Today we got to spend the entire day at a gigantic festival in a town called Wageningen. In the morning we got up, had breakfast with the family which was short and sweet because we had to be at the Havercamp for 9. We loaded the bus and left at like 9:15 for our hour long drive to Wageningen. Once we got there we unloaded our bikes in a random parking lot and had a beer. As a group we biked from there to our meeting point with the pipe band just outside the festival. From there we waited for everyone to arrive. This consisted of Kristen, Allison and I decided to merge all the Canada stuff that we had brought to the Netherlands specifically for this day. You know cheap dollar store stuff you can buy for Canada day? Of course you do, well we had the most random selection of that stuff from hats and earrings to baby frisbees. Jarno even got festive:
We then assembled in our Madeline-esque two by two pairs for the parade, which morphed to four by four. The parade started and we moved to the center with the help of the pipers. It started raining when we got there, naturally. We reluctantly put on the ugly hats we had been carrying around all day, poor Tom didn’t have one and wanted in the club so he was given a Canada hat which he wore all day.
From there we moved into the crowd and parked our bikes just as the video of our trip was playing on a giant screen for everyone. And as that happened Frank Graham came in by jeep to go up and light the Eternal Flame. It was kind of emotional, first, everyone was seeing what the camera crew had been working so hard on since day one, but also seeing what we had done as well. But most importantly everyone was there to celebrate freedom and nothing was better then the moment Frank lit the flame and everyone went crazy, it felt amazing to see someone who worked so hard for others to get something back. It was an amazing end to the trip that’s for sure.
As a massive group we wandered around the festival looking for our lunch which was literally the mostly frustrating situation because everyone was hungry from standing and the lunch was nowhere to be found. We did eventually find lunch which was our usual ham and cheese sandwiches, nothing exciting.
After that we were given the rest of the day to attend the festival activities, I am almost 100% sure we were supposed to be in a parade but my group didn’t make it there. I spent the afternoon with Kristen, Ally, Jenny, Tom, Demi, Calvin, and Ellen. It was pretty fun, we wandered through the festival, got patat ( which was nothing special, granted it came from a shawarma place). Demi and I ended up spending our last hour attempting to get drinks which made her extremely frustrated with people who butt, push and tell her to get out. After that we were going to try and get to the front of the party when Demi and I got separated from the group, so instead of trying to find them we returned back to the group who didn’t want to go and told them we were leaving. We then went on a hot pursuit to find her car which was parked off in the middle of nowhere, “it only took Tom and I a minute or so to bus in” is what she told me, well it took like 30 minutes to get back to it. Which was actually really nice because it gave us time to just catch up and talk. From her car she drove us back to the bus (one of the scariest rides I have ever taken but would never have the heart to tell her). When we got back to the bus it cost both of us a small panic attack trying to find Tom who had my ID and money and who was getting a ride home with her, who was on the bus the whole time. they left and I loaded onto the bus, just in time to watch Dottie and our bus driver Richard stand and wait impatiently for Justin, Justin, Caleb and Adam who had gotten into a fight and were late. The funny thing about this is that they told us to start towards the bus at 7 so we could leave at 8, well these guys showed up at 8:15. So after that excitement we left Wageningen and returned to the Havercamp where Ellen, Jenny and I got Schnitzel and fries but only stayed for a bit because the bagpipes were on repeat there. I don’t think I will ever want to hear them after this trip. After a short chat with Bert the three of us went over to Eppie’s where the rest of the cyclists were going to meet up. It ended up being a short night, we only stayed for a beer and then went home.