The outward journey
Day 1 : The hangover stage
Sunday morning, July 26th it was finally time again, Bart and I (Bram) would go on another cycling vacation. The journey actually started the Friday before, though. I couldn't use my racing bike for the next couple of weeks, so I went for a last and challenging ride. The following day I had to wake up at 6:45 to work from 8:00 to 22:00 in the local supermarket. Afterward, my colleagues asked if I 'briefly' wanted to go out for a few drinks with them. It was pretty quiet at the local bar, so we decided to cycle elsewhere. Eventually, it was around 3:30 at night before I got home. After racing my bike on Friday, I had thus worked 14 hours, cycled 35 km, and went out until 3:30. After sleeping for four and a half hours, Bart arrived so we could leave. Fortunately, I hardly had a hangover because I was still drunk. After being laughed at a lot, I managed to climb on my bike and around 9:30 Bart and I left for France.
After 50 kilometers, we took a break so I could wake up. Bart had brought three bags of raisin buns, two liters of water, three cookies, and a bottle of Fanta. I had planned to buy food along the way. Then Bart reminded me that it was Sunday, so all stores were closed. We continued over the same roads we had cycled two years ago, on our way to the Mediterranean sea. There again was way too much sun and a strong headwind. After 70 km, I got very hungry and thirsty and developed a nice sunburn. That was a good start for the rest of the trip.
After 120 km, I was already tired and dehydrated even though we had just reached the toughest part of the Ardennes, a hilly area in Belgium. Fortunately, we found a tap with some pear trees nearby. I was so hungry I tried to eat those while Bart was laughing at me. Unfortunately, the pears weren't ripe yet, so I was still hungry, but at least my thirst was quenched.
Bram looking for pears
They were really tasty
We still looked good.
After another hour of hunger, we arrived at a cafeteria. There I could finally eat after cycling 150 kilometers.
The cafeteria on the side of the road
We had planned to reach France today, but because of the strong headwinds we decided to stop in Rochefort, just like two years ago. The campsite was under construction two years ago, but now we could shower. Afterward, Bart said his fingers were all wrinkly, and the same thing had happened a while ago, even though he was in bed. Around that time, he also visited the local pharmacy and now had a savings card, but it's probably better if I don't write those stories down in detail.
Bram is resting
Salt from all the sweating
We already got sunburned on the very first day.
Because we were in Rochefort we needed to drink a Rochefort Trappist before we went to sleep. As always, it tasted delicious.
Distance cycled : 167 km.