Research And Reconnaissance

June 24 – Marielyst to Nykobing Falster

 I was up and off for a run at 5:00 this morning, the day already sunny and bright, but no one else about on the quiet country road, except for the occasional bus. The drivers and I exchanged waves and I happily plodded on beside the fields. Steve was still in the Land of Nod when I left and he was a resident still on my return. I’m really not adjusting to these long daylight hours. In real life, I am not a night owl at all, I am most definitely a lark, but here, when it’s still light at 10:30pm, the brain doesn’t want to shut off and go to sleep before at least midnight and then I’m up as usual at about 4:00 or 5:00. So, with day after day after day of less than four hours sleep, I could do with some shut eye! Steve, it seems, is not having the same difficulties and can don his eye mask and be out like a light.  I did try to have a short post-run snooze to add to the few hours sleep I’d had, but I didn’t deposit much in the sleep bank at all. We’d planned a slower start though, so it was nice not to be rushing at least.

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An early morning run beside the fields

Today was going to be a research and reconnaissance day to get ourselves prepared for our rides through Denmark. So, just another heads-up, that what’s to come is another description of the realities of life on the road, our style. After the riveting topic of laundry a couple of weeks ago, today I bring you the edge-of-your-seat sequel (cue dramatic symphonic music)…grocery shopping!

When we arrive in a new country, one of the first things we have to do is work out the supermarket situation, so we know where we can find supplies. Because we cook, rather than eat out, grocery shopping is a daily task, that we’d like to get done sharpish, rather than spending over an hour trying to navigate supermarkets, as we’ve done in the past. Looking at our route and the maps, it seemed the towns we’d pass through on our way to Copenhagen wouldn’t have a huge range of supermarkets to choose from, so we decided to do our research early and gather some intel. We were close to one town that did seem to have a good range of stores, so rather than ride on, we decided to do a short, 12km ride over to Nykobing and use the day to sort ourselves out. Like laundry, grocery shopping is another of those regular jobs we have to complete and it can be a tad stressful if we faff about in a store and can’t find things, so today we hoped to arm ourselves with local knowledge.

After a leisurely start to the morning, we rode out of camp and pedalled down to the beach for a look. Marielyst beach has been named the best beach in Denmark on multiple occasions, so we thought we’d better have a look. It was a nice beach, a lot like the beaches at home, with white sand, clear water and hardly a soul to be seen. 

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The best beach in Denmark

On we went, through the countryside again, beside fields and through little towns. One of the things I’m noticing already here in Denmark, is how amazing the sky is. The vastness of the blue and the clouds are just beautiful and it makes for a really picturesque ride, even before I start looking around, rather than up.

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We stopped in the little town of Idestrup, which is where I’d run to this morning and found a bench for elevenses. 

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Elevenses

Just a short distance left to ride and we pedalled into a campsite near the centre of Nykobing. The very friendly man at reception told us to pitch wherever we liked and so the “Pitch Whisperer” went into action. Steve walked loops around the site, then up and back, then around again. 

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Half way through the inspection

“I need to know where North is,” said the PW.

“Don’t we need to know where South is?” I enquired, since we’d changed hemispheres.

Yes, but I need to know where North is, in order to know where South is,” came the logic. 

He consulted his compass app and pointed. “That’s South,” he declared, “so the sun will come around this way.” After the pitch inspection, it was time for the decision making process regarding sun to shade ratio, sun location in a.m. versus p.m. and all manner of criteria known only to the Pitch Whisperer himself. While this was going on, I took myself off to inspect the designated tent area. It looked perfect to me, with sun, shade and no one else about. I suggested this location to the PW and he agreed, that the site actually set aside for tents, would indeed suit our own little Nylon Palace quite well, so off we went. Further discussion then ensued as to the optimum location for the tent in the available space and the PW again deliberated before finally planting us in a spot near the trees. We had arrived!

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“The sun will come around this way…”

After getting ourselves set up, we rode into Nykobing for a look around and to do our research. The town itself was nice, with some cobbled streets and interesting buildings. 

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A happy customer
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The 43 metre high water tower was built in 1908

Our reccie involved wheeling our way around no less than five different supermarkets to check out  the supplies situation. We discovered which ones were discount stores that were cheap but didn’t have much variety, others were regular supermarkets but still not much choice and one was a little bigger and we were able to get most, but not all that we needed. This, like laundry, is another of those realities when we travel the way we do. It’s a matter of finding alternatives to what we can’t get, learning what might be abundant in one country but isn’t available in another, which products we could rely on getting in other places, but can no longer find. So the afternoon was spent on completing a practical task of just getting to grips with what we can supply ourselves with. It was time well spent. We now know, when scouting for pitstops as we go on, to look for places that have particular stores that we know can give us what we need, rather than wasting time by trying to work things out as we go. 

So, as thrilling a topic as laundry was, I’m sure grocery shopping has proved to be an equally engrossing subject. But again, it’s one of those realities that can either work and make the day go smoothly, or not work and be hours of frustration, confusion and disappointment. So, a short ride today, but it helped to prepare us for the weeks ahead. We have discovered though, that Denmark is proving to be a little trickier on the supplies front. Those things we have relied on for the last two months in other countries just aren’t on the shelves here, so it’s another case of adapt and overcome. Supermarkets are also a great insight into the culture and preferences of different countries, so we learn a lot as we roam the aisles. We gathered info for us today, but we also gathered info about Denmark too, learning about the food and tastes of this country. Well, at least the part of the country we’re in at the moment. Things might change and that’s all part of the fun and discovery. 

Tomorrow we’ll ride on, making our way North, under that wide blue sky again, tilting a bit here and there with the wind gusts, while looking up, down and around at the vast landscape before us. We’re not sure where we’ll end up, so it will be another day of surprises. We’ll find out where we are when we get there! Wherever it is, we intend having a great time finding it! 

TODAY’S STATS

Distance ridden (ride to Nykobing plus the wheeling about town): 22.5 km

Time in the saddle: 1 hour 39 minutes

Distance run: 8.1 km

Weather: sunny, windy, warmish, 22C

Our route:

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