On Wednesday I set off into sunshine, with lovely straight, wide, smooth cycle paths running down each side of the road.
I started to rely more on the compass than on maps and signs, and it did me well.
I arrived in Eindhoven at about 4pm and started hunting down Cool Blue, aka gpsshop, to pick up an iGotu GT-200.
The GT-200 is a small GPS logging device which can also double up as an external Bluetooth GPS receiver for a phone. I'm not a big fan of navigating by GPS - I don't need the extra battery drain and like using paper maps. But I liked the idea of having this little device quietly logging my journey - it's often hard to remember the precise route when I get home and want to draw a map of the trip (even more so in places like the Netherlands in which I often don't even know my location at the time). And, should I get truly lost, it would be a handy replacement for the Nokia built-in GPS receiver which is really quite pants. (Unfortunately, on this trip I don't think I ever managed to give the GT-200 quite enough charge to start working and remained clueless as to the meanings of all the different LED combinations until I got home).
South of Eindhoven, the flat farmland faded away into gently sloping pine forests.
Close to Leende I stopped at a junction, unsure of which way to go. Dedicated cycle paths headed both left and right through the woods. Should I go left towards Heeze, where a campsite was marked on my map? Or go right, i.e. south east, the direction I am generally headed in, and find another campsite a little further down? While weighing up this decision I noticed the third option and the only one that really mattered - the sign pointing straight on towards a pannenkoekenhuis (pancake house).
Pannenkoekenhuis De Clown is the kind of place I can get on with - or would consider giving it all up and camping next to for the rest of my life. They offer one hundred and ninety different varieties of delicious tasty pancake. I ordered chocolate and banana and was not disappointed.
I am very impressed with the Dutch dedication to pancakes, as am I with the embeddedness of the banana. A lady sitting nearby had a pancake topped with strawberries and fresh cream which also looked fantastic.
Stuffed full of chocolatey banana-y goodness I waddled out of De Clown and got back on my bike. With a little directional help from a cafe owner further down the road I located a small farm campsite close to Leende, where I also found an abundance of mains sockets in the washroom. I hadn't been able to gather a lot of sunshine with the Solio over the past two days so it was good to be able to charge it overnight.