Cycle Tour Around Zealand
Dag/day 7: Vintersbølle skov-Næstved
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Added on 18 May 2020
on 14 Aug 2020
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by Ottocolor on 18 May 2020
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Nyråd, Region Zealand, DK (16 m NHN)
Ålestokshuse, Region Zealand, DK (6 m NHN)
15 May 2020
A few sunny spells, but mostly a cloudy day with a shower in the middle. The wind still blow moderately to briskly from the West and it was still chilly, but again somewhat warmer, 13 to 14°C during daytime.
Lejrplads ved kanalen i Næstved
It was probably the most unusual morning on a cycling holiday ever. It started when I was woken up early, around 6, by children's voices shouting loudly that there was a tent in their playground. Of course, I knew right away it was me who was meant. Before I was ready to crawl out and explain my presence, I was surrounded by children who considered me a great attraction. What was I doing on their kindergarten playground? Well, the kindergarten teachers were sweet and explained that the first phase of the reopening after the corona shutdown made it necessary for the kindergarten to move out into the woods in order to better keep the social distance. And the party tent was set up for shelter for the children, and the scout hut was the teachers' base. In the following hours, while I attended to my morning routines, I witnessed how such a public institution handles the challenge of operating under government orders and bans during the corona crisis to avoid the spread of infection. Some of it I saw myself, for example when the children were divided into groups using the mine strip, other things the adults explained to me comprehensively. They were not angry at my presence, one of them, on the contrary. She was really sweet and the kids asked a lot of questions about how I did this and that. They were really cute too. I apologized I had pitched the tent so close to them. Now it was clear that the tent site was down at the other end of the lawn at the edge of the forest, where the campfire and the privy were. But the table-bench set stood on this side of the mine strip and party tent, so that's why I had pitched my tent here. It was obviously a mistake, but no one was upset about it. And I found the water tap when a teacher alerted me that they had set up a washing station in an extra tent pavilion at the entrance. That's why I did not immediately see it yesterday evening. It was nice to have water to make coffee, but while fiddling with the gas cooker, I got put a jug of coffee on the table. And, my goodness, also a potted flower. So I could feel a little more cozy. Fantastic nursery care. It was not at all that easy to do all the little errands I do in the morning, incl. visit the privy, without the kids asking me about this and that. But everyone felt nice and safe. Only the weather was not so nice. Dry, but cool and cloudy, actually rain was threatening, and all the kids were wearing rainwear. Practical attire is important in a kindergarten. When I was finally ready to roll off, they said a sweet goodbye to me and the kindergarten teachers wished me a good cycling day. At least it had started in a funny way.
My first goal of the day was the castle ruin in Vordingborg, only seven km after the start. But it is so big and the location so nice that I can not just cycle past it, even though I have been there several times. Apart from The Goose Tower, which despite a major restoration is described as Denmark's best-preserved medieval tower, not much of it is left. Just most of the outer walls are excavated. But the location close to the center and high above the strait is picturesque. And many things are explained on newly erected boards. And then there is its significance as Valdermar Atterdag's bastion against the Hanseatic cities. He was in open and hidden war with them, and the goose on top of the tower was supposedly placed there to mock the Hanseatic cities and their squawking.
After a little shopping for lunch, I was ready to head out into nature. Well, feel the real nature, ie non-man-made landscape. The way the country looked before we humans began to shape it. Basically, it goes without saying: Nature is nature and culture is man-made, eg agriculture. But one also hears surprising statements about rapeseed fields in bloom being beautiful nature. Such a completely yellow field, perhaps in front of a green forest, a dark blue fjord behind it and a light blue sky above it, can easily be described as beautiful. But nature it is by no means. It's monoculture of the worst kind. Fertilized and sprayed according to all agricultural rules. No, Knudshoved headland between Vordingborg and Naestved, where nature is still nature, was the place I was heading for. And the weather, which neither is man-made (or is it?) could well have supported me in my venture, but already during lunch near Rosenfeldt estate I had to hide from a rainshower in a shrubbery. And the headwind blew me in the face with renewed strength afterwards. Well, I had set aside most of the day for the trip, which comprised first a bike ride as far, it was possible to tread and then a long foot march all the way to the tip afterwards. So I let it blow and saw the fields and farms getting smaller and smaller until I passed a forest, which, however, looked more like a plantation and crossed a cattle grid. Thus, I was in an open grazing land that had looked like this way at least since the Stone Age. At the parking lot's tables-benches set, I made coffee while a particularly strenuous rainshower encountered me. There was not a soul, and that was well understood. I had all the glory to myself. Social distance put in a nutshell.
