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 really started the Friday before though. I wouldn't be able to use my racing bike for the next couple of weeks, so went for a last and tough ride. The next morning I had to wake up at 6:45 to work from 8:00 to 22:00 in the local supermarket. Afterwards, 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 somewhere else. 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 and two liters of water, I 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 as we had cycled over 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 became very hungry and thirsty, and also started to develop a nice sunburn. That was a good start for the rest of the trip.
After 120 km I was already tired and dehydrated, while we 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 decided to eat those, while Bart was laughing at me. Unfortunately they 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, so I could finally eat after cycling 150 kilometers.
A cafeteria next to the road
We had planned to reach France today, but because of the strong headwind we decided to stop in Rochefort, just like two years ago. The campsite had still been under construction two years ago, but now we were able to take a shower. Afterwards Bart said his fingers were all wrinkly and that 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 too much detail.
Bram is resting
Salt from all the sweating
We already got sunburned on the very first day
Because we were in Rochefort we of course needed to get a Rochefort trappist before we went to sleep. As always it tasted pretty good.
Distance cycled : 167 km