DAY THREE/FOUR - Dunkerque to Bruges

 We woke up to a message back from Marc in Bruges, who said he was on his way down to meet us and to collect Matt's bike. He said he would take it back to Bruges to be fixed, and in replacement would be bringing one of his own bikes.

This was a complete god send and would save us lots of time roaming around northern France looking for bike shops.

Ed and Andy rode up to the supermarche, and picked up breakfast for us all, whilst the rest of us packed up the equipment and waited for Marc.

Marc arrived at around 10am and after a quick bike swap and a final confirmation of his address we left the b&b and attempted to get out of Dunkerque - not an easy task. Marc had brought down his commuter; a  town bike perfectly suited to rolling around Bruges rather than pushing 57 miles through the rain. We also swapped the saddles over as we had now reached the illusive 200 mile mark (apparently the point a brooks saddle will be broken in)

 It was great to be riding in mainland Europe, and suddenly it felt like we had come further than 200 miles.
The scenery was really nice as we approached the Belgian border, and we decided that after another 10 miles we would stop for lunch.

As we were riding along the coast for the only time on the trip we thought we should visit the beach, and whilst Dyfan got over his fear of sand, we searched for somewhere to shelter from the rain and eat.

After lunch we set off again, and as we were riding down the busy streets Dyfan swerved to miss some pedestrians and ended up getting his front wheel jammed in the tramlines, he tried to control the bike but ended up slamming into the road. A crowd quickly gathered and helped him back onto his bike, one guy even grabbed the bike as if it was the tour "Go On!" he shouted.

It rained all afternoon, and the last 20 miles were pretty grim. We were cycling alongside the canal though which led straight to Bruges, and about 7 miles out we crossed a bridge which took us through the windy suburbs and towards our destination.

 When we arrived in Bruges we struggled to find Marc's road. We knew the area, but decided to ring him. He came out to meet us and, soaked from head to toe, we followed him back to his house.

We joked about how excited we were for warm showers and warm food, but we didn't expect the incredibly warm welcome we received.

Marc and Carine were cooking up a pasta dinner, and gave us some beer and wine too. We were shown to our room with hot showers and comfy beds, exactly what we needed after 60 miles in the rain.

Marc had also picked up a new quill stem so my bike could be up and running again the next day. Luckily for us the next day was a rest day.

 We woke up the next morning and went downstairs to fresh coffee and a continental breakfast before being taken into the city centre for a tour and some lunch.

Then in the evening the guys took us for a few games of bowling and a stone grill dinner which gave us all the energy we would need for tomorrow's 70 mile trip to the Belgian capital.

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