The GR5 days 4 and 5

The GR5. The day of the hotel and the day of the border.

Day 4

Distance: 32 km

Sleeping place: city hotel Bergen op de zoom

I woke up with the sun on my face. What a nice feeling after yesterday. I knew there would be some rain today. But it couldn’t bother me. The sun was everything. The sun and my morning coffee (that I missed yesterday because of the rain). 

I noticed that packing up my tent is already becoming a very well oiled machine. I wake up, hug Appie and switch clothes. Then I get up and boil some water for coffee. While this warms up I pack everything inside my tent up. By this time the water is boiling and I put the coffee in. Because it’s still too hot to drink I wipe up condensation or/and rain of my tent. Then time for coffee after which I pack up my tent, clean my cup and fill water.

I decided to take the bus to cross the big bridge because the last time it was really hard sensory wise. Buses are also hard but manageable. I have my headphones, sunglasses and Appie to cope. So I walked to the nearby village (there are not a lot of bus stops in the Netherlands) and tried to figure out the bus system. I thought I would be able to get a ticket from a vending machine, but this only works with a special kind of card. I didn’t see another way to get a ticket so asked the bus driver (really big deal for me). He set he would let me on for free because it wasn’t that far and else it would be very expensive. Conclusion: I have still no idea how busses in the Netherlands worked but I’m grateful for the driver.

Can’t go to the Netherlands with at least one picture of a wind mill

When I got back on route it was a long way next to and through sheep fields and dikes full of sheep. There were some parts not accessible for Appie so we did take some alternative routes. By this time it was raining again but there were some dry patches which made it a lot nicer. 

I also noticed that a lot of paths in the Netherlands aren’t really paths but just peace’s of land with high (wet) grass that nobody really walks through or maintains. I’m also guessing that somebody else is walking the gr5 a few days before me, because in the past days there is always clearly somebody who walked through it. I try to follow the paths this person makes and really drag my feet through the grass to make a path for Appie. Who walks behind me for ease.

And then, my top moment of the day came. Finally a forest again! I find the dikes and polders beautiful but not very nice to walk in. I was so happy to be back in the forest. And it got only better. Because at the end of the day there was a hotel room waiting for me, with a hot shower and a McDonald’s nearby. It was a perfect day.


Day 5

Distance: 15km

Sleeping place: Boerderijcamping de Meet

Knowing today would be a very short hiking day, and I could not check in to the next camping site before 1 pm I decided to sleep in … Appie on the other hand decided different.

We woke up around seven like we usually do. So I decided to make the most of a few extra hours in a hotel. And of course what is the first thing you do when you have unlimited electricity? You get on your phone. It was nice to just do nothing but I was also excited to start hiking. Today we would enter Belgium! 

Once departed we followed the trail through and out of the city. I’m not a big fan of city’s so I wasn’t sorry to go. We entered a big forest in which we walked the rest of the day. I really love and missed the forest at the seaside. So with some happy jumps I walked along the trail through the forest.

As is said it was a very short walk, only 15 km. Does that count as a near zero day? Anyways, it was a bit too short for my liking, but tomorrow will be a long hike so maybe I can use the rest. 

And of course, we passed the land line! I’m so glad to be back in Belgium. The Netherlands weren’t really my thing. I arrived at the campsite and the women at the reception just totally understood me! No more questioning glances when people just partly understand me! So nice to be back!

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Comments 4

  • Bluewhale : Jun 16th

    Thanks for sharing your trek and for all the pictures. It appears you’re having a successful thru-hike!

    • Lonit : Jun 19th

      Thank you! I’m enjoying it very much!

  • Frank : Jun 17th

    I’m enjoying following your journey, thank you for sharing. You are clearly prepared for hiking given the big Km you are already hiking in a day. I’m starting the GR5 from Thonon – Nice in mid August.
    All the best for your trek

    • Lonit : Jun 19th

      Hi Frank

      Sadly enough the big kilometres catched up to me and my body. You can read about it in the next blog. It was never my intention to do the big days but with changes of camping places it is wat happend. Next part wil be a bit slower.

      Hope you have a wonderful time on the GR5!


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