I’m currently en route by train from Deventer to Amsterdam. Tomorrow I move one step closer to the main purpose of this trip, walking the Camino. I’ll catch a 9 a.m. train to Paris where I’ll spend the rest of the day; Saturday I travel on to St. Jean Pied de Port, de start of the Camino Frances.
The past week I spent in the Netherlands visiting my mom, other family and friends. I managed two practice walks, a 10km one and a 20km one; the latter with (almost) full gear. Both routes took me along the river IJssel. The first one northward; the second south to the town of Zutphen, from where I caught the train back to Deventer. It’s sobering to walk for 4 hours and then be back at your starting point with a 10 minute train ride, but the trains also make it possible to do long one-way walks rather than having to retrace your steps. I include pictures from both walks: farm land and walking routes along the river high with spring run-off from the Alps, shipping on the IJssel, and daunting skies.
There’s only one word to describe the weather this week: Bad: cold; heavy rain showers; some thunder; hail and sleet. Definitely not spring weather. A shame, because Wednesday was Kingsday in the Netherlands, a national holiday to celebrate the King’s birthday; a big event that attracts many tourists, but many outdoor events were cancelled. Lida, my sister in law, and I spent much of the day at a spa, lounging in saunas and steam rooms.
The forecast for St. Jean Pied de Port, from where I’ll start walking Sunday morning, and Roncesvalles, where I intend to end Sunday afternoon, are not good either: lows of 0 Celcius; highs of 9 and rain. Glad I brought all my rain gear.
OK, so now it’s a few hours later and I’m in Amsterdam. Went for a nice casual dinner with my brother Mel and sister in law Phan. I shot this selfie on the 200m walk home on a bridge on the Prinsegracht with the Westertoren (very famous) barely visible in the background. Either the tower made it in the picture or us, so we all appear a bit chopped off.