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Huftgold Cakes

By B in Food

Stop near Kortenberg – church, abandoned house – curious local on bicycle. Leuven – largest apples, bikes everywhere.Over the Albert Canal and a long bypass north of Genk. A suspicious and slightly sinister couple (some might consider them to be of redneck extraction) in a ramshackle garage direct me to the forest in search of campsite. Nothing. Off road – up hill into woodland near Opoeteren - Belgium wilderness.

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Coast to Brussels

By B in Food

A last glance at the sea then a quick stop at the market where an elderly couple stare with intrigue at hub/belt setup. I should have paid more attention during french lessons but imagined he was probably a champion back in the day. Welcome to cycle territory.

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North Downs

By B in Route

Frosty morning but exceptional sleep. Up into the North Downs - ideal to get the blood running first thing. A yearning for breakfast but nothing open. Through meandering lanes and hills (upwards) Time passes - another check of the map. Actually, it could just be possible that I miss the midday sailing. Push down harder on the pedals. Not sufficiently acquainted with the SPDs yet. Hunger, yet no immediate possibility of sustanence. Should have packed that last nata (time spent in reconnaisance...) Down the hill and a garage emerges: 'MOTs while you wait'. Nothing edible. Then miraculously around the next bend a wagon and trailer emerges with a tubby cockney punting out rolls & bacon & egg. A timely intervention.

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More Rohloff than blast off.

By B in Route

Pack. Re-pack – still overloaded. Re-configure outside Queen Eliz Close. Almost well-balanced. Mr. Brown from Number 13 sees me folding the map, lights another smoke and asks if I’m taking ‘the knowledge’. Final greasy-spoon in Church St – egg, cumberland sausage, polish-style chips etc. Inevitable large cuppa. South through familiar streets on a perfect spring morning – cherry blossom, a gleaming '70s Ford Cortina being polished again, grandmothers on childcare duty, lamachun dough being mixed, discarded poundstretcher bags. Tower Bridge for a last look at the Thames. Perfect start.

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