After a full spread at breakfast Leo dropped me off at the Hotel to pick up my bike. Just a slight tightening of the screws of the rack and I was off!
10 minutes down the road I hear a beep. It was Leo! I’d forgotten my map and he’d come to give it back to me. I felt awful he’d come out to find me, but again an act of pure kindness.
I cycled through mostly farm land today, with the smell of cow pat sticking up my nose. Had a ‘refreshing’ change now and again and saw some sheep and geese, but mostly cows and their smelly sh*t!
I knew that Holland was very set up for cyclists, but I didn’t realise Belgium would be almost as good. Most of their cycle lanes are red bricked and separate from the road. It feels so much safer that the UK, it’s no wonder no one wears a helmet over here!
Around 4 pm I started looking for somewhere to stay, having sat on the bike for around 6 hours with only a 15 minute break for coffee and biscuits. Luckily (or not so) the sat nav has an option to find accommodation options along the route. The first one was wayyyy out of my budget. Apparently the next place is 15 miles away. Urghhh! At least this one had ‘hostellerie’ in the name, so surely it would be within my price range. So on I trudged.
As I approached it didn’t look much like a hostel at all. I popped inside to see how much the room would be. 180E. Yikes!! This made the other place seem cheap. The woman sympathised, after finding out how far I’d cycled and dropped the price slightly. Having realised the price was still too high for me she searched for hostels in the area. Success….ONLY 8 miles down the road. It was 17.45 by this stage and I just wanted a big meal and a bed, so I set off again.
Came across this sign, which made me giggle….
The sign for HI (Hostel International) was finding a huge bucket of water in a desert for me. For under 20 Euros I got a decent room to myself and a breakfast the next day. Sweet! So what if I was in the middle of nowhere in Maldegem with a group if school kids as my only company! Today was by far the toughest of the trip- Over 8 hours on the bike with little break. I now know what all the fuss around ‘saddle sores’ is about. NOT to be taken lightly. They’re dam uncomfortable!