Vesterdende Ballum, Denmark! #15July 4 in Denmark
The three of us have made it to Denmark, the 15th country we'll explore on our 5 year tour! We are parked up at the end of a single track road, with fields all around us, looking out over puddle pocked sands to the distant island of Rømø.
We didn't need to travel far to get here, in fact we haven't left Wadden Sea National Park. The wind is blowing a fine spray of rain in from the sea but we managed to fill and empty the van before it started and set off from our two day camp at Südwesthörn. We have two bags of rubbish sitting in our shower cubilce because the bins have only been small at our last couple of stopovers. We'll need to keep a keener eye out for disposal opportunities for a while.
Five flags and the familiar blue sign with its circle of 12 golden stars were placed at the side of the small road to herald our entry to 'Danmark'. Routes through the little villages seemed narrower than on the German side and we continued to see large cottages with well maintained thatched rooves. There is a ready supply of reeds that grow in the wetlands around here. We'd been keeping our eyes open for a bread shop but now began looking for a bank in order to withdraw some Danish kroner. We didn't manage to find either before arriving at our overnight spot, but we can get by fine without them while we are here.
On the way in to our wild camp, the van passed within a metre of an Oyster Catcher perched on a post, 50m or so from where we parked. On a reddish brown, wooden picnic table were oyster shells; these shellfish thrive in the mudflats and in turn, draw thousands of wading birds to the area.
After lunch we went for a walk, following the mown track on top of the low dyke. We are really enjoying the network of walking and cycle tracks in this area - they seem to be everywhere! Passing a potato field in flower we saw the small village of Vesterdende Ballum in the background. We had already looked on maps.me to see if there were any shops, but there were only a few guesthouses and a church. Continuing on along the coast we allowed our senses to soak up the surroundings. Redshanks and Oyster Catchers with their high pitched pips to seaward and the multi-toned melody of warbling from what our friend Jenny calls SBJs (Small Brown Jobbies), joined with the chirping of cicadas to landward. The scent of pink shrub roses infused the air as we passed small bushes and visually, the 360° views beneath the steely grey clouds seemed to go on forever.
We came accross a path layed in rounded stones, leading out 100m or so onto the mudflat. Following it out we found and foraged a little samphire to taste, but sticking to our rule of 'decimate don't obliterate', decided there wasn't enough to gather for a meal. A few oyster shells lay further out on the mud but knowing that winter is the time for oyster gathering, we didn't delve any further.
Miles of wideopen countryside and shoreline may not be everyone's idea of paradise, but if our experiences today are any sort of indication, we are going to really enjoy our time in Denmark!Read more