Generosity abounds in the Netherlands and Germany

This week I ran out of the Netherlands and into Germany, heading east and then north east towards Scandinavia.

The heat has been tough as there were some very humid days, to the point where it was still 22 degrees at 10:30pm. They’re the kind of temperatures that turn your one man tent into a human powered sauna! After running all day in 28-30 degrees, you sit down to relax and recover, however the sweat literally drips of your body – sticky and stinky certainly, but relaxing, no!

The tent inner has to remain zipped due to the ever increasing number of mosquitoes who love to dine on me, and their friends the midges who are harder to spot when they manage to sneak into the tent.

Well, that’s enough going on about what’s been tough this week, there’s been plenty of highs too. I’ve had lots of help from strangers this week. It’s very encouraging and great for morale when people go out of their way to help you for no reason other than wanting to see you succeed in your challenge.

I had a helping hand from a farmer in the Netherlands whose dog attempted to chase me when it was late dusk, very nearly dark. He stopped the dog’s onslaught and I asked if I could camp on his lawn at the entrance to his farm. He didn’t speak a word of English but with the help of his wife, I found I had a safe place to camp for the night, and a cold beer to drink before bed, overlooking a full moon from their patio, on what was quite possibly the most quiet/still night I’ve ever known.

Iwan I met on my last day in the Netherlands, he kindly took a video of me running after helping with directions. The cycle path next to the main road had diverted into the village, I assumed it’d appear again as I exited the village further along but wasn’t sure, and it was only an hour or so till dark, so I needed a helping hand and Iwan was there in my moment of need. A half hour later, having run a few kms up the road, Iwan appeared, this time with a SLR camera in hand – he wanted to take some decent photos instead of those on his phone!

Germany, so far, has been the greenest country I’ve seen, there are trees everywhere -it’s beautiful. Yesterday, passing through Lastrup, I stopped at Hotel Knipper for a coffee. On finishing I went to pay and they refused my cash, telling me to save my money for camping/hotel! Thanking them before leaving, I was outside checking my map for the directions out of town when they asked if I would stay for some dinner. A fantastic pasta dish was served up and again compliments of the house, they just wanted to help me along!

OK, 16 miles down today and there’s still 18 to go so I’ll wrap it up here!

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