and locked ready to go. With a feeling of sadness we say our good byes to family and load into the car for our final journey home. We had a smooth run to the Airport and after checking in our luggage we have a final coffee with Martin before saying goodbye and see you again soon. Then it’s through customs and into the waiting area to board our flight. Farewell Holland, Europe and the many sights we have seen and people we have met that have made it a most memorable trip. So tot Siens, auf Wiedersehen, arrivederci, ahoj, khairete, viszlát, nasvidenje and do videnia until next time.
In our next blog we will wrap up our 2014 trip and let you know of our immediate and plans for or next trip.