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Apologies for the delay in updating the walk from Utrecht to Leerdam. There is a good reason for this – it nearly finished me off! 37km (23 miles) in the heat was punishing. We drank vast amounts but clearly for me it wasn’t enough (I’d had over 5 litres). I was heading towards heat stroke by the time we arrived.

We had a lovely day walking mainly alongside the canal heading south. We met 3 very kind people who walked with us to show us a short cut. They were on their lunch break from the council offices nearby. Like so many people here it was no trouble to offer help.

We passed a number of small villages that extend along the canal edges. Everyone we passed said hello and a number who read the “Amsterdam to Barcelona” bag cover stopped to talk to us.

We turned off the canal about 7km from Leerdam. Briefly I was unsure of the path as I misjudged the distance to a crossing. A young lad on a motorbike passed us. He turned round 100m down the quiet country road and came back to help. We talked for a while about the walk, he lives on a farm just down the road from where we met. We said goodbye after a short while and pressed on.

About another 2 km down the road I started to suffer in a big way. I started with muscle cramps and light headedness. Soon after I realised I wasn’t sweating anymore and was starting to be in a bad way. Sara went to a house and re-filled the water supply but this just replaces the water loss not the electrolytes.

We made it into Leerdam and to a hotel. I was shivering – yet toasting hot and feeling generally grim. I cobbled together a rehydration solution with sugar, salt and water and slowly cooled down and rehydrated.

This is why there was no update last night!

Today has been a brought forward rest day spent enjoying the very nice town of Leerdam, planning tomorrows walk, relaxing and buying ORS (oral rehydration solution) powder.

Lesson learnt !

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