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Adventure Sports

with Stefan Nestler

Through the water labyrinth

Near Wijk the river is still called “Nederrijn”

I’m just driving down the Rhine. No way! The closer you get to the mouth of the river into the North Sea, the more complicated it becomes. Everywhere are river arms and somehow they all have to do with the Rhine, but they are no longer called so. But Waal, Maas, Merwede or Linge. With additions such as “Oude” (Old), “Nieuwe” (New), “Beneden” (Lower) or “Boven” (Upper). And then there are also canals, such as the Amsterdam-Rijn-Kanaal, which I crossed today at Rijswijk. So you can easily lose orientation. The time has passed when I was cycling along the Rhine and only had to decide which side of the river I used.

Overland, with plenty of water

Chicken uprising

Without the excellent cards, which were fixed to my handlebar bag, and the signs of the bike paths, I had hopelessly lost my way. So, however, I passed through the water labyrinth, and in fact managed to reach my destination of today, Dordrecht, without any considerable detours. In this part, the Rhine bike route hardly deserves its name because it leads through many rural areas, often along canals or small lakes.

With the ferry

Water taxi to Sleeuswijk

But suddenly you reach again one of the Rhine arms and have to cross the river with a ferry or a water taxi. The system works really perfectly. There are no long waiting times. The crossing costs for a cyclist between 80 cents and 1,50 euros. And such a ferry transfer can be quite communicative. On the way to Kop van’t Land near Dordrecht I got into conversation with another “Fietser”.



Pat on the shoulder

Ferry to Kop van’t Land

The 60-year-old asked me how many kilometers I had traveled today, where I came from and where I wanted to go. “Years ago, I cycled some passages of the tour that you have done by myself,” the man recalled. “I liked particularly the area around Rüdesheim.” Means the Rhine Gorge between Bingen and Koblenz. He gave me a tip for an alternative route to Dordrecht. “But yours is also very beautiful,” he said, gave me for farewell a pat on the shoulder and cycled away in breakneck speed.

Calves damage

Today, there were many fair weather cyclists en route. Since the morning, the sun was shining, the wind was not worth mentioning, ideal cycling weather. If there would not have been this pulling in my calves. They are crying for recovery. They still have to persist one day. Then we – my calves and I as well as my dear faithful folding bike – will hopefully stand in Hoek van Holland on the beach and look together to the mouth of the Rhine.

Still 70 are left

Signs in a garden near Leerdam

This eleventh day of my donation bike tour “School up! River down!” for the reconstruction of the school in the Nepalese village of Thulosirubari lasted nine and a half hours. I rode 124 kilometers from Wageningen to Dordrecht. In earlier times the Rhine trade ended there, what brought the city wealth. Today, Rotterdam has outdone Dordrecht as trade metropolis. I will ride to Rotterdam tomorrow and then continue to the sea. Still some 70 kilometers are missing.

P.S.: When I will have arrived at the beach, I will – if I’ll have an internet connecition – inform you via Twitter and Facebook. The detailed summary of the last day will be available after my return to Cologne.

P.P.S.: Do not be surprised if some pictures are blurry at the edges. The setting dial of the camera had accidentally slipped into the “creative mode”. 🙂


22. September 2017 | 0:03