North Cape Cycling Adventure – Day 80 to 85

This is going to be my last post in journal-style.

I’m home again. In the past and last six days I traveled from Bath in England to home in Belgium. I cycled, took a train and got on a ferry across the Channel. Oh yeah, I also went to Stonehenge! That was the perfect ending to this incredible cycling adventure…

North Cape Cycling Adventure Day 80 to 85

Day 80: Bath – Salisbury, UK

92.55km.

21.16h. What a hot day! 27-35°C. I had a very sweaty day on the bike today.

I cycled alongside the Avon & Kennet Canal during the first half of the day. It was superb cycling – on gravel roads -, peaceful and lots of people walking their dogs or riding bikes.

Cycling along the Avon and Kennett Canal.
Cycling along the Avond and Kennett Canal.

It’s still really warm right now. I’m hand-washing some clothes while watching football on TV. Went to Pizza Hut for dinner and attacked their salad bar. I had four full plates of veggies.

Woodhenge, Amesbury.
A quick visit to Woodhenge, one mile from big brother Stonehenge.

Busy day tomorrow!

Day 81: Salisbury, UK

0km.

18.27h. I went to Salisbury Cathedral this afternoon, an amazing piece of architecture. The tower is one of the most impressive ones I’ve seen so far; and it’s the tallest one in Britain as well.

Inside Salisbury Cathedral.
Inside Salisbury Cathedral.
Impressive Salisbury Cathedral.
Impressive Salisbury Cathedral.

An absolute highlight of a visit to the cathedral is the Magna Carta. I didn’t know exactly what it was before I went there, but I learned so much about it. I now realize what an incredible treasure it actually is. It’s effectively the first human rights document ever written and the basis of modern democracy. Charters such as the American Constitution and Bill of Rights or the UN’s Declaration of Human Rights have all used the basic principles written down in the Magna Carta.

There’s so much history to be found there. I loved it.

Salisbury, England.
Salisbury city centre.

I don’t normally do it, but this afternoon I took a nap. I expect that it will be a long (or is it short?) night at Stonehenge tonight. The weather looks promising!

00.13h. Just got back from Stonehenge. In my opinion this was the most sacred place I’ve ever been to.

Stonehenge, England.
Feeling the energy at Stonehenge.
Stonehenge sunset, England.
Stunning sunset.

I took the bus back before midnight. I would have spent the night and had some beers if I hadn’t been alone. Saw the most amazing sunset. Awesome atmosphere as well.

Full moon at Stonehenge.
Full moon at Stonehenge.

Day 82: Salisbury, UK – Dunkirk, France

270km by train, 90km by boat and 24.91km by bicycle.

1.14h. I just arrived at my hotel in Dunkirk. I got monumentally lost in the dark on the French roads. I got off the ferry and I had no idea were I was. Had to cycle on major roads, among trucks and cars that came off the ferry as well. Made it though! Luckily it wasn’t raining and it was pleasantly warm outside.

I’m so exhausted now. Very long day of traveling, I had to change trains three times, get on the ferry in Dover, figure out a last-minute place to sleep and find my way to the city centre of Dunkirk. I need to sleep.

Day 83: Dunkirk, France – Aalter, Belgium

101.37km.

21.33h. Back in Belgium! Back in the rain… There was a tailwind and light rain all day long and I cycled alongside canals for most of the day, which made for a very fast day. Beautiful too, too bad it was chilly and wet.

Bruges, Belgium.
Back in Belgium!

I really like being back, everything is so extremely familiar. And so flat! This must be one the flattest regions in the entire world.

Flat Flanders Fields.
Flat fields in Flanders and the apartments on the coast in the distance.

Day 84: Aalter – Lillo, Belgium

88.10km.

19.10h. Again, it’s all so familiar again. I love it. It feels like I haven’t been away at all. Just had a big bowl of spaghetti and a Duvel for dinner. Oh how I missed our Belgian beers!

Belgian landscape.
Green fields, grey skies and rows of trees.

Quite nice day today. A couple of rain showers, but a surprising lot of sunshine too.

Canal and cycle path in Belgium.
Amazing roads to cycle on.

Most of the bike paths I cycled on were of supreme quality, but sometimes there would be a stretch full of holes and bumps. I’m not going to be picky though, the overall quality of the roads is a lot better than I remember them to be. Absolutely fantastic signposting too. I never realized all of that…

Cobble stone street, not ideal to cycle on.
Cobble stone street, not ideal to cycle on.

Day 85: Lillo – Geel, Belgium

70.78km.

00.30h. HOME. This was one of the fastest day of the entire journey. Awesome tailwind and straight flat roads next to a canal. I had a great fun last day of cycling.

Scheldt river and Antwerp, Belgium.
The Scheldt and skyline of Antwerp on a very grey morning.

I can’t believe it’s over already. It honestly feels like I just left….

Now, I’ve got a lot of information I have to process, thousands of pictures to look at/delete/edit and soooo many memories and experiences I need to let sink in.

I will be back with a reflective and closing post in a while….

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