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After weeks of preparation and doubt the day had finally come. In the morning of the 21st of December we packed our bags, prepared our bicycles and left home. We left home in Eindhoven around 7am. The goal was to reach Hengelo and set up camp somewhere outside the city, but stay in The Netherlands. This is about 160km and we expected to reach the city around 6pm.
Cycling in The Netherlands is really easy. We have lived here all our lives and it clearly is a cyclist’s country. The country is flat and pretty much all roads have a separate cycling lane. Therefore, we made progress more quickly than we had expected. The most annoying part is actually the Garmin GPS. If The GPS thinks that you have deviated from the route it will start calculating a new one. Due to the high number of cycling roads in The Netherlands this can take a very long time!
Before long we had reached the city of Hengelo. This was around 4pm. We decided to take some rest in a nearby shopping centre. Around 5pm we decided to continue cycling. Everything extra we did now would make tomorrow easier. The next day we had booked an Airbnb, so we were looking forward to that.
It was still light out and we were not tired enough to sleep yet. Thus we decided to keep cycling until 7-8pm. By then we had cycled another 40km and ended up somewhere in between the cities Nordhorn and Lingen. We found a small forest and put up the tarpaulin. When trying to sleep outside everything you hear sounds like footsteps. This is something to get used to. Especially when wild camping is not strictly legal. Despite this we slept well and were quite content with the way our tarpaulin held up throughout the night.
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