While the landscape didn’t changed much in Holland it got more interesting in Belgium on my trip. There was more forest and right on the first night I found an inviting campsite in the forest. In Belgium are places like in Holland for wild camping, these places are called “Bivakzone”. The place that I found was on a glade, it has platforms to pitch the tent and the best was the fire place. There was a huge pile of fire wood already. All for free and all in the nature – great!
On the next day I cycled towards Antwerp. At first I just wanted to go through the city, but then I decided to stay in a hostel. It was the only time I’ve stayed in a hostel on this trip from Berlin to Paris. I thought it would be good to have a rest and stayed two nights. It was raining continuously and I had to do a laundry anyway.
Antwerp has only a small historic town, half of the habitants have an immigration background. There was not much to discover like in Amsterdam. But that didn’t bothered me, I wanted do do an brake anyway. When I left Antwerp I came through a huge industrial area. Not a nice part of my route, but there was a cycle path at least. On the path I’ve met an Belgium cyclists who got a flat tyre. I helped him out with an patch. When I lift up his bike, I noticed that it was made out of carbon and super light. I just put it on the back panniers of my bike and had the funny imagination to travel with an racing bike on the back. Just to go quick to the supermarket when I stay somewhere.
Though I looked up my next campsite exactly, it was difficult to find. I asked two locals but they send me into wrong directions. I didn’t gave up so quick. The place was situated on a paddock in a forest. The paddock was fenced and I had to find a small door to get trough. Inside the paddock were horses and cattle. The campsite was hidden inside this paddock in a small birch forest. It was very wet and I crawled into my tent. It was pity, because there was also fire wood. In the night I woke up several times because of the cold. On the next morning I had a thin layer of ice on the outside of my tent. I made a tea to get warm. On this trip I often made something warm to eat or drink and I was happy about my little stove.
There was thick fog in the country side this morning and it seems he would not disappear. But when I reached Gent in the early afternoon the fog cleared. Gent impressed me much more than Antwerp. Also I noticed much more tourists here. In the historic town I had my first flat tyre because of a piece of broken glass. I changed the tube and moved on. South of Gent I found the river “The Scheldt”. There was a good cycle path and just next to the cycle path was a bivouac where I stayed the night. The cycle path along the river is very popular and on the next day I’ve met a lot of racing cyclists. I followed the river and came through Ourdenaade and Tournai before I reached France.