Monday, April 19, 2010

the hike

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Sam and i went on a station-to-station hike. It was a 14 km hike, from Driebergen-Zeist to Maarn, through woods, woods and more woods. The sun was shining, and the pine trees smelt so sweet. There was a little breeze that loved us, and millions of promising blueberry bushes. Little light-green things were waking up wherever you looked. I think it was the happiest day of my life (except for the day i gave birth to my children) (and my 7th birthday, spent in Odessa with my grand-father, when i got the light-blue checkered dress and the orange umbrella with the orange fish handle) (and the day i quit my job at the university) (and the day i decided it was possible after all to homeschool Isabelle) (and the day when i saw my dad for the first time after many many years) (and a whole bunch of other days...) (but still...).

Since it was 14 km, and we had started around 10 am, we figured we'd be done by lunch-time; so you can imagine our surprise when we sat down to partake of our third light meal (the one where i was finally allowed to get out the roast chicken) at 2:30 pm, to discover that, according to the map, we weren't yet half-way. By the time we reached Maarn, it was after 7pm, and the sun was displaying distinct setting tendencies. There are only two logical explanations: either we crawled through the woods on our bellies, or the route description does not take into consideration the eight or nine breaks that we just had to have in all those absolutely-perfect-cannot-afford-to-walk-past-it spots.

(We'll just have to remember this when we are planning the 25 km hike)

The greatest difficulty we encountered, funnily enough, was linguistic. Both Sam and i have been in this country for so long, and are generally considered by the locals to be so fluent that i don't think either of us expected to be stumped by the route description. We did our best of course, but 'flauw links'??? (turns out it is not the name of a political party) (though we could think of a few the epitath would fit like a glove). The romantically named 'greppel', which we assumed to mean 'delightfully meandering riverlet' turned out upon our return to be the much more prosaic 'ditch'. While the 'vennetje' we had understood to refer to the heath turned out to be a pond. (It is therefore little short of a miracle that we made it to the end at all...)

But the one that still puzzles us completely is the 'schuine kruising'. If anyone would care to explain...

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