Saturday, June 20, 2009

Eindhoven and the back of the beyond

I met Jeroen at 09:30 and we left for what turned out be a 50km real ride. Holland, since it doesn't have any real mountains, makes up for this by having no downhills and therefore no places where one can get a bit of a rest before the next spurt of energy. This makes for a really hard ride, not because of the terrain, but simply because there just isn't a break, any break. The ride itself was great fun in and around the forests because it is slightly technical but not so much so that one really needs to take it very slowly. We passed many people out rowing, riding or running and I was surprised at how quickly one could get out of the city and into the countryside.

On the way back we climbed the one and only mountain around, an old rubbish dump which has been covered with soil and grass and vegetation encouraged to grow on it so it doesn't look unsightly. We made it back to Bill and Nitas in time for lunch and before we knew it, it was time for the first test between the Lions and the Springboks which we have been looking forward to since it was our first taste of rugby for over 3 months. Although the Boks won, it was the Lions that looked the more dangerous and it had Bill on the edge of his seat because he has an English son-in-law who, he knew, would *have* to phone to rub some salt in if the Lions won. Not that Bill refrained from doing likewise! Nothing like a little family niggle to keep relationships going. We had a bottle of real champagne to celebrate which went down a treat!

To celebrate the win we all went out to a local chinese restaurant which was fantastic; we could really do with a couple of these back in South Africa. It wasn't only the food that was great, the service was good, relaxed and friendly - a restaurant I wouldn't hesitate to recommend. Duelling Bill about paying for the meal is like duelling Barry because they're both very generous and both very forceful so we made an accommodation that he would pay for the wok and I would pay for lunch tomorrow.

I was glad to get to bed because the the ride, although only a few hours long, had drained me but it's a great feeling to go to bed really tired and having had a great meal.

No comments: