Monday, 12 March 2012

In Brugge... and the crazy days after.

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!)      


  1. Hi Josh,
    We were wondering how you were doing.
    I'm actualy not realy surprised your bike's so heavely loaded for such a light bike!! But good for you you fixed it!!
    Hope everything goes better from now on. Keep up the spirit, we are with you in our minds!!!
    Lucienne and Chris.

  2. Hurrah - so glad to hear that people are looking after my 'little bro' ;op

    Keep your 'chin up' hun and trust that you will repeatedly be astounded by the goodness inherent in so many people. All the bets with the bix fixeries :o)

    Lorraine x

  3. yo yo yo!! im glad there are as many typos/spelling mistakes on your blog as there are on mien.

    you are doing amazingly, so glad you are meeting beautiful people. . . . keep plodding on! ! i gave Arthur a carpet under his many legs today. . he looks a lot better for it, he has a few sprouts to day ! !

    i was suppose to start Snowdon training this morning, but i failed. . . but i will tomorrow, feel very lame in comparison.

    i hope you continue to meet fab people, and they feed you well. when you have internet we must skype.

    love you so much, and so proud of you craziness, massive hugs Emmy x x x

  4. It's good to keep up with your adventures. The 'factory' sounds really cool. i hope the tent was comfortable!

  5. Great to chat to you today Josh. You are doing an amazing thing. Stepping off the edge and pressing through the struggles to fulfil your spirit of adventure. I honour you in that and I know you are being wonderfully built up in character and experience. Yes, God is good and is cheering you on! Take care buddy, Love ya :-)

  6. Hi Josh, sorry to hear your bike let you down again. What was the problem this time?? About the "gnawing sensation of loneliness and isolation ": this experience may seem hard at first, but on the long run isn't that bad: allthough very confronting with yourself at first, it's good for self confidence, and it makes you believe in humanity again. Travelling alone just forces you to come out of you shelf, and no travelling experience will be more intense, than the one you made on your own!
    About your bike: I just read a good book about "travelling by bicyle": all criteria about what a good bike should look like, are named. But I'll remember one particular sentence in this book the most : the worse your bike is, the more nice stories to tell, you'll have afterwards.

    wish you all the best!!