Sometimes living close to everything has advantages, like going camping on the whim of the moment.
We have a small nature camping 11 km from our house that is close to the beach and the North Sea. I have been wanting to test out our new tent we purchased for longer canoe trips. Last Monday the weather cooperated although a bit cooler we packed for our trip.
Since it is so close to home, we decided to use the bikes on this trip. Good exercise to kill a few COVID kilos we have gained and good for the environment as we peddled instead of using the Caddy.
As we entered Lisse, instantly it felt wrong. In April, in years past I have rode this same route day after day to my seasonal job at the Keukenhof Garden. This same route was crowded with traffic, even in the early hours of the morning. This year, with COVID closing everything it was devoid of traffic, tourist, and the normal bustle of an April tourism season. It just felt weird, other worldly.
As we got to the cycle path next to the Keukenhof Gardens, it was a bit busier with elderly cyclists and walkers but the gardens were like a ghost town. Sad, as this time of the bloom season brings over 35,000 tourists per day through the gates with thousands more coming to the area to look at the patchwork of colorful fields in bloom.
We arrived at the camp ground to find it busier than we would think for it being a Monday. The RV area was full, and we were not the only ones braving the cooler temperatures to tent camp. I had already been warned by a friend who has been out several times this year camping that areas are full. We also have seen that when we have gone online to make reservations that many places are nearly booked for the summer.
We pulled out our gear and set up our new tent. A Kelty Night Owl 3.
This location had plenty of room between tents and is located in a wooded area next to the protected sand dune natural barrier from the sea. We could hear the wooded area was alive with bird activity. We were not able to capture any of it on film as we didn’t have space enough to bring the larger camera.
We cooked a very nice meal of chicken/rice/mushroom soup.
We had a reasonably good night of sleep. I could hear all the night noises, traffic, airplanes, but also nature, foxes yipping in the sand dunes, owls hooting from their roost and we woke to a multitude of birds singing.
In the morning we reverse packed all our new gear in under a half hour and were ready for our return trip.
We said our goodbyes to the campground help and headed for home. This time through De Zilk between the flower fields.
Within an hour we were back at home for a coffee and apple pie. Gear was cleaned and repacked for our next adventure. Our spirits were renewed and refreshed.
Until our next posted adventure… stay safe and remember to “Leave no trace” when camping in nature.
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