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The Netherlands

The morning sea, not far from Rotterdam. Land in the distance. Boats. Something in the distance. A ship. There's the ferry from Harwich. A cruise ship. The big-screen weather forecast isn't drawing much of a crowd. A pilot boat. Part of the large industrial area around the port of Rotterdam. The Hague. That boat passed us going in the opposite direction. Now it's turning to follow us into the river. Scenery. A boat being piloted. More industry. This is where we enter one of the many mouths of the River Rhein, although it's called the Waal here... A container ship. I'm off the boat and straight away onto the Dutch network of cycle paths. This road seems to be just for bikes and mopeds. A boat on the river. I have to stay close to the motorway to get away from the port. When I first wrote this caption, I said that I did't know whether the huge concrete shapes along thi... There were several cyclists on the ferry. As I was riding towards that lifting bridge, I met one of ... What's this? A hat storage tank? The large structure on the left is the Botlek lifting bridge. There is some major work going on and ... All those things are allowed on the cycle paths. This boat is turning surprisingly close to the bridge supports. The view from the bridge which I had to use instead of the Botlek Bridge. Tussenwater metro station. Another balcony with big antennas. A pretty little pond. A drive-by rubbish bin. I haven't seen one of these for years. Oh. I didn't mean to include this picture. It's not very interesting. A road. The sheep have somehow found a hill. A big bike shop. A quite road. Roundabout art. It looks like they've changed the menu since 2011. A box of babies. A topiary nursery. At the moment, I'm retracing part of my route from 2010 but there are a lot of th... This toilet was handy. I was just starting to think that I needed one. It's a bit strange having it ... A horse, you say? No, I ain't seen no horse. The path ahead looks quite busy. A station. A pleasure cruiser. More bikes and mopeds. For a while, I thought this was some kind of fancy catamaran but it's just two identical boats next ... A view from the path on top of a flood defence. Houses. I think this roof is thatch but it's very short. Cows in a barn. I like the jagged edges in the corners where it looks like chunks of brickwork have been removed. I guess this place deals with eggs. There's one on the roof and a numbered egg on each loading bay. Building supplies. I've booked a room for tonight in Heusden. From what I saw online, it looks like a beautiful old tow... The gateway to Heusden. Traffic coming out has to come through the arch. Heusden. The thing with a tower doesn't look much like a synagogue. Heusden. There are plenty of restaurants. I should really have dinner in one of them but I'm a bit apprehensi... Heusden. Near where I will be staying. My room. My private balcony, where I will sit later with the complimentary sparkling water to write these cap... The curtain which divides my part of the house from the rest. I don't know why my bathroom has two sinks. The decoration in the room includes what look like two gendarmes' hats. One of a couple of chinooks which passed very low along the river. I got to the place where I'm staying tonight five minutes after the end of the hour in which I had s... The front door. Heusden. My bike's place for the night. Heusden. The man in the foreground is getting ready for dinner on his boat. Heusden. Two people looking at the view of the little harbour. I've chosen the place on the left for dinner. "Surprising" is another good word. Technically, I am my whole table but I didn't ask for i... The harbour at dusk. Some people getting out of a rowing boat. Heusden is a fortified town almost completely surrounded by water. These banks which surround it are... Heusden. That's odd. My seat's wet. I didn't think there was any rain in the night. Perhaps the streets get w... Breakfast this morning was very good and beautifully laid out. It seemed like a lot of trouble to ha... Heusden. This extensive collection of bells plays tunes every quarter of an hour in the daytime. I didn't hea... Heusden. The embankment on the right is part of Heusden't fortifications. Vliedberg. Just some houses. Helvoirt. The cycle path along a main road. Oisterwijk. There's no wind at all today. A sculpture with rather small representations of people doing various activities. The one on the rig... The black and white pennant flags must be a standard symbol of funeral processions around here. The ... This town is called Oirschot. Behind the woman on the phone is a large group of schoolchildren, all wearing reflective jackets. I followed them for a few minutes, until they met up with a few hundred more similarly aged and simi... The path towards Eindhoven. One of the Philips facilities in the city. As I mentioned in 2015, the company is the origin of the ... This is the second time today that I have passed major Rabobank offices and I still haven't found a ... Eindhoven. A very low bridge. The Dutch are apparently the tallest nationality in the world and they almost nev... Bike parking at Eindhoven station. As seen on ... Leaving Eindhoven. A duck. Some rowers. When the woman on the left rode past me a little while ago, her baby was eating a bagel. The Dutch cycle paths are very good but I've noticed that they do have a propensity to be closed wit... A windmill dated 1843 and a bridge dated 1997. A level crossing. Acorns. I was worried that I was doing this holiday too far into the Autumn but it's still lovely an... Heeze, where I finally found a cash machine. A little statue. These trees don't look very Dutch. I turned from a cycle path onto a minor road. After about a minute, a motorbike came past me. It has... ... and saw this approaching quite fast. I later found out that it's stage 4 of this year's Holland ... The Tour. Support vehicles. Five minutes later, I saw this cyclist going past in the opposite direction along the road on the fa... Here comes the rest of the pack. Spare wheels. The Tour. The Tour. The Tour. Deer. "BRIDGE OPEN ENGINE OFF" The terms "open" and "closed" are obviously a... Weert, today's destination. Strangely-shaped flower arrangements. Ah! I bet I can guess what these people are waiting for. The route of the Holland Ladies Tour in Weert. Spectators. A two-person bike. Omer Shapira, still way out in front. The others are looking more competitive now than when I last saw them. Heading towards what I thought was the finish. The Tour. Those support vehicles again. More spectators. I was a bit surprised that people were still hanging around, given that I thought we had just seen t... The bell tower in this picture is playing its 4 o'clock tune. It turns out that the tour does three laps of the town before finishing. In fact, when I looked at a... Two cyclists who have broken away from the main pack. Things must have all changed towards the end b... This is lap 2. Bye! Lap 3. My hotel for tonight is right opposite the station. It's only just occurred to me that so many peopl... My hotel. The figure depicted on the flag is "Antje of the Station", after whom the hotel ... My room. The view of the station from my skylight. The hotel has a lot of rules. I think I've already broken number 6. If ... This bathroom has two sinks and two showers. The "quirky" hotel is tomorrow night. It it d... I don't think this drying arrangement will be very practical. I'll have to keep moving it to keep it... Weert. A cracked old house. A residential street. All you can eat suchi sounds both tempting and implausable but I didn't feel bold enough to go in. T... Under the railway station. I'm not sure what's going on here. The person on the far left is dressed as a chicken. Then there ar... Told you. A sprayer making a rainbow. This picture got included by mistake. The River Maas and the Juliana Canal. I'm currently in the industrial area around the docks so I was surprised to see a peahen. It looks l... That's the weirdest-looking tandem I've ever seen. At a pub. One of these passed me on the road yesterday. Elsloo. An unusually steep street for the Netherlands. Geulle aan de Maas. Stage 5 of the Tour. I looked at the map last night so I was expecting it to be coming through here ... The Holland Ladies Tour. This is a slight uphill section. The Tour. The support vehicles seem to be having more difficulty turning that corner at the required speed tha... I didn't see the broom wagon yesterday. On the way into Maastricht. Maastricht. Maastricht. Maastricht. Maastricht. Just a cyclist. Maastricht. Maastricht. By the river. Segways. Maastricht. Maastricht. Here's the end of the Netherlands. The border marker is the cone to the right of the road. The cycli...