Views from hills

Up at seven, breakfast half an hour later, gone before nine. Today will probably the hottest day of the week and I prepped some packing yesterday, just so we could leave early enough. Arne wakes up a bit woozy, he’s always been a bit bothered like that by antihistamines. Hopefully the grumpiness disappears during the day. I show him the map with the route crossing two ridges, planned for the morning, and this does not improve the mood. I’m aiming to cross both of these before lunch, in the coolest part of the day.

The route away from Münster is again one we’ve done before, albeit in the other direction, so we decided during breakfast to skip the castles this time. If you want to see/read about Haus Vögeding, Haus Ruschaus or Burg Hülshoff, have a look at my post from then. Today we breeze past them, occasionally discussing places or particularly bad stretches of road that we remember. The surface is pretty bad almost until Havixbeck, Arne remains quietly grumpy. He spent the week before this holiday putting silicone around all our veranda windows, so his wrist is a bit overloaded, his fingers tingling and hurting. In contrast, my mood is excellent, my legs feel strong and I don’t have any big aches. The itchiness of the irritated spots (remember the story about the oak processionary caterpillar yesterday) is not too bad while cycling.

We go up and down the gently sloping hills and descend towards Billerbeck around half past eleven. The second big climb is just after this, so we decide to have an energy bar on the church square – finally these come in handy, I’ve been dragging them around all week – and have lunch in Nottuln, 12 hilly kilometers away. It’s a long climb, but not too bad, perhaps between 5 and 8%, I use the lowest gear (thank you, mom, for the loan of this great bike!) only once and make it to the top each time without pausing. The top of the hill is a Waldgebiet, this literally means ‘forested area’ and we have great views towards Billerbeck and Darup. We coast down into Nottuln around one, having down about 40 km, and have a snack in the charming town center. I refill the water bottles, soak my cap again and we continue south, looking for a peaceful bench to do the whole sun screen procedure again.

We find a bench marked Pause, I mean there is literally a handmade sign – obviously somebody likes to tinker because the front yard of this farm is filled with humorous statues: jeans sticking up from a bush, a ghost made from a sheet and a lot of plaster and funny chicken-like things on the bench. Just as we wrap up an older couple on electric bikes stops to check their route and we chat a bit: we are happy to learn that the road to Senden is very pretty and we’ll definitely find ice cream there. They’re interested in the route we’re following and we explain the thing with the loops. Only 20 km to from here.

The route into Senden

The route into Senden is indeed very pretty, after Appelhülsen we follow a comfortable gravel bicycle path next to the small Stever stream. It’s not so hilly here, but Arne is still a bit grumpy. We adjust the position of the steering bar, move the GPS to my bike, see if that helps. In Senden we first go see the castle, then have an excellent ice cream and finally set off to find our hotel, a few kilometers outside of town.

Castle Senden has its own big park, where everybody can come to sport and walk.

We simply follow the local signage: all the villages are connected by safe bike routes, either on separate paths or quiet country roads. We arrive around five thirty, have a tepid bath – the tub is huge – and go down to the Biergarten for a drink and dinner. Biergarten means ‘garden for beer’ and this is usually a good bet: a place to sit outside, enjoy local beers and excellent – though often basic – food. We have a beer, Arne orders a schnitzel with asparagus, I have a venison sausage with oxheart cabbage. Sort pictures, write blog, apply anti-itch cream and then aftersun, to sleep before ten.

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