Day 21 : Final stretch
While we were packing we discussed how much farther it would be to get home. Realistically it would be another 170 km. I really didn't feel like cycling anymore because I was exhausted after racing after Bart for three weeks.
We bought groceries at the local supermarket, where it was crazy crowded. All other supermarkets were closed today. At the checkout we put our stuff on the conveyor. The lady took our two apples and dropped one on the floor. She just picked it up and put it in the bag, what a service. Upon leaving someone pressed a pack of milk in our hands, it was free. It seemed like we were the only people accepting it. While we had breakfast we observed the people handing out the milk. They were three men and a lady, each about 25 years old. They seemed like graduate students or people that just started their own milk company without ever seeing a cow before. They were enthusiastic, but not very smart standing at the same supermarket with four people. They were also all drinking soda instead of the milk they were trying to advertise. On the packages it said 'La bande des Fétailt', 'the milk-crazy gang'.
In Belgium there were dedicated cyclist paths everywhere. This seems better than France, where you need to cycle on the road. However, the roads in Belgium are so bad that if you brought a pack of milk, you would end up with whipped cream at the end of the day. For 3 hours we cycled over roads made of concrete slabs, so we would bounce up and down every half a second. One cycling path was so bad that I decide to cycle into the roadside during a descent, because I was worried my bike would otherwise shake apart.
[Bart: As a challenge Bram didn't want to get more money on the last day, because he figured we had enough left to survive. He also was too stubborn to bring more than 1.5 liters of water. So in the afternoon we hardly had any money or water left.] The roads were quite flat the entire day and by the evening we reached familiar towns. While eating fries we saw some other cycling-vacation-people passing by, we tried to catch up with them later, but they must have taken a different turn somewhere because we didn't seem them again.
There's a Dutch saying that literally translates as 'To stand in front of Paal' and it means 'to be humiliated'.
Bart insisted on cycling the last 30 kilometers as fast as possible. He said this was because he wanted to arrive as tired as possible, but I knew better. I already had been as tired as possible a week ago, but he still wanted to continue. We averaged around 32 km/h. When we finally arrived at Bart's parents we were seated outside, for no clear reason. Shortly after Bart's girlfriend Femke arrived, only she didn't want to touch him because he smelled so bad. After we told about our adventures Bart's parents left and Bart and Femke 'subtly' let me know they wanted some alone time. For the past weeks Bart had been teasing me about being single every time we had passed some pretty girls, so I decided to stay for another half an hour. Eventually I did cycle home where I talked to my parents before taking a shower and going to sleep. I cycled 170 km today with an average of 25.6 k/h.
Distance cycled : 162 km (Bart)