2016-05-21 to 2016-05-24 Lauwersmeer and Ijsselham 454 Km

2016-05-21 Home to Lauwersmeer – 171 Km

Now we have to get used to Campering without Timber. Already we see what structure had been built into the day at home with Timber, walk times, meal times, things you did to take account of Timber, etc. Now we want to see what it means in Ruby. We have booked a trip to England for June and wanted to go away for a weekend to check everything out. We also wanted to try a Staatsbosbeheer (Forestry Management) campsite as they sound very nice. We booked into De Pomp close to Lauwersmeer for two nights with a plan to go elsewhere for a third night.

On being met by the wood-carving of the sea eagle at the entrance, the first thing to note is that it’s much quicker to book these places. There was a group in front of us at the check-in terminal who took ages to register online in order to be allocated a pitch. Eventually I entered my Logerenbijdeboswachter login and it immediately told us our pitch number, which we could have changed, and then printed a sticker to show we were registered. Nobody came to check as far as we know. The sites are quite expensive at €38 for two nights.

The first day was warm and sunny and we had a great pitch. They are all big pitches throughout the site and we had plenty of privacy, surrounded by trees and reminders of last year’s trips as we were immediately surrounded by cuckoo calls. A sea eagle, other than the wooden one, has become resident in Lauwersmeer and so there are a lot of bird fanciers at the site and facilities are provided with for instance information boards, hides and walks.

We went for a walk following a marked route from the campsite (the blue route) which is about 5Km. We passed through fields and next to canals and parts of the river and through parts of the holiday village and the restaurant. Altogether, a pleasant wander through the countryside.

We cooked sausages and hamburgers on the Cobb, which went well with the salad and a bottle of wine. The night was very dark under the trees and felt strange not being interrupted by a wet nose in the night.

The second day was raining, as had been promised, but, after bacon and eggs for breakfast, it cleared up in the afternoon and it was warm and quite sunny when we walked a part of the longer marked route, the white route, seeing highland cattle and Konik Horses along the paths. We watched Reed Buntings amongst the reeds next to the paths.

In the evening we cooked slavinken inside as the rain had started again, and it then continued all through the night.

During the second day I decided to take the bikes down from the rack in case there was a chance to use them to ride round the site. I discovered that they were locked onto the rack with a steel wire into the bike ringlock and I didn’t have a key. I’d put the key on the rack whilst I secured the bikes and forgot to put it in its place in the camper. It had fallen off and as I don’t have a spare key, we were left with bikes securely attached to the camper. I got in touch with oldest son, Chris, in Harlingen and asked if he could use his grinder to cut the cable and lock. We arranged to go to Harlingen the next day to free the bikes and then go to a campsite I’d found somewhere in Ijsselham for the next night.

2016-05-23 Lauwersmeer to Ijsselham 163 Km

The following day was still raining as we ate breakfast so we packed everything up and dumped the grey water and WC and set off for Harlingen. We parked on the Zuiderhaven fairly close to the Excelsior, Chris’s boat, and he cut through the cable and lock in a frighteningly short time. The bikes were strapped back onto Ruby and we went for lunch at the Nooitgedacht, returned to examine the new showers and toilets in the Excelsior (very nice job) and then set off for Ijsselham.

The site in Ijsselham Camping Slamme, was a working farm with a field with some campers and caravans around the outside and a very good sanitation block by the reception. It was €14 for the night.

There was again plenty of rain but it eased off during the avondvierdaagse, where the local kids go walking the countryside together for four evenings on the run. There seemed to be a lot of people for a small place.

2016-05-24: Iisselham to Home – 120 Km

After breakfast the following day we decided to carry out our plan of visiting a place in Dronten where you wash a camper easily The advantage over the local one at home is that it has a structure next to the washing bay which allows you to reach the roof. Ruby is now nice and clean ready for the next trip.

Conclusions

It's nice to get away again and now we are looking forward to going to England. We liked both campsites and although the forestry management site is expensive, it does offer fantastic walks and is a great way to relax away from just about everything.