The rest of Belgium 8th – 11th May

Only a short day in to Ghent to meet our friends Robin and Miet who we havn’t seen since our wedding day. Along the way it chucked it down and Hannah’s trusty waterproof jacket turned out not to be trusted… some shopping to do in Ghent.

A man stopped and asked Hannah where she was going. She told him, China. He laughed. She said she was serious. He looked concerned and asked if she had children. No she replied. You must have them by 34 he said. Ok she responded. We must get to China in four years she told me. Ok I said.

We arrived at the front door of Robin and Miets home. Such a warm welcome. It was wonderful to finally meet their beautiful children. We caught up over tea and chocolates. There was a lot to catch up on. We reminisced and then the beers came out. I was super jealous of Robins motorbike/bicycle workshop where Robin quickly took to fixing a couple of already occured issues on the bikes. We were cooked for as the beer and laughs flowed. It was just like old times when we had travelled together in South America some six or seven years ago.

Robin was able to join us on our 125km ride the next day and had planned a super nice route predominantly along the river. It was so nice to have some really long chats together and get to know him even more. What a cool bloke. Such a nice ride. Miet and the girls drove to meet us in the evening and we made a camp fire in a very cool spot in the woods Robin knew of. We were left to camp here as we said our goodbyes. We were incredibly grateful for their hospitality and adored the time spent with them.

We were missing our tour guide the next day as at some point in the afternoon we found ourselves a fair way off the route Robin had planned for us. China was feeling further away, not closer. We eventually picked up the Euro Velo route we were looking for. We planned to take these vast collection of cycle routes all the way to Istanbul, if we could stay on them. We went through a beautiful place called Namur and very early on in the trip started making a list of places to return to. We also srarted a lessons-learnt list. 1 and 2 on the list were, eat before the other gets hangry, and leave camp earlier. Point 1 will remain top of the list I feel.

The Ardennes were just wondeful, and the ups and downs were a welcomed warm up for what was to come. We encountered stove issues far too early on in the trip for my liking which led to a 3 course meal with a starter of 45 minutes of taking apart and rebuilding of stove followed by a sumptuous spread of cold cheese sandwiches followed by a dessert of f-words. Memories made.

Watch our 1-minute video of Cycle Touring Belgium here…

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