Sabbatical Day 22 – Laren to Vorden (14k)

Wednesday, May 22, 2024
Today is the shortest walk of all. We feel relaxed getting started, and wonder if we might even arrive by noon, even before family in Canada is out of bed. In the back of our minds we are nervously anticipating longer days ahead, especially the 24k and 25k days. But we will cross that brug when we come to it.

  1. It is overcast, and lightly spitting first thing in the morning. Our rain app says it won’t rain, which is hopeful. It is cool, so today I wear my hiking pants and jacket… nice to use them, to not be carrying the extra weight in vain.
  2. Today we are using wandelwol, sheep wool that you put on your feet under your socks.  It absorbs moisture and reduces pressure and discomfort in the feet, including from blisters. It is 100% all natural (still bits of grass in it). At the end of the day I can say it worked well!
  3. We meet a biker and a hiker in this morning. A 70 year old man on his bike asked us for directions to the grocery store, and we could help him. He shared how at 18 he biked to Rome, and then did it again with his wife. He and his wife biked everywhere, until she passed away 20 years ago. He hasn’t biked since because it reminded him of her. He is trying it again finally, and training to bike to Rome (bike loaded, tent and sleeping bag). Wow. We later met Eric from Groningen, hiking the Pieterpad north. He warned us that the ferry on the Rhine (part of the route) was shut down a few days ago because of swollen river filled with branches and debris from upriver storms. If it is still closed, the only way around is a long detour by bus and train. Please Lord, let it be open.
  4. The sights today are pretty much the same as previous days. Muddy trails through woods, along canals, in grazing fields with cows. Because of the rain the slugs are out, they are large and gross, and you don’t want to step on them. As I walk I also keep an eye out for unique rocks or perhaps even ancient Roman coins – who knows what treasures you might find.
  5. Today is a relaxing walk. We stop at a backyard Cafe for lekker Koffie en homemade Gebak. Our pace is slower, and by 1:30pm we arrive. Our BnB host is not home, but the door is open, and we enjoy a relaxing afternoon and evening. No rain today! We walked a total of 16k.

Overcast and cool

Walking with the cows

Inland container barge

Big squishy slugs

Ancient Roman coin found in the mud?

Follow the Pieterpad signs

Backyard coffee shops on the way

Another successful walk!


  1. Dear Norm & Valerie, thank you for sharing your thoughts and beautiful pictures!
    You both look great.. so impressed with your journey it looks fabulous..
    Thinking of you daily and keeping you in prayer, John & Femmie

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