Walking the Westcoast – Part 2. Rain, sun and a huge thunderstorm…

This is the story of 2 guys walking 160 kilometers of beach in 6 days. It was hard but rewarding. A real beach expedition in a country 99% man made.

Maybe you would like to start at the beginning with Part 1. Here you can find part 1.


We were 3 days into the expedition now, and on our 3rd day the weather was even worse. Our clothes were not really dry from the rain the day before so with shirts of made out of garbage bags under our jackets we left to the sandy battlefield to battle against the wind and the rain. And we were winning the battle! Fueled by muesli-bars, music and the will to go on we marched on! This day was about perseverance. Just going forwards. My knees hurterd, i had blisters, my shoes were wet but my mood was good. Step by step we dragged ourselves trough the wind, rain and seawater. Maybe i exaggerate a little but i was really dragging myself from trashcan to trashcan. When i passed one i thought: at the next one i will stop for a moment. But i didn’t, and i kept on walking. When we saw the sign saying: “Zandvoort” (we wanted to go to a camping for a nice shower and the world cup soccer game) we were happy like a german soccer fans. These are the moments where i thrive. Wet, cold, in the middle of -what seems to be- nowhere dragging a 20 KG cart trough the sand. These extreme conditions make me feel alive and give me a burst of energy. And this is exactly what adventure is about and what i needed at this moment of our adventure to make it. Giving up didn’t came in my mind for one second, that would be the next day…


On the 4th day the weather was good again. Sun, low tide and smiling beach guests. At this day we had to cross a industry area in the city of Ijmuiden, so we asked some native west-coasters for the best route. It seemed like there was no best route so we had to find our own way trough the industry area.…  For what seemed to be hours and hours we were walking past steaming factories as people in cars stared at us. It was hot, my knees were hurting badly, exhaust fumes from passing cars and trucks, pumping factories and no end in sight. This was the moment i almost broke and said: screw it, i quit!! But then again, if i would quit, where would i go? We were in the middle of a huge industrial area… I had to walk further, and next to this, isn’t going on a adventures expedition a way to meet yourself? A way of seeing what you’re capable of, pushing your limits and sometimes looking over the edge? For me it was the moment i looked over the edge. Four hours walking trough a industrial area, getting lost, lost and a bit more lost but in the end finding our way back. Oh how happy we both were to hear the familiar sound of waves and seagulls again! The smell of the sea, and the smell of victory over a industry area. Now its back to the beach, the simplicity of walking in a straight line towards Den Helder.


That evening we put our tent in the dunes, with nature as far as the eye could see! What a contrast of some hours before! This endless nature is pretty uncommon in The Netherlands so we enjoyed the view, chilled and went to sleep. In the middle of the night i woke up and saw a continues stream of lightning trough the tent. I looked outside and there was a huge thunderstorm coming our way! I directly went out with a sleepy head and checked how safe we were. While Henk checked the weather on his phone I noticed that we were on the highest dune with our tent… Two choices. Stay and try to sleep, or break up the tent and go to some beach houses we saw earlier. It was 3 in the night so then the best thing to do is to pack up everything and put down the tent somewhere else. But it was also the safest thing to do. While we were walking in the dark we could see the thunderstorm over the sea and we knew we made the right decision.


The next 2 days would be crucial; would we make it in 6 days? Would the blisters keep us down? Read it in the next part!

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