Touring with Tara

Whoop whoop! Camping season is in full swing here in the Netherlands. happy camper!Not that we’ve let little details like that stop us before.

In fact, this is the 5th time that Tara has gone camping. But it’s been the first time the temperatures were actually above freezing at night!

It didn’t seem to make a huge difference to her.P1270425

For me it’s nice knowing I’m not gonna wake up with a frozen baby so I actually got some sleep too.

But let me take you a few weeks back.IMG-20170512-WA0004


John & Annechien set of from the Netherlands on an open-ish ended bike-tour and decided to visit us again. After all we hadn’t caught up for about 4 months now so it was about time.

John & Annechien

pic by Annechien

The same week my niece, who I wrote about being born in this blog post ,

and when she got her first bicycle here,

had to do a show & tell at school.

incidentally her chosen subject was “People who ride bicycles around the world”

And it just so happened there were three of us here 🙂

When I asked her if she thought her mum would mind I write about her on my blog her reply was: “Don’t think so. I got my own YouTube channel”

…. ah right.

How things have changed.

So we showed up at her school all packed up and ready to ride including her own bike decked out for camping. P1270106Her classmates where very interested and had lots of questions,


pic by John

and when school was out Stella,P1270119 and her little brother & sister, joined Annechien, John, Tara & me on a mini-bicycle tour to my uncles farm. all on tourWhere we set up camp. Stella's campThe CampThere was a trampoline that gave us all, including Tara, the giggles.


We enjoyed meeting the curious cows, curious cowand hanging out around our campfire watching the full moon rise. P1270233It was beautiful.

The one thing I had not counted on was that the temperature dropping to -2 overnight.P1270201And this was in May! babe the cow whispererLuckily Tara didn’t mind as she was well dressed for the occasion.P1270269We took our time and packed up leisurely the next morning P1270296and rode back into town.

We said goodbye to John & Annechien again who are now rambling around Swiss somewhere.P1270374And got back to our daily business,

of Tara asking when we’re going camping again…

IMG_20170608_091914_085Not caring what anyone says, she will sit in her bike seat the way she is comfortable…

20170616_160427-01Planning our next big adventure,IMG_20170630_212033_151And itching to get some wheels herself…FB_IMG_1496346279104Our next outing came just a few weeks later but with a temperature difference of nearly 40 degrees!!P1270483_tonemapped-2Summer has begun and we took a tour with my friend from way way way backP1270632(we’ve known each other since we’re 16, about 20… ok, 21 years ago!)


Her name is Mirjam as well and together we first rode to our National Park “de Hoge Veluwe”.P1270414I had not realised there is actually a campground within the park boundaries. So we stopped there. And I was lucky as Mirjam’s culinary skills way surpass mine.P1270429So no Pasta/tuna/cheese this trip!P1270420It was really great to be allowed in the Park after hours. And we rode our bikes around on a mini-safari to see if we could spot some wild animals.P1270441We did.

First we saw a little fox that hopped across the plains. Then a deer with a little baby crossed our path.

And just ahead a whole huge family of wild pigs crossed the bicycle trail.IMG_4610We were pretty excited and heading back to camp we spotted a huge animal in the distance. I though :”huh? surely we don’t got moose here” getting closer it was a massive huge boar all by itself wandering through the forest.

It stopped us in our tracks and even contemplating turning around. But we were less than half a km from camp! So with hearts pounding we quickly dashed back.P1270445So a safari on the “Hoge veluwe” can be pretty exciting indeed!P1270453Next day we meandered through the park towards Bennekom.

We cycled on lovely trails P1270461Enjoyed the view from a strategically placed towerP1270469and stopped to talk to the sheep and have a snack.IMG_4625

P1270496Tara built a hut.P1270502And I discovered it’s really practical to have her with me.

She could for example hold the umbrella when it started to rain and Mirjam & I wanted to enjoy some coffee and apple pie…


It’s also good to have somebody that regularly check the spoke tension and tyre pressure.P1270686


I tend to be slightly slack at the maintenance-side of things.

It was a warm weekend for bicycle-touring. Nice not to wrap up in a million layers of clothes and to take a nap in the shade.P1270533But the mornings where still chilly. Good thing I’d brought my complete doona so Tara stayed warm…

P1270600Somehow she reminded me of that show..

maybe you know it.

(my big fat gypsy wedding)


even got the same expression…

Now Tara is crawling I really have to keep a close watch on her.

She’s a little explorer and keeps trying to run off on her ownP1270564I have cycled a lot in the Netherlands over the years, but I keep being surprised by the loveliness of the trails here. IMG_4626Ok, so it’s not the Himalayas or the rocky mountains.

P1270525But it’s got its charm.P1270666And with Tara everything is a new adventure 😉 P1270679We camped two nights together and explored the area around Bennekom a little bit


Mirjam knew a great little camp area that even on this busy weekend (pentecost) was pretty quiet.P1270607_tonemapped And we could make a fire! P1270588This is not allowed on every campground. So it’s nice when you can.

Then we had to part ways as Mirjam was heading to a work meeting so took the (bicycle-) ferry across the Rijn.P1270647And we had a picknick with our friends Dennis & Florianne near Arnhem.P1270651They got married last weekend  (Congratulations guys!)


pic by Florianne

We continued our route over the Posbank, P1270652_tonemapped a nature-area north of Arnhem.

Just riding along a fast guy on a race bike came our way and shouted; “Hey CyclingDutchgirl! I follow you!”

… and sped away in the opposite direction.

That made me smile. P1270658🙂P1270674The tour ended with our first night camping all by ourselves P1270696 and packing up in the rain the next morning.P1270678Tara was as happy as always and I managed to keep her, and most of the gear, dry.a wet day Now it’s back home to dream up more adventures!dreaming up adventures

and what a home!…

but more about that next time


13 thoughts on “Touring with Tara

  1. Hey CyclingDutchGirl I follow you! Just awesome. Such inspiring travels and way of life. All that lush green landscape and beautiful skies has Nina and I drooling. Your photos and adventures keep us so full of wonder. Love you, CyclingDutchgirls!

  2. we look forward to catching up this late August or early September girl.
    So look forward to meeting the little one – Tara.
    David and Margaret

  3. Hi….. This is Michelle Kemps from Florida. I was on the Bike and Barge last April with your Dad and Shawn Decareaux. I LOVE following your blog. I have told SO many people your story. Be Happy…Enjoy Life.

  4. Het hoeft niet altijd ver en exotisch te zijn, er zijn zoveel mooie plekjes dichtbij en je ziet Tara genieten van alles wat ze ontdekt

  5. Bellísima Tara, me encanta seguir vuestras aventuras .antes de ser mami y ahora también.😍❤️❤️ Cuanta ternura

  6. Hi Graham Sharp from Gore, Southland, New Zealand. I’ve Still got my hat, but my horse has passed away. Nice to see you’ve got a little one to keep you company on all your travels.

  7. those are heartwarming pictures, and so wonderful to see. Be careful however. You shall be standing outside, much sooner than you expect, , saying goodbye to Tara, as she sets off on her own first long distance adventure. 🙂

    It’s probably in her genes, and now it will be in her earliest memories. She will have confidence and skills to open up the word with her curiosity.. What a gift you are giving her. Bravo!

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