The weather was perfect. Slightly chilly, sunny and almost no wind. It was early enough in the spring that there were no pesky bugs or mosquitoes... also, very few other campers.
Except for the birds, of course. Who knew they could be so loud...
I loaded my bicycle and took the train out to Arnhem. Loading my bicycle was tricky, but fortunately I'd been getting lots of tips and advice from the Travelling Two.
(And a sleeping mat! Thankyouthankyouthankyou! Goddamn pine cones.)
I thought I'd take it easy and not travel too far for my first trip. I wasn't sure how I'd fare with so much more weight on the bicycle. It turned out to be okay, the bicycle made a weird clanking noise when going uphill but otherwise it was fine. I could have done more cycling. In fact, by the time I'd cycled to and visited the Openlucht Museum and then to the campground in Otterlo, it was still early in the afternoon. I set up my tent and after debating whether or not to leave some stuff in it (one whole pannier with sleeping bag, clothes, etc.) and envisioning finding a squatter inside it when I returned, I decided to leave it behind and go to the museum in the park.
My arrival at the museum was delayed by the presence of very small baby goats on a farm outside the park.
Inside the park, the Kröller-Müller Museum is amazing. What a collection!! I arrived an hour before closing and had all the galleries to myself. Here's a room full of Van Gogh paintings.
Sleeping in the tent was okay, just a little cold toward midnight.
Spot my tent in this picture!
The campsite had a heated building for toilets, sinks and showers, very convenient. Some U.N. military guys were there and awake at 6am too; me, the loud loud birds and some men in military fatigues. A little strange, but whatever. There's a military training facility nearby and I could hear gunfire at about 9am when I entered the park.
The park was really lovely. I took both big bicycle routes around the park to see as much as possible. Then, I cycled to Apeldoorn. Unfortunately, the Apenheul is not open yet so I'll just have to plan another trip!
Overall, it was a great experience. I feel more confident now for better/longer trip planning.
More photos here: