29.04.2009 15 °C
We left Amsterdam in good time this morning, but with a bit of drizzle. There was quite a bit of traffic coming out of the city, partly because the swing bridges were open for passing boats and we took the motorway towards Rotterdam before joining the smaller roads island-hopping back towards the Channel Tunnel.
After another 6km tunnel we rode into Belgium and stopped for petrol before looking ofr some lunch. 100m down the road from the petrol stop was a cafe, but it was shut. As I was talking to a local who was directing us to another place a man came running down the road holding my tank bag which I had left at the petrol station! This reminded of me of the night before we left 3 months ago where I did the same thing - must be getting close to home!
We managed to avoid the showers most of the afternoon and just got caught in one as we arrived at the Channel Tunnel terminal. There was another biker joining the train as well who was over visiting friends in Belgium for a long weekend from Somerset. He asked "Are you two over for the weekend then?". Ed replied "Errrr, not quite, no!"
We popped up in England shortly afterwards into the glorious sunshine. Just a couple of miles around the corner and we were welcomed back by Alex and John, back where we had stayed on day 2. They had another couple of visitors (Alan and Jan) staying with them and the 6 of us shared a wonderful homecoming meal and drank wine over travelling stories.
We have run out of superlatives to describe hospitality now, but I suppose the biggest compliment and thanks we can pay to Alex and John is to say that it felt like coming home. John even lent us some local currency to pop down the road to the pub for a pint. Ed and I sat at the same table that we had done 3 months ago and reflected on the trip. 100 miles or so to Brighton tomorrow and we will have actually completed the loop we planned, on schedule and with only a slight adjustment in Scandinavia.
I've forgotten how many miles we did today, but it was 275ish!