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J293 - Wednesday, August 4: Uccle (South of Brussels) – 2km before Sint Maria Oudenhove

77.8km  – 11H19’
Altitude : 98 m
Brussels or another busy and long day.
Departure this morning was in the forest , with Chantal, Claude, Michel and Robert, the Heavenly Runners of Belgium.  Thank you, Chantal, for your kind note and the cake, which will be our desert this evening.  At the Schumann traffic circle, the group grew with the arrival of Dorota, who lives near Liège.  She crossed our path in Warsaw (she is Polish) without seeing us.  Yesterday she sent us an e-mail which I did not answer, like all those of yesterday and today, because yesterday I didn’t have time and this evening there was no Wi-Fi.  This morning she found us and offered us a delicious brownie which we ate “when we could,” like the sandwiches.  We do lots of things “when we can”.  Thanks for these thoughtful gestures!
The Belgians are very nice, whether they be Walloons or Flemish.  For us, there is no difference and on our first day in Flanders, everyone I spoke with had no problem speaking French.
Greater Brussels has a population of 1 million and is of human size.  With its wide avenues the Belgian dream team had no trouble guiding Serge through the capital: the Schumann traffic circle and Avenue de la Loi, with all the European buildings, the city center with the cathedral, the Grande Place and the Manneken Pis, then toward the north west to the Atomium before leaving the capital, accompanied by Nicolas, “the canary yellow cyclist of Brussels” as he says.  Unable to run due to an Injury, he accompanies Serge on his bike to km 42.  A great guy, Nicolas, who at 17 is preparing a 100 km walk in the Ardennes.
Many thanks to all our support crew.  Our youngsters are top- notch and we don’t even have to worry about getting them up in the morning: they are always on time and ready to be coached by the “older” pros.
Serge is top-notch every day, not stressed, attentive and untroubled, with tranquil confidence in spite of an Achilles tendon in very bad shape.  A few drops of rain as we leave Brussels don’t spoil this beautiful day.

Town : 2km avant Sint Maria Oudenhove

GPS : N 50.50’40.9° E 003.48’83.0°