Last week Friday I hiked a short section of the Floris V Pad (read that blog here), while I was busy hiking the Hubby found he had parked next to a Nature Sanctuary filled with all sorts of birds. This is a photographic selection of his adventure.
First, I think this was the most entertaining of his adventure.
That adventure file is now empty. We are off on another adventure today. Product testing a new Kelty tent overnight at a local campground.
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.
Back in the Spring (April 2020) I ordered a new backpacking stove. I really didn’t need to add to my collection of small camping stoves, I own between 5 to 8 of these small wonders. Why would I need another one? What great marketing ploy made me want this stove?
I liked the look of the MiniMo. Self contained stove camping system that could heat water to boiling point in under three minutes! I read the reviews, it clicked all the core “must have’s” in a hiking/solo camping stove.
I tried at first (this was April 2020) to order one direct from the manufacture and have it sent to The Netherlands. That was not an option due to EU rules, regulations, and industry legal documents. Instead, I ordered one and had it sent to my son in St Louis to test out and to store until I could make it back to the states. Not knowing then, that it could be 2021 before I returned to any outdoor activity or visit to the USA.
I later found in mid-May that the Jetboil MiniMo was available here in The Netherlands through (online only) Bever outdoor store. I could even have the gas canister sent via the mail (you would never see that in the USA!). I ordered and received it in the mail the next day.
I couldn’t wait to use this stove and see if it lived up to the reviews. I went to the backyard and tested it out.
I decided that one of my rice camping dishes would be a good first challenge for the MiniMo.
I liked that the MiniMo has a wide opening for making a one pot camping dish. The handles on the side of the MiniMo make it easy to steady the pan while stirring, a struggle with most small camping stoves. The intensely focused heat of the flame did make it a challenge cooking without burning at first. All camping stoves, I have found, have “hot” spots and the MiniMo can easily burn food if you are distracted. Although the flame is easier to regulate to simmer than any other camping stove I have used.
What I like, was the MiniMo was extremely easy to clean. I washed it the first time in the kitchen sink. This summer I made several meals while camping, cleanup was so simple by just adding a little water, dish soap, short heating over the flame, rinse, dry and done! Just what I would like if I was out on a long hike with limited water and time.
I think the lid could use a redesign. I have steam burned my hands several times in trying to life the lid. Solution is a good multitool to lift the lid.
The MiniMo is larger and bulkier than my other backpacking stoves. The bulky nature takes up a large amount room in my backpack.
The lock system for attaching the pot to the burner is difficult to release when cooking is complete. Watch for burns to hands or spills of contents when this happens.
Weight of the MiniMo is heavier than my other backpack stoves, making this not my first choice for longer pack trips.
Price, for less than half what the MiniMo stove costs, smaller backpack stoves will offer the same capabilities.
Heats water to boiling point fast! This was a great selling point for me as being able to stop while hiking and get a hot drink in under three minutes us a real moral booster on a cold rainy hiking day.
Can be used as a pot for cooking or as a cup for hot drinks. This is a multi purpose camping cooking system.
Simple and easy clean up.
The handles and cozy make it easy to handle when hot.
Perfect for canoe camping reducing amount of equipment needed for preparing a meal.
Has removable cozy that you can replace or purchase extras in another color or design to fit your hiking moods. I liked this idea of adding color or individual branding to your activity, sadly they didn’t offer any canoe designs and in Europe I was only able to purchase the black cozy.
Recommendations: I would recommend this stove for day trips, canoe paddle trips or car camping. It is efficient in fuel consumption. Has a fast heating time and is easy cleanup.