I arrived friday afternoon in good spirit. Some had arrived earlier and more were arriving during the afternoon and in the evening. Our base was a Nivon hostel east from Bennekom.
Many hands helped to prepare an italian evening meal. I tried to grate a Pecorini cheese, the hardest cheese I've ever tried to grate. With help of Nicolas from Belgium I finally succeeded.
Buying the ingredients and cooking for 23 people isn't easy but it was a great succes.
The next day day Rolf had organised a walk from the hostel to the river Nederrijn following a former meltwater valley dating back to the ice-age. Two little streams flowing through this valley still contribute to the river Nederrijn. At one point most walkers crossed one of the burns by going over tree trunks and branches laid down in the stream. I waded straight through. It was only ankle deep ! During the Challenge they're prepaired to wade through much wider rivers thigh deep.
Ginkelse Heath, the dropping and landing area for the Allied Forces during operation Market Garden in 1944. Today it was busy - within 100 yards of the parking - with Easter Sunday visitors.
After a short rest we biked to Natuurcentrum Veluwe. Here we had soup with bread and watched a video about wildlife on the Veluwe.
Shortly before sunset we walked to a hut for watching Red Deer. We saw a herd of hinds, soon disappearing between the trees, a red fox and two wild boars. In the dark we went back to the hostel arriving at 10 pm, having done a roundtrip of approximately 40km.
The last two days had been partly cloudy and dry but today the weatherforecast said showers and thubderstorms were expected. The programme was a mixed one. One group choose to go with Rolf to Arnhem to see the WWII infocentre, the John Frost Bridge etc. and a group choose to go to the Nationale Park De Hoge Veluwe with the Kroller-Muller Museum, Sculpture Garden and art deco hunting lodge St.Hubertus by architect Berlage. During the morning the rain was moderate but we were cosy in the museum. In the afternoon it was just light rain so we visited the sculpture garden.
I was walking with JD, Mairi and Suus but lost contact with them. They went with others to see the hunting lodge and I did a Dutch ridgewalk to another part of the sculpture garden.
At 4pm we called it a day and drove back to the hostel. The rain got heavier.
Once again a well organised meet with friends old and new. Many thanks to Suus and Bert for organising and to Rolf for the guided tours. Join us next year !