Day 4

So I made it to mainland Europe. In all honesty the thrill has diminished. I remember the first time I rode off a ferry on a motorcycle and started to ride out of the port on the wrong side because I was so excited.

Now, well docking in the morning mist seeing a foreign country still makes you thank your lucky stars you are not sat in an office suffering but the sheer enormity of what lay ahead cast a very large shadow.

I rode off the ferry through customs waved goodbye to the squaddie from the night before then with my ankles that had now decided to go on strike rode round the corner to see a sign saying rotterdam 32km.

Unbeknownst to me the port was 20 miles out of Rotterdam, despite calling it the port of Rotterdam. So against a head wind in the driving rain I cycled up into the city cursing everything and anyone.

Crossing a canal I met a Polish worker, employed here in the greenhouses who was cycling home. Stopping for a chat my mood reversed as quickly and I was reminded of what I had learnt on the last journey that nothing stays the same. As long as you keep on pedalling whatever irration you are suffering from will slowly ease and a new pleasure will be derived.

I enter Rotterdam barely able to walk as my ankles are giving me so much grief. I cycle round aimlessly trying to find somewhere to sleep. After asking half a dozen people I find a hostel and end up sleeping in of all places.

Sharing the room was a Thai Architect by the name of Wit who had just been made redundant and was travelling round Europe on his way back to Singapore where he aims to set up his own import/export business. Sitting in a little bar underneath the tree houses, drinking dutch lager I wonder what it would take to inspire Wetherspoons to create an enviroment such as this. It is not the gorgeous wooden boats in the nearby port, the beautiful women or even the grand majestic buildings that survived the war, it is more than this, it is the complete and total lack of anybody wearing a tracksuit.

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