Day 5

27th August – Brussels to Hasselt

The Brussels accommodation may have been opposite a brothel, sparking the wonderful photo of Lorraine & Annie striking a seductive pose on the balcony, but it was spacious & pleasant, welcomed by everyone who needed to wash & dry kit plus turf out & re-order their bags!

The early crew set off 7.30am, Adrian F with David. Fiona & Adrian H took over for Stage 2, then it was Annie & Janet, then Stan & Sam joined by the third and fastest Parky to help with the navigation.

The next stage, underway when the white bus got on the road, was Sarah & Adrian H. Adrian ran three stages despite it getting hotter every minute. The white bus had been lucky with the more leisurely start although Lorraine, quietly stretching her tight muscles & expecting a 9.30 departure, got quite a shock when she received a call to depart an hour early as the plans had been updated. Steve, Gill & Lorraine needed to get ahead of the race to collect Rob, Emma & Bessie at Stage 9 & take them back to the start of Stage 8 so they could pick up their car again. The two drivers were comparing notes on circumventing the inevitable diversion to get to this point!  Both buses finally met up at Stage 8, the Sports Centre in Kessel Lo at 10.30am, where we saw Rob & Emma off & the black bus collected tired runners Sarah & Adrian H. 

Back to Lubbeek, with coffee & snacks at the Bakery with runners from both buses there, as the temperature gauge over the nearby shop hit 36*C. 

Rob & Emma, meanwhile, we’re still pounding the pavements out there whilst we all sweated just standing still! To help combat dehydration Rob and Emma carried out a scrumping raid on the local apple orchards. Perfect fruit!

Rob also delighted to run on the famous Belgium cobbles (pavé). 

Some military history also encountered along the road between Belgium and Germany. 

According to Annie, at this point Adrian F. gets mixed up between his boulangerie & his lingerie.

Bess, Stan & Sam ran the next stage (Bess’s first stage), with David alongside. Lorraine & Annie chattered through the next stage, with David our guardian angel still alongside. Andy & Steve ran a double stage next, before Adrian F set off, with David again, now running his second of three allotted stages. Emma & Sarah took over before Gill & Steve ran the penultimate stage, the heat “apparently” having lessened – but barely…..David’s third stage was accompanying Lorraine on the final stage, Annie joined them too, but it was still very hot. The black bus had gone ahead, and according to WhatsApp were stocking up on beer AND ice cream! We finally drove off to join them at our accommodation for the night, enjoying the wonderful cold beers. 

It was another good hostel, spacious & orderly, all thanks to the wonderful Fiona. Then an enjoyable meal, a good sleep & we are all set for tomorrow. 

A very entertaining evening rehydrating ourselves with delicious Belgian beer was had, this helped the recovery of our muscles and mind. I expect tomorrow  may be a slower day!