Floris V Pad- Dordrecht to Strijensas Day 1

This blog is a bit late… I completed this section of the Floris V in late April…No excuse for publishing late only that sometimes it is hard to get a blog to flow…

Last week (end of April 🤨) was the first time since last August 2021 that I had hiked on the Floris V Pad heading towards my goal and end point Bergen op Zoom. I have taken my own sweet time in hiking this trail, not on purpose or by design, just that life sometimes interferes with what I want to accomplish. (Guess that can also be said for writing a blog!)

The Floris V Pad up to this point was fairly easy to get to my start and stop points by public transport. This section is getting more challenging to use bus or train, this is a less populated area of The Netherlands.

This time I asked for transport help from the Hubby. He volunteered (yeah, right… you think he had a real choice?) to get me to and from my start and stop points for two days while we camped in the Biesbosch National Park.

You think he had an easy job?

I think not… but let me get started before I jump ahead of my story.

At this point I had completed 158 km of my total goal to reach 245km. In August 2021 I had stopped just outside the De Elzen nature area. So this is where I started.

Checking my map just as I started. Maybe a bit of hiking anxiety?

My plan was to hike to a small industrial area close to the Kiltunnel (a long large traffic and pedestrian tunnel that goes under the Dordtsche Kil River). A nice restaurant where the Hubby could meet me and we could have a celebration coffee.

Hiking this nature park was a wonderful way to start this hike.

I started hearing birds everywhere in the canopy of the trees.

The birds were very happy to see me and sang as I hiked.

The air was cool and the sky a crystal blue above the trees. I saw only two other people while inside the nature park. After dodging people for the past two years during COVID (even when hiking in this densely populated country) I was so glad to be hiking alone in nature.

The hiking path through the nature park
Not sure what these plants are but they looked like rhubarb and were only in one part of the park.
At my 3 km point I turned left to leave the park.
The first Floris V Pad sticker of the day.

The trial now started to incline, here that means I was climbing a small dike and soon I saw that there was even a bigger dike on my left. The trail was now a roadway, hot, long, with the occasional pair of +65 cyclists speeding by me on electric bikes. That did very little for my enthusiasm for continuing the hike but I didn’t want to throw in the white flag and stop. Yes, I did want to do that, but I convinced myself I needed to keep moving.

If it looks like a hill in this part of the country it usually is only a dike to hold out the river.

Flat farmland surrounded me, except for the dike. I could see Dordrecht in the distance.

I finally came to a small wooded area with some shade and stopped for a drink of water. Luckily, there were two very busy birders. You might know the kind, two pair of binoculars, scanning the trees, fields, looking very intense. I asked what birds they had seen and they rattled off a list of Dutch bird names that made my head spin. I offered the De Elzen nature park as a possible next location to them and they happily thanked me, jumped into their car and headed in the direction I had just hiked.

These are the interesting interactions I love about hiking. These are real people with real passionate hobbies who are willing to be just who they are, down to earth and friendly with a fellow outdoor person.

The last part of day 1.

The trail now was on top of another dike so I was looking over flat farmland. Tractors were speeding through the fields, kicking up dust. It seemed that it was awfully dry. I was getting hot, the pavement was hot and I was just looking for the next bunch of trees to be a bit cooler.

For those readers who remember my Hummm…blog from April that is when on this hike I started seeing American post boxes. I did think maybe I was starting to hallucinate, so I started taking pictures of each one I saw, just to make sure…I was still in my right mind.

One of the Dutch mailboxes along this same stretch of my hike.

Now I had to cross a railroad track.

The universe thought I needed to stop, for a train.

Heading now into a very industrial area the hike provided little in the way of scenery. Large logistical buildings lined my route towards the river front.

I was finally approaching my end point and hopefully a cup of coffee in celebration. I texted the Hubby and my motivation was killed as he texted back that the restaurant where he was sitting was closed. Oh my!

Last part of the hike for Day 1. The Dordtsche Kil River on the left.

When I arrived at the link up location the Hubby informed me of his less than enthusiastic adventure of dodging construction just to get to my location. If he only knew what was to come on day 2…

Day 1 hike total 9 km.

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