I started hiking the Floris V Pad in 2017 on a cold, windy day. I trekked first across the landscape to my start point in Weesp on public transport. You can read about my start to this hiking self challenge, Floris V Pad Weesp .
My Totals for the Floris V Pad including this hike:
- Oudewater to Haastrecht – 8 kms
- Total hiked Floris V Pad to date – 75.8 kms
- Total distance for Floris V Pad 244 km from Amsterdam to Bergen op Zoom
- Total distance to accomplish – 100 km (153 km per sign at end of this blog… ?!)
This week, that trip across the countryside was made easier with the Hubby as chauffeur and personal hiking support team. Details of all he was required to accomplish was kept from him as a surprise so that it would encourage his help. He dropped me off 80 meters from my start point in Oudewater.
The last time I was in Oudewater was in August 2019. I then had just completed my last section of this hike on the Floris V before COVID came along and placed my 2020 hiking plans to finish Floris V Pad on temporary hold.
As I started on my trek through the quiet streets of Oudewater I instantly found a photo opportunity for my “Hummm file”. This is always a good sign for an interesting hike. My readers will have to wait for another Hummm… blog post for that great reveal.
The first section of this trail took me along the Hollandsche IJssel River. This small but well maintained hiking path was quiet and picturesque of the Green Heart of Holland landscape. Large old farms lined the river mixed with new homes on large parcels of land. Gardens of all sorts gave me a view into these private areas along the trail.
Not far outside of Oudewater I came along my first person of the day out walking his dog. He almost passed by with no more than a normal greeting until I guess he saw I was a hiker. Then he made the statement it was a beautiful day for a hike! I turned and had a very nice conversation with “Gert” who has lived in Oudewater his entire life and also enjoys hiking. It was nice to have such a welcoming conversation with him and gave me a good feeling about this section of the country. He was not the last person on this section of the trek to engage in conversation with me.
I got into my hiking rhythm and was pinged. The Hubby was at the endpoint. I got the feeling I needed to hike faster. But, I didn’t, as I knew he would go for a bike ride instead of just waiting for me to finish.
As I walked, the sun warmed me as I was so very thankful for having this moment of solitude hiking. I have missed my outdoor activities so much during the last year and this hike felt normal and refreshing.
As I got closer to my crossing point over the river, houses started getting closer together. Still farming country, but smaller tracks of land. At one point I came to a camping area where several campers were already preparing for a day of activity in the beautiful weather.
As I approached the bridge, I saw other hikers sitting enjoying a cup of coffee next to the river. Obviously, I wasn’t the only one taking advantage of the beautiful weather.
As I crossed the bridge I felt like I was being followed. When I turned around no one was there and I laughed at my sixth sense failure. Crossed the busy street and continued on my hike. But, I couldn’t shake the feeling of being followed and once again turned and saw a lady walking her dog behind me.
“Nothing unusual there!” I thought to myself.
As I got to what I thought was my turn in the trail I looked for the marker and as usual it was as clear as mud. This is where a good look at the map helped. Now, the lady who was walking her dog caught up with me and asked if I was hiking the Floris V Pad. I am sure shock registered on my face as this was the first person in all my hikes that seemed to know it existed. I confirmed that I was and we had a very nice conversation to my next turn off point. Her and one of her friends have completed several sections of the Floris V Pad as well and it was nice to converse with a kindred soul about the trail.
This last section of the hike took me through flat farm fields. Flocks of sheep dotted the pastures and all sorts of birds were singing Spring songs.
There were also more hikers and an occasional runner along this stretch of trail. I got a text message that the Hubby was just up ahead and I was heading towards a bird sanctuary. He was busy capturing bird pictures.
So I captured my own. Some friendly swans.
I was able to ask one of the hiking couples to take a picture of me. So much nicer than a selfie. Thank you for the kindness of fellow hikers.
Not much further I saw a man with a camera pointed at me.
“Hey! I know that guy!” The Hubby was heading towards me.
We hiked together to the nature sanctuary and then on to the car where we had a nice camp lunch.
We have more planned adventures for the coming weeks.
Are you planning some adventures?
We would love to hear about them in the comment section below.
Travel safe everyone!
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