As I set off from Munster my spirits were high but unfortunately so was the wind and so my long journey began again…. Everything started off well but after a while I had to leave the canal and I was back into road navigation, maybe I had grown a little over confident as I peddled away on my route just to find that after hours of wind negotiation I was actually nowhere near my intended spot and with only a few available places to cross the river I had bit of a detour on my hands, not appreciated due to the weather conditions! The day seemed to drag on forever but as the evening came so did some piece from the elements and so I could enjoy a beautiful sunset as I sped along back into the Netherlands, I decided that I would make the next river crossing then find a place to bed down for the night but as I reached the banks and looked around for the little ferry that would carry me across I was informed that I had just missed the last sailing but that there was a bridge nearly 10km up the road. Knowing that I already had a long way to go the next day to make it to Tilburg where my friends lived and I would be celebrating my birthday, with that motivation I head off towards the bridge. Spotting a father and son looking up and down the river expectedly I approached and informed them of the missed ferry and the bridge, they agreed that was the way to go and we set off in a convoy. The journey passed quickly and enjoyably as the sun shone down on us and the water glistened occasionally in my peripherals until the bridge was upon us, I waved goodbye to my companions as we reached the other side and I sped off in search for my next campsite. This did not turn out to be an easy task as now I was out of Germany the random patches of forest had disappeared and I was left with not much more then a few garden hedges and wide open spaces. As dusk really began to fall and I was beginning to loose faith in finding anything suitable I spotted a patch of trees in the middle of some fields off a country lane so I head off the main road and with all the stealth I could muster I sneaked into between the trees while ensuring none of the tractors or nearby farm houses were paying attention. Tired and hungry I set up camp, ate a can of cold soup and set in for the night knowing that there would be a friends, birthday celebrations, hot shower and a bed in store for me the next day…..
I woke up to the sound of a tractor that seemed as if it was on top of me, freezing as if they could see me I lay for some time as they worked around my little patch of trees. Feeling confident that they were none the wiser of my presence I started to pack up knowing that I should get going ASAP to make it to Tilburg, over an hour later they moved on and I was free to leave! Just in time for the weather to change, as the grey clouds closed in and the wind picked up once again I just hoped that my map reading skills would do me proud and I would limit the excess time. The day was pretty uneventful apart from the odd exchange of waterproof clothing as even tho it wasn’t very appealing the temperature was still relatively warm and as it took rather a lot of energy to power against the wind it wasn’t long before I was hot and sweaty! As I started pulling into Tilburg I was SO relieved and couldn’t wait to reach my friends place tho I wasn’t actually sure how to locate it, one thing I was sure of tho was that I was entering a city in party mode! I had been told that Tilburg homes one of Europes largest moving fares which was currently taking place but it didn’t explain the swarms of excited people dressed and decorated in all kinds of Pink attire! After a while I decided to stop and ask for directions, the lovely couple that helped me not only looked up my address and drew me some directions but they also filled me in on the Pink Monday tradition of the fare and how this was the biggest day and that everyone got dressed up and surged into the city to celebrate. With my map of instructions I set off again, the drizzle not dampening my enthusiasm as I looked forward to seeing my friends and getting our own celebrations underway…..