Getting Lost In the Desert of the Netherlands

Yes, we are being serious! There is a desert in the middle of the Netherlands. It is a vast area full of fine white sand with small shrubs growing around the sandy area. On a lazy September Sunday afternoon, Hayley and I got our bike out and enjoyed the nice Indian summer.

IMAG4754
The panoramic view of the desert

Welcome to the Alien World

The desert of the Netherlands is located in Noord Brabant and in the Nationaal Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen. When we got to the national park, we locked up our bikes and walked into the dunes. From a quick glance, it looked perfectly normal on the outside – nice green and lush forest, just like what you would expect in the Netherlands. As soon as we walked over the hills after going through some bushes, we immediately saw a vast area of a white sandy basin. The place is so dry and so different to the rest of the Netherlands, a visit to this place felt like as if we were suddenly transported to the alien world or in another country.

IMAG4747
Hayley ran up the hills – one of the few hills we came across in the country

The geography and the landscape were so interesting, I had to look up what actually happened in the past. Apparently, it used to be a fertile grassland in the Middle Ages and people used to graze their animals to supply those who lived in the local villages. At that time, there was a rapid increase in population which led to the spike in the agriculture demand in that area. The situation worsened as a result of the 80-year war with the Spanish. This resulted in the irreversible erosion of the land.

So the moral of the story is the irreversible damage to the environment can last for generations! Despite the environmental damage, it has nevertheless been protected with a national park status.

IMAG4751
Some people took the opportunity to sunbathe and enjoyed the possible last day before the winter comes.
20170924_155124
Phil climbed up to the top of the hill!
LoonseenDrunenseDuinen-natuur-OpenTopo
Topographical map of the Nationaal Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen. The yellow area represents the ‘desert area’, the pink areas represent the heathland, and green is the forested area. Source: Wikipedia

 

Getting Lost in the Desert

As you can see on the map, the desert area of the national park is rather large. With the vast area of a similar geographical feature, it is difficult to pinpoint on the map where exactly we were especially given the fact that the bike map sold in the Netherlands does not contain topographical features…

IMAG4763
Hayley was trying to work out where we were and how we could get to the next point

At least we were about to navigate ourselves by using the general direction. We were able to explore some of the interesting parts of the desert as well as seeing some footprints of wild deer imprinted on the sand. In fact, we were lucky enough to see a deer dashed through the bushes 15 minutes after seeing those footprints.

IMG-20170924-WA0016
Despite the fact that we were lost, we were very excited to be exploring the Dunes
20170924_161828
Well, what could be a better way to entertain ourselves but to take our own “we-fie”

 

Lost and Found

After we managed to get our way around, we slowly made our way into the bush and back onto the main path. I must admit that it was really refreshing to have a stroll in the dune! What more, we still had some lovely bike ride back to Den Borsh!

20170924_152210
A rider parked up his horse and cart by a local pub. I’m pretty sure there is no regulation saying that you can’t drive and ride…
IMAG4770
We came across this lake on the way back to Den Borsh, what a lovely spot to sit down and have a quick snake.
20170924_182717
What a lovely way to end the day – sunset and a hot air balloon. What more can we ask for?

 

Trip Detail

  • Nationaal Park De Loonse en Drunense Duinen is approximately 15 km east of  ‘s-Hertogenbosch, which is locally known as Den Bosch. You can easily get there by bike or by local bus Route 136 departing regularly from the Den Bosch train station.
  • Den Bosch is regularly served by intercity train: From Eindhoven (20 minutes); Amsterdam or Rotterdam (approximately 1 hour)
  • You can plan your trip by public transport via http://www.9292.nl
  • For more information about the national park, visit http://www.np-deloonseendrunenseduinen.nl/

Have you been to the desert of the Netherlands? Or have you been to somewhere interesting in your country? Comment below!

Advertisements

2 Comments Add yours

  1. You find the most interesting places. Had no idea there was a desert in the Netherlands!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. yhpchung says:

      Haha, me neither until recently 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s