Thursday March 19th 2015 Ottersum/Venray – Leuth near Nijmegen. 28 km.

Yesterday an of course pleasant stay at college friend Cees and Leonoor’s in Nijmegen. Excellent lasagna dish of which they allowed me to take extra unabashedly. I do believe 2 or 3 times. Apart from a few regular beers and non-alcoholic drinks I also got a whole bottle of cola and water for the night. This is the result when you don’t grant yourself rest to refuel during the day. I had only had 2 coffees at Smakt and besides I bought a waffle at an unmanned table under an umbrella. Photo. I developed the habit to always order two coffees at a time. That is faster.
Last evening with Cees and Leonoor we discussed, remembered or analyzed all the ins and outs of the past and contemporary life, so we got a little aware of how life is going for each of us nowadays: relationships, friends and acquaintances, work, retirement, sweat cabins, dancing, or not sleeping well and why or why not etc.
It is a blessing not having to worry about my pony. Though I miss his presence and familiarity. Also, Tosca and I do not have the irradiation/the impact that we had with horse Leon, but over all this situation is a lot more relaxed. Tosca slept last night in the bike shed. Because she is tired too in the evening, she sleeps well everywhere. Like the boss.
Yesterday we went to bed a bit later , so this morning we got up a little later. Tosca was equally belated, breakfast, buying the missing clothing in an outdoor shop, which is located in our former “Doornroosje” (Sleeping Beauty) dancing. In the years 60-70 Doornroosje was a more “progressive” bar, where one could linger in a psychedillic atmosphere. At about 11 in the morning some more briefing and around noon Cees took me to the starting point for today, viz. Ottersum in Gennep.
Another beautiful route, now through the hilly glacier age moraine at Millingen and Beek, the ancient castle mottes (artificial hills) to pancake house de Zwaan on the Duivelsberg (Devil’s Mountain). The pancakes were so big there in my student days, that one normally couldn’t finish one. Therefore, they advertised that a possible second pancake was for free. Which surely no one could finish. Until we, our students swimming club, dropped in there. Junge Bursche, young guys, who had been bike riding all day. All of us had two giant pancakes and one freshman, Vincent Dr, even had three. But Vincent was with his 17 j. almost 2 m. tall, and we believed he still was growing! A noose for de Zwaan. But the tavern still exists, despite our excesses.
The route entered the Ooipolder at Beek. Beek, the village where my Sonja married (with me!). My friend Siep, where I will be tomorrow night in the Achterhoek, witnessed. All memories. The shortest night, June 21, 1974, Sonja and I had decided to go cycling and walking in the Ooipolder. We really had nothing yet together, but maybe this adventure helped. We watched grebes and swans and saw the first daylight at 3 am. Next we baked eggs in Sonja’s room. In the morning I had to hurry to the station for the first train, before 9 am, to my parents home in Heerlen. We had a family reunion for a weekend in the town of Durbuy in the Belgian Ardennes to celebrate the 25th wedding anniversary of my parents. At the dinner in Durbuy I almost fell straight asleep. Now I realize that this was not really kind to my parents. Oh yeah, finally, after years, my parents got a daughter-in-law and grandchildren and that may also cost a little.
Further along the Wyler Lake, where people used to go swimming. At that time of the sexual revolution nude swimming became more popular, among others there, at least that was claimed by “angry?” tongues.
In the German Zyfferlich was a stork couple in a nest on a pole. And again later in Leuth I took the bus back to Nijmegen. Unfortunately, the camera did not work, although it indicated that the battery was still charged. Probably the combination of cold and not charged enaough. Tonight I’ll plug it in to be sure.
Now I agreed to stay overnight at mother – in – law Sylvia’s and her partner Ad, both 90 plus. They picked me up at the Nijmegen Café Trianon, where I visited Sonja’s bachelar’s degree party, almost 50 years ago. That party was then organized by three girlfriends together, reason enough of course to go there with some friends.
Cozy dinner with Sylvie and Ad in a restaurant at Hazenkampseweg.
Sylvia over 90 years old, drove us home, in the dark. We got home all right at mother – in – law Sylvia’s and she gave me a towel and this was a good end of an already great day with beautiful hiking and many old memories (which I did not write down all).

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