Monday, October 03, 2022

Things to do While You're Still Young


Something like 113 miles and 10,000 feet of climbing. I don't even want to talk about how long this ride took. I wish I had a GoPro, as most of the best views were during white knuckle descents so I couldn't easily pull out the cell phone and shoot pictures. 


I had considered the Auwahi Wind Turbines my final turnaround spot in case I wasn't feeling up for the whole loop. I had figured most of the climbing was out of the way and it would be easier to press onwards rather than turning back. As it turns out, google maps grossly miscalculated the elevation changes and I had underestimated how bad the terrain would get. Also, the locals seem to get more and more angry with cyclists the further away you get from Kula. 

Auwahi Wind Turbines
I decided to stop a couple of miles before Kaupo to eat all my remaining food and drink all my remaining water. This plan turned out to be a poor one as the Kaupo Store was closed. 

A well maintained section of unpaved road.
I had scheduled a stop for the purpose of spitting on Charles Lindbergh's grave, but was so thirsty, I rode by without seeing it. Instead, I begged my way into the National Park for a water bottle refill. I'm pretty sure I have a pass at home and didn't feel spending $55 for another one.

Finally back in civilization, I had lunch at Hana's finest Mexican restaurant. I wondered how long I could sleep on their picnic table bench before it got too late to pedal home. 

I opted for Mexican Squirt. It was terrible. 

The rain began around Keanae and did not stop. All my planned water stops were closed. Fortunately, Jaws Country Store was open for a few more minutes and didn't mind me eating pistachios on their lanai. 

Sunday, May 08, 2022

Jet lag usually prompts me to blog and a 12 hour time change is about as bad as it gets. I'll start with something easy: favorite bars. [Combining a bicycle tour with children who do not often want to bicycle made this a necessary category.] Note: these are just bars. If I get around to it, I'll write about restaurants that might also have bars later.

1) In de Karkol We had a couple of hours in Maastricht before dinner and the children did not want to leave the boat. This was the day Jancie did not want to leave the boat at all, so we bicycled as a triplet. Deciding we had spent enough time in the ship's lounge, we stepped into town looking for somewhere with a quiet bar where we could sit without children. The door was so well hidden, we walked around the corner looking for another entrance.

Once inside, we were greeted by loud music, old ladies dancing, and almost no room. This place was coronavirus heaven. A large bald man who might have been a bouncer yelled something at me in Dutch. I started wondering if we had wandered into a private club. "Beer?" I replied. "Bier!" he yelled. And the other bartender started pouring tiny glasses of beer. We drank like six of them and ended up with a €16,40 bar tab. 


Nico with a 0.18 L of Brand Beer

Did they have a different glass for every bottled beer?
2) Het Elfde Gebod This bar was near our Amsterdam hotel and the "16 beers on tap/100 bottled beers" painted on the window caught my interest. It was about 9 PM on a Tuesday and there were a couple of falling down drunk people standing (sort of) at the bar. The large bartender had politely cut them off and they were half-heartedly arguing while half-heartedly leaving. The bartender had what sounded a lot like a fake American accent. When I asked about it, he said he was from New York, but had lived in Amsterdam 25 years. 

3) Brouwerij 'T IJ Though actually next to a windmill and not inside a windmill, this seemed like an acceptable way to get the kids to sit in a brewery with me. It's a couple of km from where we were staying, but we were already at NEMO, which was about halfway there.

The food menu is limited. €10 gets you a platter with cheese, eggs, bread, sweet pickles, and peanuts. The walls are adorned with old Dutch beer bottles. 

All the beer names are in Dutch
4) I don't know if Brouwerij de Prael is worth mentioning. It was mostly interesting because the two or three servers that came near our table seemed a little off. I thought it was a language thing, which in itself was strange because up until that point everyone in Amsterdam had spoken flawless English

One of the employees kept directing us to the beer menu. I was going to order one of the one or two beer names that looked familiar, then I noticed the translation board. (It was Dutch to German, which is not entirely helpful to me, but still much easier to understand than Dutch.) The same employee did not want me looking at the translation board and kept pointing me back to the Dutch menu. 

Dutch to German translation

Fries, cheese, pickles...maybe 10 Euro?

I can't remember what these were

Hidden under the clamp on the clipboard
on the English side of the menu

Eventually we spotted the above disclaimer on the menu. The uncomfortableness of interacting with the staff was sort of transformed into a feel good story, I guess. 

5) Brouwerij Bosch (Maastricht) came up in my google search looking for breweries while we had time to kill waiting for the boat to catch us. I was surprised when we walked into the tasting room and the old man told us they made two beers, light and dark and we should drink the dark first. This was the only English I heard him speak. Both beers were in bottles. All the literature was in Dutch. Later, upon reviewing their website, I ascertained that they no longer make beer at this facility, but are transitioning it into a craft beer brewery. I see no timeline for when this is happening. Anyway, it's a 350 year old brewery and they give tours.