My last fews hikes where along the coast, but with the predicted hot weather and associated masses of people on the coast I was ready for a change of scenery, so I picked up the Grenslandpad along the border with Belgium. The weather turned out to be unseasonably hot, but with some wind blowing it was still very pleasant. Fortunately I only got a bit sunburned on my nose.
I only took some pictures at the Patersmoer. The rest of the hike was enjoyable but there was nothing that caught my eye.
Finally had some time to go hiking again on the Dutch coastal path, this time from Haarlem to Santpoort through the dunes. A very nice area, although also very busy. In some of the higher parts the whine of car engines from the Zandvoort racetrack could be heard, and seeing the smoke stacks from Corus near IJmuiden also takes away some of the magic, but all in all a good hike. Didn’t take that many pictures because there were not so many specific things that were striking to me, and it became overcast quite quickly.
Last Saturday I finally had time again to go hiking, and the weather certainly made it a treat. A nice sunny day with long shadows made for good hiking circumstances, which was evidenced by the many people that crossed my path, probably more than on any other hike so far. With a temperature of around freezing and a slight wind it was not too cold. Continuing the hike along the coast I walked from Haarlem to De Zilk through the Amsterdamse Waterleidingduinen. Not too many spectacular pictures as the dunes are a bit bland-looking in winter with everything a faded yellow-brownish color.
Yesterday I finally found some time to go hiking again, once more along the coast. Last time I ended my hike at Katwijk, so I continued from there this time, up to De Zilk. The weather was predicted to be nice, with mostly clear skies and some clouds. So, it rained part of the way. Nothing catastrophic though and I was prepared anyway, having taken a rain coat.
I was most impressed with the dunes between Katwijk and Noordwijk, even though this seemed to be the dullest part of the hike on paper. It’s just a stretch of dunes 500m wide and 5km long, but the nice part is that for the most part, unless you opt for the normal path on the side, there are no footpaths. You just wander into the dunes wherever you like to go. I did startle a small deer this way, which ran off right away after I passed by it. I did manage to take a picture of it as it was running away.
Yesterday was another fabulous autumn day with loads of sunshine and a very agreeable temperature of ~18 degrees. Great weather to spend a day outdoors hiking. I had the NS Mookerheide walk on my desktop for some time already, so we hiked that route, although we shortened it a bit since no-one wanted to hike more than 25 km.
The hike proved to be wonderful, with a large variety in landscape ranging from moor to forest and from farmland to city parks. Since this area is on the edge where the ice came in the ice age, it is very hilly and the path had some surprisingly steep parts. My favorite picture of the trip is of some mushrooms we found, the perfect autumn picture. Large mushrooms. Very large, actually. On Flickr there is also a picture of the mushroom with someone standing next to it to give you some perspective.
Last Sunday I finally got to test out my new hiking boots in earnest with a 22km hike from The Hague to Katwijk. It was my first hike on the recently renewed Hollands Kustpad. A very nice hike with a lot of variety in scenery, ranging from city parks to estates with English landscape style gardens, and from dense and hilly oak forests to the wide-open dunes along the coast.
Amazingly I only had a few drops of rain, fortunately not enough to warrant wearing my rain jacket. In fact, the weather was really nice as I was able to hike in just a t-shirt for most of the morning. It certainly doesn’t feel like October at the moment!
As usual pictures can be found on Flickr, but here’s my favorite from the trip: