We awoke to a pleasant surprise. No rain. And the sun was even shining while we packed up. With high spirits we set off through Belgium.
It didn't take long for the rain clouds to gather. And when we stopped for lunch (7 euro for two burgers, a coke and a HUGE chips that we couldn't even come close to finishing) the rain began to fall. We took shelter under the awning of a kindergarten, but the stares of the staff through the window forced us to take refuge in the supermarket around the corner. Here, Sam found an English Top Gear magazine, his first English magazine for seven months... it's the little things that really brighten your day...
We rode for half an hour while the rain took an interlude. Luckily, we stumbled upon a bus stop with a shelter just as the second act began.
All this rain was really dampening our enthusiasm for cycling in Belgium.
Our enthusiasm was suffering anyway as we cycled deeper into the Flemish section. Cars beeped at us and gestured for us to get off the road. They've built paths alongside many roads that are apparently for cyclists, but the condition is so terrible that I can't imagine anyone actually wanting to ride them (there are cyclists on them, but surely not by choice)- holes, poorly patched asphalt, drains, gravel... you name it.
Sometimes we use the paths when we get sick of the abuse from drivers but our bikes take a serious battering. Plus we're mixed with two year olds on bikes (seriously), pedestrians, road works, cars reversing from driveways... we feel safer on the road shoulder, even with the abuse!
But McDonalds, with its 1 euro burgers and free wifi, dots the country at regular intervals and the cold nights, last night definitely being one of them, mean we're sleeping well.
So that leaves us two down and two up... Smile trooper, It could be a lot worse.
And what is a Friterie anyway people, how can you just make hot chips and nothing else...?
Sam and Shanna Evans are from Melbourne, Australia