Our first camping on the beach had been a great success, but we were ready for a next adventure!
On the way to our next camping we stopped off at tourist attraction Zaanse Schans. Judging by the amount of people walking and cycling along the road in Zaandam, it was popular. Popular has advantages, as Zaandam is prepared for caravan and camper day-trippers. A massive campervan carpark was located just out of the main tourist area. Very convenient. When we got out of our bus a retiree and his Golden Retriever turned up (
out of no-where we thought) but in hindsight I believe he worked on commission and spotted us as his next victims. Actually, he was really sweet and showed us how to get to the windmills and hinted we could rent a bicycle really near to where we parked. So within no time we were cycling in between the windmills.
Our next camping, with the pleasing but unusual name ‘Het Bos Roept’ – ‘The Forest is Calling’, did not disappoint. We were warmly welcomed, and were free to park wherever we wanted. The shower/toilet block were 5 star, ‘Four Seasons’ quality - our family KPI. (even after 1 of us got locked into the toilet!) The camping had a lovely Greenhouse with tables, cooking facilities, books and on top of it organised yoga sessions. Fresh bread and cheese could be ordered for the next morning and there was a fridge with a trust system in place, where you could leave money in a box and take a delicious fresh fruit juice.
After we found our spot we decided to do a ‘glam’ interior photo/video shoot. If you are reading this and you have a bus/camper or caravan I am sure you will appreciate, the inside can start looking remarkably unglamorous. So we started throwing out all of our non-essential interior stuff onto the grass outside and then did our inside shoot. (oh, yes it had stopped raining)
That evening we made a delicious pasta and enjoyed a beautiful evening gazing at the stars and listening to the noises around us, the forest was calling us.
Saturday, de famous Afsluitdijk
After breakfast, feasting on very fresh bread, we headed off. It started drizzling, but that's the Netherlands for you and it would not spoil our journey, it maybe even made the journey more authentic. We were going to cross the famous ‘Afsluitdijk’ – a 32 km bridge, dam or ‘dijk’. My great-grand father, as one of the many Dutch men, even worked on this enormous project between 1927 – 1932. This dam has been protecting the Netherlands from the force of water for over 90 years. Once we arrived at the Afsluitdijk F recalled the fond memories he has flying his kite on this famous 'dam' when he was a kid. We decided to stop off to climb a tower from the 1930’s for a view but it was raining and there wasn't much of a view
We couldn’t stay too long as we had plans to meet another ‘Dutch skoolie’ in Friesland. Via instagram we had connected with some friendly folks who were also converting a schoolbus. And while I write this, they're already converting their second schoolbus. They're true skoolie conversion masters and we were a little envious of their fully off-grid bus! More about our meet up with @skooliebuildsnl in our next blog.