Journey accomplished, misssion underway

In Katwijk, just a few meters from the pump station, the Oude Rijn spills into the sea. And at this sight I felt a combination of exultation and loss. 

We did it; the river, the bike and I! We travelled 1322km (river) 1567km (me) through six countries, speaking five languages, navigating three signage systems, spending two currencies and making lots of friends. 

Over the 32 nights of my trip I paid for accommodations only five times thanks to the generosity of some old friends:

“Hey Linda, I know you haven’t heard from me since we were in 8th grade in 1984, but I see on FaceBook that you live in Basel. Can I stay with you for a couple of days?”

And new aquaintenances, and many generous hosts through CouchSurfing and WarmShowers; international hospitality platforms based on the belief that people are kind, interesting and trustworthy. I’d be greeted with smiles, handed a key, pointed to my bed & the shower, and asked what I’d like to have for dinner; again, and again and again. These types of interactions completely nullify cultural stereotypes, and create lasting friendships. 

And what could I offer in return? Well, I tried to arrive with a bottle of wine; I confirmed their disbelief in our current political situation; I offered to weed their garden; I was full of questions about local customs, history and geography, but mostly I wanted them to “Show me your river”, and listen to the ways they connected with it.

And that question can be asked in many places around the world. I wonder where the bike and I will go next? 

But before I undertake any more cycletours, I’m going to help the World Fish Migration Foundation & The Nature Conservancy recruit nature centers, conservation groups, citizens and communities to host events on April 21, 2018 & raise awareness of the need for free flowing, fish friendly rivers so that  migratory aquatic species can follow their instincts and complete their lifecycle – just as we desire to do. 

Thanks for following along!


2 thoughts on “Journey accomplished, misssion underway

  1. Dear Alicia, Congratulations with finishing your trip. I read your blogs with pleasue. Please check the fish migration river which will be realized in de coming years in de afsluitdijk at Kornwerderzand via” rel=”nofollow”>
    There is a button for English language. And do you know about het kier besluit for the Haringvliet? Both front door measures for the total Rhine system. Regards, Niels de Bruijn Deputy project manager fishmigrationriver Afsluitdijk


    • Niels, Thank you for these links. I had hoped to visit Haringvliet on this trip, but did not make it. I heard that a lot of work has been done to prepare for a possible 2018 opening there. And the fish river at Afsluitdijk is very exciting. Keep opening those doors!


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