Surprisingly the Houtribdijk is only 3 miles shorter than the Afsluitdijk. Houtribdijk (the dike separating the Markermeer from the IJsselmeer) is 17 miles whilst the Afsluitdijk (the dike separating the IJsselmeer from the North Sea) is 20 miles. It gets difficult to know exactly what to call it as apart from its official name Houtribdijk, parts are called the Markerwaarddijk (road maps tend to label the entire dike under this name) and the Lelydijk and road traffic reports tend to call it the “Enkhuizen–Lelystad dike” and apparently is isn’t even a dike but rather a dam.
And despite the forecast headwind I felt I had to visit the west side of the Netherlands – those places like Enkhuizen, Hoorn, Monnickendam whose names I remember from so long ago.
And the 17 miles on the dike was nothing like as dull as I had expected. Scenery was a bit monotonous but there was a café at the half way point and I stopped for a coffee except that at more than €3.50 a cup I gave it a miss and just had a look around.
At the west end of the dike, the lock between the Ijsselmeer and the Markermeer is actually an aqueduct, road and cycle path passing under the lock.
The weather turned out better than forecast in that the sun arrived before I got onto the dike and the wind didn’t arrive until I was off the dike. A really nice ride.
Today I’m camping in Hoorn (there’s a name I remember). The ride from the west end of the Houtribdijk was along the top of the dike holding out the Markermeer. Fantastic sunshine, lots of dutch barges out sailing, wonderful views. Tonight’s campsite is a working farm about 4 miles south east of the town, just behind the dike holding out the Markermeer. Seems like, a nice campsite. I arrived fairly early and it is quite busy but I’m tucked in a corner, right by a gate into an unused field so I have all the space I want.
And now, being where I am, I no longer have to think about saying “Holland” instead of “Netherlands” because I am now in Holland (or North Holland). So probably time for another windmill.
Last night’s rain seems to have messed up my cycle computer again, like happened back in Normandy. But it’s the cycle computer not the navigation GPS and not that important. It recovered before and I suspect it might be because the bike shop mounted it upside down and that is allowing the rain in. But it can wait.
I’m unsure whether or not to divert to a Bever store (again). Seems my new gas burner is faulty and it’s getting worse (purchased shortly before starting out). Leaking gas so, thanks to that I’m again short of gas plus the burner itself is likely to completely fail at some point soon. Nearest places to divert to are Amsterdam or Almere or keep my fingers crossed.
On leaving Lelystad there was this boat moored there
Lelystad to Hoorn
Today 42 miles.