Monday May 21. Day 3. Brussels to Vouziers 127miles.
Was checking out of the hotel around 6am today and with not eating when I checked in last night I felt weak. I needed some food so I asked if I could pay for a breakfast, as I remembered last night when I checked in the woman said it was 10 euros for breakfast. But she was not there in the morning it was my friend the annoying man, he replied breakfast will be 18euros, I replied that it was 10 euros last night when I checked in but he was not budging on 18 so I told him to go shove it !! haha.
So after checking out with no breakfast I have to get on my bike and try to find a food shop for some sandwiches and drinks etc.. I'm cycling down into the centre of Brussels (massive place with hundreds of little roads/streets going in all directions) the weather is crap - misty, damp and cold. Big difference to previous day!
I cycle into a small fuel station and it was small with only a few pumps, but it had a little shop on site, so I went to walk in but the doors were closed, the girl inside held up her hands 10 mins until opening.. once inside at opening I'm browsing around but there are no sandwiches, so I have to get some plain baps, and a pack of cheese and make my own when I get back outside. Not ideal but at least its some needed calories to down..
After my cheese sandwiches, I'm off to try and find a road south out of this massive place (Brussels) I should have really avoided the main cities due to poor navigation through them, but that was where I ended up last night so I could not really do anything about it now.
Another thought that was also on my mind was the amount of money that had been raised so far to date, I really thought that it would have been pushed more at work and got lots of people behind it (my thoughts were "Big solo cycle unaided" should be raising lots more that it had to current date!), so with the weather being poor, the just-giving page not really motoring, adding in the stress of finding my way around this busy city with my iphone map app which by the way had now used up 150MB of data so when I worked that out it was £150 already and I wasn't even in France ! As you can imagine today was a low day, and the thought of just packing it all in was close by in my head :-(
But after taking several wrong turns I did eventually get back on track, and was heading south towards Charleroi. The weather was poor for most of the day, and some thunder was around too.
In the late afternoon the weather was improving but still grey! What I needed was food and a better place to stay tonight and also to try and get my phone back up and running because I had used up my data, anything used now would cost even more and I did not budget for this. The garmin was switched off by now due to saying turn around all the time (Damn thing! but I must try to suss the map part out at least for navigation)
By late afternoon I was in France and had left Belgium my spirits were raised due to the fact had now cycled through 2 countries. I was looking out for somewhere to stay.… The town Vouziers appeared on the signs and I thought thats the place I will look to stay tonight. It wasn't to hard to find a place to stay, I cycled up to one that looked good, booked in got showered and changed and headed down for some food (At last some decent food and wine Oh yes! Wine and it was equivalent to a full bottle.
My belly was full and I managed to drink a full bottle of red, I was happy and also sorted my data to be reset on my phone. I also had time to try and suss out the garmin even if it was just the map part to get me around. i would try it the following day. My mind was back focused on my adventure and not what was happening elsewhere.