After an emotional farewell with Marc, we set off for Brussels via the canal paths. We anticipated bad weather again but the sun came out and we enjoyed the countryside route. Heading towards Gent (a medieval city), we lost the path several times but were re-directed by some helpful local cyclists, even beating one in a friendly road race to the next cycle path!
We stopped for lunch in Gent and admired the beautiful architecture including the Gravensteen castle. After a quick saddle adjustment for Jess because she was in a lot of pain, we headed South-East on a very long straight main road towards our final destination. We battled with the wind and had to negotiate roadworks and traffic but were rewarded with the bizarre sight of Birmingham in capital block letters at the side of the road!
We stopped to check it out and discovered a nice little bar which had once been visited by the Lord Mayor of Birmingham and had our coat of arms on the wall! As we were making good progress, we decided to stay for a celebratory pint of Belgium's finest.
On arrival in Brussels, we headed to the home of our friend Morti from Brussels Bike Polo who we had met previously at the London Open tournament. We dropped off our bikes, washed our kit and headed downtown on foot to find some well-earned dinner. Just as we were discussing how lucky we had been with the weather, the heavens decided to open and drown us whilst we were walking home! We made impromptu raincoats from black bags and ran all the way back to the house to play Uno and listen to soft jazz hoping that the worst of the rain would be over by the time we had to get back on our bikes. Thankyou to Joaquin and Morti for their hospitality, it was much appreciated.