PIEPERPAD ADVENTURE – the search for B&B

There are some things you just know you're going to see on a cycle route through Friesland.

It was our mistake. Okay, my mistake. I should have checked the guidebook more carefully.

Thanks to various minor map reading errors, we’d already cycled more than the recommended 70km of the Pieperpad route through Friesland and it was late in the day that we rolled into the tiny village of Raard.

We’d seen enough green fields, Friesian cows and Friesian villages. We’d enjoyed them very much, but we didn’t need to see any more till tomorrow morning. We were ready for a shower, a meal and a bed. We had a B&B booked, so all we had to do was to find it. Nobody in Raard had heard of it.

And there are some surprises. It's called It Greate Ear, but I'm not sure yet what it does. They'd be able to watch TV shows broadcast from Mars with a dish like this.

I checked the guidebook again. Oh dear! Our B&B was not in Raard, but somewhere called Ee. It’s a village, apparently, though its name looks more like a postcode. I remembered Ee. We’d passed through it about five hours earlier. Bugger!

The direct route from Raard to Ee looked short enough on a map – not more than 15 kilometres. But the narrow cycle path was shared with a long line of footsore walkers, struggling in after a 45km organised trek. We felt guilty about asking them to move off the path to let us ride past, but we were tired too, so we did it anyway.

We wheeled our bikes through a festive crowd in Dokkum and struggled on to Ee. According to my computer 84km in total, according to Mevrouw T’s computer 89km. Very creditable, we thought.

Found it! Unia Zathe, and no, that's not the door to our bedroom on the left.

The warm welcome from host Cor at Unia Zathe B&B was worth riding the extra kilometres for. The shower was fine, the dinner excellent and the bed…I don’t remember the bed. I was asleep.

Het was onze fout. Oke, mijn fout. Ik had de gids voorzichtiger moeten studeren. Door verschillenden kleine kaartleesfoutjes hadden we al dik boven de aangegeven 70 kilometres van de Pieperpadroute in Friesland gefietst. Het was al laat toen we het piepklein dorpje Raard binnenrolden.

We hadden genoeg groene velden, Friese koeien en Friese dorpen gezien. Wel van genoten, maar meer hoefden we niet voor morgenochtend te ervaren. Het was tijd voor een douche, een maaltijd en een bed. We hadden een B&B gereserveerd, dus die moesten we vinden. Niemand in Raard had er ooit van gehoord.

Ik keek weer in de gids. Nee toch! Onze B&B lag niet in Raard, maar in Ee. Een dorp, zo te zien, hoewel de naam meer op een postcode leek. Ik herinderde me Ee, we waren er doorgefietst een uur of vijf geleden. Verdorrie!

De directe route van Raard naar Ee leek volgens de kaart niet meer dan 15 kilometres lang. Maar we moesten het fietspad delen met vermoiede wandelaars, die de laatste moeilijke kilometres van een 45 kilometerlange georganiseerde wandelevenement afmaakten. We voelden ons schuldig als we hun moesten verzoeken om ons langs te laten gaan, maar we waren ook moe, dus deden we het toch.

We liepen met de fietsen door een vrolijke menigte in Dokkum en fietsten daarna door naar Ee. De laatste loodjes wegen het zwaarste. Volgens mijn computer, 84 kilometer, volgens die van Mevrouw T, 89. Voor ons is dat een prestatie.

De warme omvangst van Cor bij Unia Zathe B&B was de extra kilometers waard. De douche was prima, het diner uitstekend, en het bed…Ik weet niet meer hoe het bed was. Ik sliep.

The writer was assisted by Greenpeace Nederland and Bionext.

6 Comments

Filed under Cycle touring, Holland

6 responses to “PIEPERPAD ADVENTURE – the search for B&B

  1. All’s well that ends well.

  2. Yes, and well worth getting to Ee for the great B&B. And the very attractive house behind it is for sale at a knockdown price if anyone’s interested. (Could I turn this into a real estate blog?)

  3. Melchior Meijer

    That picture is priceless. So fathomlessly Dutch. If I were abroad and a little homesick, it would make me cry. Hilarious byline ;-). Have fun!

    • Melchior, what the windmill photo doesn’t show is the large buddhist temple behind me as I took the shot. That will need to be the subject of a later blog post. Thanks for the visit and the comment!

  4. Melchior Meijer

    Hi Richard,

    That’s funny. I now realize where it is, thanks. Ladies like the one on the photo are the backbone of our country. Without them everything would collaps. They deserve a calender. I love them, except maybe in the weekends, when they gather and effectively block the cycle paths.

    Cheers!

  5. ilona

    Allemachtig, wat zal dat een zalige slaap zijn geweest!
    Jullie kennen Friesland nu in elk geval van haver tot gort 🙂

    Geniet van de tocht!

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