Day 9: Amsterdam — Alkmaar

Sunday 14 June 2009 / 30 miles

Got up at 8ish. Packed up camp + had breakfast. Set off about 9.20. Cycled out of Amsterdam and headed north. Soon found bike track signs for Almaar. Took small chain ferry. Cycled for about 25 miles without really stopping until we reached outskirts of Alkmaar where we stopped and had lunch. Burger + chips. Matt — half chicken + chips.

I had been quite low on ride — worried about knee + prospect of not being able to complete the trip. Also thinking about future. 25 yrs old in 2 weeks! Need to start to prove myself and feel complete within myself or I’ll never be able to find a ‘good woman’ so to speak! Cheered up by lunch as sun was out and was excited to be in Alkmaar. Headed to centre and was amazed how beautiful the town is. Beautiful streets, canals, bridges, parks etc. Very perfect. Event taking place in centre. Locked bikes up and had a wander around. Food was beginning to be prepared and band was getting ready. Saw 4 guys playing and they were brilliant. Very old fashioned.

Headed on bikes to tourist info but shut. Followed signs for campsite about 5 mins from centre. Very nice + peaceful. Set up camp and chilled in sun for 1/2 hour. Cycled back into town. Locked bikes up and started walking tour. Once we got to market sq decided to get a beer as cafe waitresses were so sexy! Bought inside which confused outside waitress.

Continued walking and hit event. Band playing and great atmosphere. Walked past food stalls and down by canals. Looked for boat hire but gave up. Threw flower into a boat of beautiful girls as they went into bridge. Walked back to event and bought seafood noodles. Very tasty. Watched band some more. Walked back to market + sat on bench. Read book + people watched. Again it’s unbelivable how many stunning women there are. But I’m trying to bear in mind looks aren’t everything and sometimes I should remember other qualities I admire — inteligence, personality, humor, ambition etc — all things I need to work on. Matt called home. Felt like I was burning. Decided to get another beer with a stunning blonde waitress. She spitl something on her white top! nice… Angry about how big head is on beers. Had two each. Walked to listen to band one last time and cycled to camp site. Showered + shaved. Shower block very nice. Reflection in floor tiles. Cooked couscous, pesto + tuna. Sat at bench on thermarests. V comfy. Packed away + read. While writing diary saw a hedgehog. Bet time now — very tired!