Day one in the saddle will be our longest day. Thirty five and a half miles with so much beauty along the way. As I pedaled through quiet hamlets and the back yards of the Dutch I was enlivened by the sights, fragrances and textures. In my quiet moments along the trail, alone, lost in my surroundings I wished I had a go pro on my helmet to share the surroundings with my readers. I wished I had a microphone to help me write my blog while I was experiencing it.
you will have to rely on my memory of the day.
The first amazing gift of the day, the Birds.
We saw pheasants brooding and strutting their stuff in their glorious colors and long tail finery. We saw hawks circling and dive bombing for rodents with crazy precision and victory. We saw hundreds of swans! Elegant in their majesty even when sitting on their perfectly crafted nests. There were cranes. Grey and somewhat pink Cranes with their long legs and equally long necks that rotated in slow motion as if to ask…and who are you?” There were magpies bothering all the birds because that’s their nature and so many different kinds of ducks. Oh the colors of these beautiful birds and their signets were nearly as delightful as their songs. Some of their music was carefree and some was clearly a warning that we were in their house!
we were captivated by babies! Oh man, the little lambs, cows, mules, llamas, piglets, chicks, geese, goats, donkeys… prancing as if to escape us as we passed their pens woven from twigs. The animals baaaaaaaing and braying as we sped by! In my head it was a Disney movie narration and as in Charlotte s web they were conversing about our intrusion.
the fragrance. Of course there was an under current of wafting manure but this gardener loved it. I could feel my hands just wanting to get into the rich smelling earth as clearly these neighbors do! I have no photos as we aren’t allowed to stop… we have too many miles to do… but I did turn my bike around for a second whiff of purple lilac and to bury my nose in a pink peony in full bloom. There were so many fragrances way ahead of our garden cycle. The jasmine…intoxicating! The azaleas, magnolias, cherry trees! And with them the sweet hum of honey bees.
sure, there were clock towers from the 1400’s and windmills that we all know from our grandmothers delft pottery… but for me it was the provocative sights and smells of this very wet 35.5 miles.
such a treasure. Counting my blessings.