After spending over 20 hours on two planes plus a 3 hour stop over in Dubai we were running on adrenanlin only. And so began a comedy of errors. After arriving at Amsterdam airport Schipol, and retrieving our bikes from Oversize Luggage pick up we dragged everything underneath an escalator to set up shop.
The boxes looked worse of wear but everything looked fine apart for one front fender which was easily bent back into shape. We started laying out the pieces but one very important piece seemed missing. The tool bag. With the bikes in pieces all over the floor and both of us quietly (don’t panic, don’t panic) yet frantically pulling out items from bags, it was finally found packed within a sleeping bag. I’m sure it was a sensible hiding place at the time.
Bikes done, bags packed we decided to bike into central Amsterdam and onto the campsite rather then taking the train. We were on a ‘bike trip’ so there was no excuses, we’d better get used to using pedal power! Getting out of the airport was actually really easy as a bike path circled around it.
Following signs to Amsterdam and then Central seem easy but we made quite a few wrong turns. Over and over again. With night falling and the weather turning freezing and foggy and us getting tired I jumped off the bike to get supplies from Markt – a semi-fancy grocery store. Leaving Cleave waiting outside in the dark I scurried around picking up sandwiches, wine, chocolate and snacks. Ready to pay and holding out Euro the cashier refused saying they didn’t take cash. What? No cash, just card. ?! Needless to say I came out empty-handed to a cold and hungry Cleave. A few km down the road we hit a Lidel (similar to Aldi) where I gave it as second try. Success this time! Night falling and 28km later we had arrived at Camping Zeeburg.
Putting up the tent in the dark, realising the celebratory red wine needed an wine opener (nope) and our sleeping bags were graded to Australian summer (+5°C and up) not a European Spring (10-0°C – fail), we ate a couple of bites of cold coleslaw pasta, and fell asleep slightly freezing.
Camping fees – €13
Groceries – €15
Total – €28\$39AU
Our ride from the campsite to the airport, yup no straight lines here!