Belgium-to-Luxembourg - Day 3 - Ghent to Dorlou
The profile for this part of the Belgium-to-Luxembourg ride is pretty well flat so is not included.
We were packed and ready to continue our ride from Belgium-to-Luxembourg at 9.00am but had to wait in the bar, drinking coffee for the DHL man to arrive. From the tracking number we knew the tent was en-route from Brussels. Exactly at 11am he arrived and we set off with two tents as Steve wanted to make a small awning out of the first one. We had planned a route on-line using the Belgian Waterways and had what seemed to be a complicated list of different route numbers, each to be followed for 2-3 kms. In fact most of the way was along the long distance route 30 and the other numbers referred to local routes.
Our Belgium-to-Luxembourg ride took us along the canal. We cycled for a while with a retired lady of about our age who lived nearby. She told us tales of her cycling adventures around the World. Although she didn't tell us her profession we assumed from the other details that she was a retired airline pilot.
The Belgium-to-Luxembourg route took us along the canal to Oudenaarde then followed local cycle routes along quiet country lanes and through rolling farmland to Ronse. It was a struggle to find the town centre and a supermarket to get food for supper. By now it was 4pm and we couldn't resist having a beer in the town square.
The nearest campsite was about 4.5km from town and the beer had gone straight to our legs. After about 3km we stopped to ask a local man for directions. He pointed us along the road and 'up the hill'. The last 1km was about a 15% gradient and there was no sign of a campsite. Another cycle tourist was coming down the hill, also looking for the site. We knocked on a door and were told it had closed and was for sale.
This meant a further 8km ride to the next site. There were a few more big hills but the scenery, through beautiful forest and past amazing ancient farmhouses kept us going. Steve had drawn a sketch map of the Google one to save his phone battery but when we arrived at the spot there was nothing there, just a lonely farm lane and no signs for a site. With visions of having to pitch the tent at the side of the road we again had to do some door knocking but eventually found a lady who knew exactly where we were looking for and pointed us down the road to the 'Camping a la Ferme' at Dorlou.
This was a lovely quiet site on a working dairy farm with shower and toilet in the barn. A Dutch couple, Henry and his wife (forgotten her name already) arrived just after us, cycling the Camino de Santiago from Holland, through Belgium and France to Spain.
We pitched the new tent, Steve cut off a piece of the old one to make an awning for the doorway and we crossed our fingers that this one would be waterproof before hitting the sack for a well earned night's sleep.
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