To help myself, I left my luggage in the parking lot. The trail would get pretty bad now. Until I came to the spit to the tip of the headland, where I altogether gave up cycling, lay my bike on the beach and trudged on. My Garmin told me it was 7km out to the tip and back. I was looking forward to taking shelter in the beautiful old oak scrub. Out here on the open spit, it was quite hostile, although it kept dry the rest of the day. Buffaloes had once grazed out here at the tip of Knudshoved. Today it is common domestic cattle. But it is important that the landscape is grazed at all. Otherwise, it will become an impenetrable wilderness where many light-demanding plant species and the ecosystems to which they belong would disappear without the big ruminants. I just hoped the bull out there didn't have too big balls. And horns. And that he understood I was not touching his girls, but was allowed to pass. Well, I did not at alle see him, only peacefully grazing small black cows and heifers, which he would provide with calves during summer. I think I will be a bull on Knudshoved headland in my next life. Lots of p... peace, fresh air and grass. I love that.
At the very tip there is a small cliff, and from the top it is clear that the headland continues underwater in a reef into the Smaalandsfarvandet as the strip of sea is called. I could see the islands north of Lolland, Femoe and Fejoe and the South Zealand coast up towards Korsoer. It blew a hoolie in my face and I was looking forward to having a tailwind back, first on foot and then by bike. The last stretch towards Naestved it would be mixed cross and headwind. As long as it did not increase. But it did. Well, for now, I enjoyed a nice rest under a fantastic gnarled old oak tree. The race of the elements through centuries could be seen on it. A large pond was full of swans. One dead old tree looked like an old crooked man. It was all breathtakingly beautiful. And there was nice shelter right here. Eventually, my watch told me it was time to get up and detach myself from this garden of paradise. I had a mission for dinner and sleeping in Naestved. And it was over five o'clock when I met the crossroads again, from where I had started the trip out on Knudshoved headland. It had cost me a full 15 km and almost five hours. But it was well worth it.
The long walk, something I only rarely do, had, even though it was not very long, depleted a lot of my power, and I felt a strange reluctance to cycle the 25 km to Naestved. On the small gravel roads in a cottage area at the bottom of Avnoe fjord, I longed for the faster main road, because I knew it has a good bike path. But arriving out there, I longed for peace on the small roads. I was now cycling north past Dybsoe fjord and had crosswinds, so it was probably not so bad. It was my lack of desire that was the problem. But soon I turned left onto Appenaes and felt I was approaching the rather large town of Naestved. Maybe a city. I don't know when it's a town and when a city. I decided to have my bath first, because on the old tent site by the canal there would be no service whatsoever if it had not been closed down, and the canal was perhaps not inviting either. I had planned a bath at the marina, which is located at the far end of the island formed by the Susaa stream, the canal and the strait towards the isle of Gavnoe. At first it seemed very industrial and I was on my way into a power plant area before I turned the "kayak" down to the waterline. Here, Naestved people enjoyed the evening sunshine and windy weather wearing anoraks with laced caps while I stripped and jumped into the water from a bathing jetty, however duly wearing swimming trunks because of these spectators. It was nice having a bath. But now my stomach rumbled. I was going to eat out in the center of town, so I could do without the hassle. In Naestved, they have for many years had a nice bridge across the canal with a bike path. In my home city of Odense we first got in 2014, but better late than never. And then it did not take long before I found the tent site inside the forest by the canal in okay condition. The campfire was ravaged, but there was no litter and the grass had not been mowed. I guessed it would overgrow during summer and go into oblivion. Naestved municipality has arranged a nice new campsite further out with water and privy, but I fancied to stay here close to the city. And there was nice shelter here in the woods. There was definetely lesser out in the new space. So the tent went up and I went into the center in order to find an open restaurant with take-away. It was Friday night, so there was a fair chance. I also had to do some shopping for breakfast tomorrow.
I did find a nice looking pizzeria, but otherwise the town seemed totally extinct. So I ordered pizza and bought a few bottles of expensive Italian beer. Now I had to find a place to consume it and was lucky that the cafe next door had left tables and chairs outside after closing time. I ate and drank to my heart's content and sent kind thoughts to the cafe owners. When I went the few steps back to drop off the beer bottles in the restaurant, it was already closed. It was only nine o'clock. And I was almost as alone as on the headland. Apart from the usual young people who race in cars and on mopeds over the bumps in the center. As I lay in my tent a little later, I heard another group of youngsters performing a big race on a deserted industrial area on the other side of the canal. Well, what are young people supposed to spend all their free time on when everything is shut in a town like Naestved? I, however, had found an open shop on the way out of the center, so I was guaranteed breakfast in my lonely place in the woods the next morning. I slept like a baby this night.