After working on the van it was about time it would be taken out! Still being to far away from the 6 weeks summer trip, we needed to get away for a bit. Believe it or not, working on the van became this goal almost bigger than the goal of taking it out on the road. Planning a trip made me feel like I was abandoning the van project somehow.
Being used to travel in a van, or with just some bags and a tent I did not know where this unease come from. Somewhat nervous I started to load up the van with what I thought was needed. The strange mix of excitement and nervousness made it a whole new and interesting trip. Even though were not going somewhere exotic unknown or full of risk this small trip felt like the start of something new, something exiting that I did not feel before.
Taking of some days off around the weekend, we were gonna go for 4 days just to drive and to camp.Closest beach is about 1,5 hours away, we went to the South West of the Netherlands the city of Zoutelande. Me my girl and our cat were on the road!
Being told that in the province of Zeeland wildcamping is beeing rewarded with a huge fine we were scared into a camping. After paying the camping owner 18,- I told him that I feel very welcome on his camping, but above all love camping on a free spot close to the beach. There was a bit of a spark in his eyes when he told me I certainly should do that the next time, its very common and actually the best way to enjoy this region.Lesson 1 learned, do not get scared into a situation by people who think know it all.
Being totally comfortable in our own van, driving, camping, being on the beach and spending time in nature in my eyes is the best way to live my life.
Following up on a friend’s advise we set out for Cadzand the next day. Not the high season jet gave us pure empty coastal villages every couple kilometers we drove. With the ocean breeze sweeping in and out the windows, cruising the van is one of the most relaxing experiences I had in at least the last year. My whole mood was covered in a sense of accomplishment, the van is all mine and I made all of this happen. This feeling had me driving around with a constant grin on my face.
Arriving in Cadzand we parked on a camping that was not much more than a field of grass. The wide Dutch beaches do not compare to Caribbean or Australian beaches, but the sure have something special. Thoughts seem to drift away easier wile your feet feel their way through the ripples in the sand made by the outgoing tide. The beach awoke the inner child in me, searching for shells, pushing around jellyfish and other washed on animal parts, made me think back of the time when i was a child, totally taken by the beach.
Keeping the girlfriend happy, next day we planned to soak up some culture in Brugge Belgium. Parking outside, what it looks like, the medieval center we drove our bikes around. Whatever I thought I knew about Belgium city’s was pretty much true. The whole romantic fibe I expected, the small old facades of the houses, narrow alleyways and of course all the chocolate, wafels and other food that is just begging to be eaten.
Loving the city, I still feel much more at home at any beach than whatever city that i have been to. back to the beach it was!
After some time at the beach close to Oostende we were gonna look for a nice spot to camp. First time looking for a wild camping spot int my own van, and it was not gonna be easy in this part of Belgium. I decided to drive away from the coast since the coastline is crowded with buildings in this part of Belgium. A small stream next to the road separated itself from the road after a couple kilometers.
The first gravel trail that split of from the road in the direction of the stream i pulled of. Sure enough soon there was a small bridge over the stream, drove a bit up to the stream and parked next to the water. There we were, first spot was not all to bad at all!
Beside a couple of noisy fisherman trying to take our spot at night it was a perfect night at a perfect spot. I am happy to say “first trip was a huge succes!”
On to the next trip before going on a 6 weeks trip through France Spain and Portugal.