|Van Tienhoven windmill near Wolfshuis|
On the Plateau route. Nice so far though there's way too much traffic. I hope the ANWB* has some more tranquil sections in store for me. I'm now taking a break at point 68, the van Tienhoven windmill (1855). There's a patch of grass at the base and a couple of rustic split-log benches, perfect place to have my roast beef sandwich, grapes, chocolate. It's around 4:30 pm. This being a plateau, it took some work to get up here. Heading east out of Maastricht you take the Old Akerweg, go under a great tunnel, through some 'burbs, then out in the country -- cornfields, pear orchard, horses. There's a steep climb before 't Rooth (and that's the t'ruth), so I dismounted and hoofed it. 'T Rooth is a former mining village where they excavated for marl (a kind of limestone). Now it looks like a cluster of weekend retreats fronted by fields.
|Plateauroute: the urban zone on the left is Maastricht (ANWB map)|
Not even 10 pm but I'm retiring for the evening. Meneer Joseph Ploum, the patriarch of the home at Onde Akkerweg 56 in Gulpen, has been a most gracious host, and the house is quite beautiful, of modern design with lots of fine paintings, prints and sculptures. It is probably the nicest vriend's house I've stayed in yet.
|View of Gulpen from up on the Plateau|
* The ANWB, or Algemene Nederlandse Wielrijders Bond, sort of like the AAA but which actually considers bicycles real vehicles, are the ones responsible for designing and maintaining Holland's fantastic bicycle network. They publish fiets maps of every part of the country, which indicate the knooppunts -- the numbered points along each route.