Dusseldorf to Beek (76 miles)
Today was always going to be a tough day and when my alarm woke me at 6.30 and I saw torrential rain, it certainly started that way. I won’t lie, it was a challenging goodbye and when I cycled away from Hanna and a warm cosy bed into a wet and cold Easter Monday I did wonder what the hell I was doing! In addition, today was a long day. At over 70 miles, it would be 20 miles longer than any day so far. However, all of this I did already have an idea about. What I’d not considered was the wind. I’ve read many a complaint about head winds on various cycling blogs but I had failed to consider it so far! Today was like cycling through treacle for numerous parts of the day. Read more
We’d made it to Bruges and with it came excessively strong Belgian beers, pans full of mussels in the main square and a day to recover. I went to Bruges last year with Hanna and although this visit was a little less romantic I still enjoyed having a wander around the streets. In case you didn’t know Bruges means bridges of which there are many. The bridges go over the canals and it’s all cobbled, horses and carts take tourists down the narrow streets, it’s really very nice but I’ll let the photos give you a better idea.
If you’re reading this hopefully you’ve seen the introduction which may give you a slightly better idea about what my overall plan is. For now, I’ll just concentrate on the bike trip part and attempt to offer a bit of an insight into what life on two wheels is really like.
To say I am a seasoned cyclist would be way off and although I did a couple of triathlons a few years ago I’m certainly anything but an expert. Furthermore cycling was probably the weakest part of my overall weak triathlon abilities which may lead you to wonder how much preparation was done for the trip? The honest answer is very little.
As I left Villarrica, my home for the last three months, I took my final night bus, heading north to a city called Valparaiso. Valparaiso is a famous port city just a couple of hours from Santiago. I arrived early morning and made my way to the hostel where I dropped off my bags before going out to explore the place.
With all the dogs now back down at the house there wasn’t so much for us to do. Konrad and I started to build a new dog kennel, complete with two cube shaped dog houses featuring gently pitched roofs and terraces, a masterpiece! The French did very little and it was no great surprise or disappointment when they weren’t around for too much longer. I wasn’t planning on going into any detail on this but they’ve decided they were mistreated by Konrad and Inge and to a lesser extent me. For that reason I’ll give a little more detail as although this blog is about me and my experiences, Aurora Austral deserve a fair representation and Louis and Elodie have provided and publicised anything but that.