Bergen op ZoomOctober 29 in the Netherlands
Our overnight stop here in Bergen op Zoom camperplaats will be our last in the Netherlands. Alongside 3 other vans we are squeezed into a very narrow but long motorhome bay, in a large car park, overlooking a well kept lawn planted with young Plane trees whose outer layer of bark has been all but stripped by ravens. Beyond the lawn there is a lagoon surrounded by uninspiring beige apartment blocks. The still water reflects the pale grey cloud layer stifling the sun.
We began today's journey by driving to the local Aldi and Jumbo supermarkets to stock up on a few 'essentials' including a stack of stroopwafels and a loaf of ginger cake, which is also apparently a Dutch favourite. As we pulled into the car park Vicky squealed and Will slammed on the brakes, thinking we were about to hit something. The cause of Vicky's heightened emotion was in fact an Oliebollenkraam streetfood trailer. As she understood it oliebollen (literally oil balls; large dognut like spheres) were a New Year treat in the Netherlands, so she hadn't expected to be able to sample them. We tried out our Dutch to order 2 and instead got presented with a bag of 4. never mind, they were surprisingly addictive when sprinkled liberally with icing sugar and Vicky managed to scoff the extra 2!
We'd phoned ahead and made an appointment at the vets for the necessary worming tablet and stamp in the pet passport, before Poppy could return to the UK. After scoping out where in Oud Gastel the clinic was, we parked up at a camperplaats in the car park of a nearby motorhome retailer, to wait for our allotted time. We'd hoped to pick up a few bits and bogs at the shop but it had very little in the way of accessories, focussing mainly on selling new motorhomes. We had a look around a few, finding one we couldn't stand up in and another huge A-Class that cost €144,000! It was interesting to see different layouts but it brought it home to us how well suited our Martha is to our needs and we didn't find one that even came close to tempting us.
After registering at the clinic, the vet gave Poppy a cursory health check and fed her a worming tablet, commenting that he didn't see why it required a vet to do this. He then charged us an eye watering €65 for the privilege!
We arrived at the Bergen op Zoom camperplaats in the late afternoon. It was chilly and dull so Vicky persuaded Will to stay in for a nice warm cuppa instead of fishing. He whipped up homemade pizzas and garlic bread, which we enjoyed with some red wine; our customary last meal in a country. The rain came heavy overnight, forming large droplets on the tree leaves and splatting down on the van roof as we tried to sleep. Vicky took Poppy out at 5:30am and watched the driver of a works van lean on its horn as it drove past the row of campers; charming!
We'll upload up a 'Goodbye to the Netherlands' post soon!Read more