It seems i have lost track of all bearings... I started writing this 3 days ago sat in a quiet cafe in Brugge on my first proper day off since I started. its been a bit of a different story since then and my worry free days staying just out of brugge with an amasing couple called lucienne and chris seems like a world away now. Brugge its self was a bit of a let down. Its a beuatiful place but it has been completely taken over by tourism which is a real shame. I felt a bit dirty being there thinking I was another tourist polluting the true spirit of the place. I was really sad to leave Lucienne and Chris they had been really kind to me and it was good to feel 'at home' again for a while. I finally waved goodbye to them tho at the canal which would lead me onto Ghent (they had cycled with me for 10km so I wouldn't get lost.) The journey along the canal was really beutiful and it was great to get away from all the traffic but i was going to Ghent without any contact details for my next host. i spent most of my time in the city (which is actually really stunning) looking for WIFI but at 4pm I gave up and cycled out of town to find somewhere quiet to camp. It was actually quite hard to find somewhere but I finally found a spot by a lake to pitch my tent.
I woke up yesterday morning and finally the gnawing sensation of loneliness and isolation had set in. I had received a text from a potential host which lifted my spirits a bit, but I could still feel the stress of being on my own starting overwhelm me. It was actually a really beautiful day and most of my ride took me along the canal again which helped a lot, but I felt tired, not of cycling but tired of being alone, a passing stranger. I finnaly arrived in Hulshout at a factory where my host had told me he was staying. I was expecting a squat but it turned out to be a very cool factory 'conversion' rented by a group of belgium circus performers. I was warmly welcomed and greeted with offers of takeaway. These guys have been so amasing to me, I arrived quite stressed and generally low and to top it off my bike was broken and I had no more places to stay. But they really cheered me up with good beer, take away, fun stories and then we watched movies on the big screen. I had planned on heading off again today but they told me to stay the day and have given me tools to fix my bike and a computer to find places to stay and refine my route (to avoid cities which are not fun by bike)
Again and again i am blown over by the kindness of strangers and the faithfulness of God. We really are made in his image! I am still tired and a little stressed but I know God is good and he will not abandon me!
(and I actually fixed my bike! with tools and all!)