Well, a short day today km wise but not so short cycling wise, along quiet roads to the town of Lessines. We had a very mediocre and boring breakfast in our accommodation, made bearable by a lovely Sicilian Manager who was so enthusiastic, especially when we told him we had been to Sicily this year. He was off in a week – perhaps another reason for his happiness. Lovely old property with character. We loved Room 101 which was for when hobbits needed a place to stay.
Here is the route. It was chilly and we knew rain was forecast.
If you didn’t know we were in Belgium you would believe us to be in the UK. It’s a strange mix of architecture, some older properties have real character but the rubbish they are building now is just terrible. Note to self – if we ever build again, don’t hire a Belgian architect. Will take photos tomorrow. we have decided there is one thing the Belgians are very good at – organising a piss up in a brewery!
Through mostly farming land and small villages. Nothing much to laugh at at all. Then it clouded over and the clouds were on both sides. It was going to get us sooner or later. We passed a field with a family of Emus and three Wallabies. Terrible photo so cannot post. It’s like being in the twilight zone.
Then came the thunderstorm, complete with hail. We found a row of bushy trees to shelter next to and did the best we could to stay dry underneath.
Fancy Chateau on route and then we came across our road entirely blocked by heavy road digging machinery. After the heavy rain it was thick clay soil. The chap in charge made all the machines stop for us to pass. We could not see the road ahead so didn’t know how bad it would be. It was bad, very bad. We were sunk into mud and grit. Our bikes, chains, shoes were totally covered. What a nightmare. We then spent the next thirty minutes scraping off as much mud as we could and found every pudding we could to wash it off.
On the approach into Lessines, roads were blocked and we had no idea why. They let us through each of the road blocks and then we saw people sitting in chairs on the side of the road. There was a cycling race. Two large pelotons passed. Quite how they do this on the appalling roads is amazing. What vehicle do you usually see behind the main peloton? Well, usually it’s a support vehicle for each team with spare bikes etc. No, the vehicle zooming behind this lot was an Ambulance!
When we arrived at our very fancy B&B in Lessines we were so embarrassed by our appearance and the host was just lovely. We had to park our bikes in their hallway.
Small town with a claim to René Magritte. There are so few famous Belgians, you have to grab what you can.
We had a large beautiful room with a bath, which came in handy to scrub the gear, thankfully Julie always carries a scrubbing brush and Jif. We found the only restaurant in town that was open other than a Fritterie with a large queue. It was Asian but we had a very good meal and it was served with great efficiency but glum non smiling Chinese. The meals on average are 40% cheaper than in France.