Sandra van Diemen

Vakantie 2012: De groene valleienroute 10-21 july 2012

After the try out of cycling holidays in 2010 it was time to do go on a 'real' cycling holiday.
I decided to do the Groene Valleienroute. This is a route that starts in the southern part of the Netherlands in Sluis. I started my journey in Maassluis and made 123km's on my first day.
Let's get this party started! The only downfall was the strong headwind I encountered. The second day was another 121 km's which led me just over the border of France. From there on the real climbing started, which was something new for me. So in my really short notes from way back it only says 'klimmen, klimmen, klimmen'.

One of the days I ended up on a campsite with a lovely Dutch/French family. Had a nice evening chatting, staying over for dinner and eventually getting breakfast as well.

On the 13th of july I made it to Fillievres. This town left quite the impression on me. Not sure why, it just stuck. Nothing really special but a lot of cosy colorfull houses. Funny thing. Last november (2017) I was in France with a friend and everything looked familiar. When we were in Fillievres it just struck me. 'This was part of my first big cycling holiday!'
The cycling holidays have definitely changed. In 2012 I didn't do a whole lot other than ride my bicycle. There was almost no time for sightseeing. I had a tight schedule with long days planned. These long days, full of climbing and rain were hard. Coupled with a lot of rain it was quite tough.
And it's really obvious when I look into my log from then. After a week there is a day with only 35kms and the comment I just couldn't do anymore..
That's something that you have to learn. You have to grow into it, learn what your body (and mind) can handle.

Next to being tough this cyling holiday was really beautiful. Through the forests of the Ardennen. Along the open landscapes. It was an everchanging terrain. From the Netherlands, to Belgium (bad roads), to France (climbing ugh) to Luxemburg.
Luxemburg is really new, open, beautiful in a totally different way. This was just a short stop before going to Germany. De Moezel was where my journey ended. Because of an extra day off and a shorter day in France my planning got in trouble. So I took the train back home from Trier instead of Roermond. Which led me to a total of roughly taken 1000kms cycled.
Not bad :).

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