The invitation came at just the right time. Huib de Graaf invited me for a nice day of touring with some of them Triumph adepts. The majority brought a TR with them, and that composition included the TR6 of Huib de Graaf and the TR6 of Hein Leemhuis. We made a report on this in 2020. After three years - with interim digital contacts - we met again. The day was beautiful. A report.
It's a bit of a puzzle. The starting location is just outside Balk and is called Paviljoen Restaurant Badmeester Keimpe. That is a beautiful spot on the water, but it turns out to be difficult for me to find. I end up parking the V50 next to some Triumphs, a Mazda MX5 and an Opel GT. The cars belong to the participants. Huib is waiting for me. He and Tineke and two friends have just returned from Great Britain, where Huib and Tineke's TR6 came home within the most unspoilt and natural areas that the island may have to offer. No, the TR6 didn't miss a beat either.
We walk to the nice terrace of the Pavilion and have a chat there. The atmosphere is friendly, relaxed, this is nice company. Hein tells us a few things about the adjustments to his TR6, necessary adjustments that fall under the heading of major maintenance. And we also discuss the ups and downs in classic car land. Huib hands out the route maps, the coffee cups are empty. Time to go.
After an introduction and a reunion, I got into the Spitfire with Frans Jan. He bought the car years ago, his Spitfire dates from 1977. It survived the test of time thanks to a good approach and thorough maintenance. The Spitfire holds its own, and along the way I click with Frans with whom I have great conversations. I've said it before: that's also what makes the classics world so great. People with a story, people with a sense of nostalgia for life. I'm doing well with that.
The route runs through the southwest of Friesland, and that is always a wonderful environment for a tour. Dikes, rural winding roads, the slopes of Gaasterland, the Rijster forest, the plains and the water at Koudum: it seems as if the landscape is prepared for events like these. And that of course includes a stopover at the harbor of Laaksum. There, on the banks of the IJsselmeer, we enjoy fish, a cool drink and, above all, the conviviality. It remains a special place, the smallest fishing port in Europe, located between Scharl and Mirns. A pearl, that's what it is.
We continue the route through Gaasterland, the Rijster Bos and via Wijckel and Sloten we arrive back at the starting point. It is a great place to be under wonderful conditions, and we end the day with a nice snack and a nice drink. We are gilded, we are fulfilled. Beautiful and relaxed conversations coincide with the brand new memories of a day when classics, hospitality and people merged beautifully again. A day you look forward to. And you can live on it for quite a while.
The five has been on the clock for a long time. And now I see the bells of the V50 in front of my nose. Drive north again. And enjoy it, because I realize once again what a privilege it is to be able to experience the classic passion in my own way. Days like these are worth their weight in gold.