|The floats and cars from last nights parade were scheduled to parade again for about forty kilometres up the coast to Haarlem. This was to be a all day event leaving at 9.30am and getting to Haarlem at 9.30pm. We decided that as we had seen all the floats last night we would give today's parade a miss and head up North to Den Helder.
We had picked up a Travel Bug in one of the caches in Amsterdam which had a note asking for it to be taken to Den Helder. A Travel Bug is a special cache token that is moved from one cache to another and it's movements recorded. Steven, my son, and I have one each and we compete to see whose bug travels the furthest each year. Using our favourite wifi access point supplier, McDonalds, in Den Helder we located a couple of likely looking cache locations on the edge of town and on our route. Fortunately the first one we came to yielded up it's cache without too much searching and we placed the travel bug with it, having recorded it's number and logged our own cache name and date.
Then it was off across the massive dam that the Dutch built to close off the IJsselmeer from the North Sea. It must be some 18 or so miles long with locks and bridges at either end to allow shipping in and out. We caught a "bridger" at the Eastern end as two yachts passed through.
Our destination for the day was Bourtange, a small fortress town near the German border. I'd read a caravanners report about it and it sounded interesting. The original fort was built in a five pointed star shape with similar shaped outer moats and ramparts and could only be entered by crossing a series of draw-bridges. It's worth looking at it on Google Earth if you get a chance.
We arrived at our camp site just outside the fort itself about 2pm . A quite lovely site by a canal and set amidst trees and with a lake as well. I thought we were nicely set up with Ethel and Doris but the guy next to us on site had a BMW Isetta bubble car that he trailed behind his motorhome in a fancy covered trailer. The motorhome and bubble car were even painted in matching colours.
We were soon set up and made an early foray into the fort itself. It is a large fort with lots of houses, a mini village in fact, inside it's inner ramparts. It turned out to be a delightful place, very much like a Disney type attraction. It had a circular town centre area with shops and houses set out around in a radial pattern. There was a pub, a restaurant and even a windmill and everything so clean and tidy. I have to say that goes for nearly al the places we have seen in Holland, puts Lowestoft to shame.
It didn't take long to do the touristy trip around the fort and we headed back to Elsie so that I could take advantage of the free wifi to watch the second half of the Norwich v Reading football match via the Internet. Then, after a meal of local sausage and chips in the site restaurant, we went back to the fort again for a second visit and to look for a further three geocaches we had identified on the Internet as being in the area. We found two but were unable to locate the one that was supposed to be in the town centre area. By then it was getting dark so time to beat retreat back to Ethel for the night.
Mileage to date - 340