June 7, 2018
I popped around to my neighbour’s yesterday to give her the key to the house. Did I mention I have great neighbours. We have only been here eight weeks and my neighbours have generously said they would check on the house while we are away. Diane did mention something about selling it but I think she was joking. As I was giving Diane my key and drinking another glass of wine with her I was telling her about the taxi we had arranged to take us to the train station (only 2 kms from the house), my other neighbour Lia offered to take us to the station with our bike boxes, bags etc. This really is a lovely neighbourhood. Thank you Diane and George and Lia and John. No doubt we will have the opportunity to reciprocate their kindness when we get back and in the future.
We loaded our bikes into the back of Lia and John’s pick-up and headed to the train station in Brockville. We unloaded everything into the baggage area and then waited for the train.
The train was running a little late (only ten minutes). The bags and bikes were loaded and we were on our way to Montreal, Dorval airport. There were a lot of people on the train heading to Montreal for the Montreal Grand Prix this week-end.
When we arrived at the Dorval Train station we spotted the shuttle bus. I asked the driver if we could fit the bikes on the bus and he said “yes no problem”. We were at the terminal 10 minutes later.
The check in was so quick and smooth we were in shock and of course we then had to wait four and a half hours before the plane departed.
We met a lovely lady on the plane (Claudia). We chatted for a while and she has invited us to stay with her in Montreal. I think I managed to get a couple of hours sleep. The time seemed to go very quickly and before we knew it we were landing in Brussels.
The bikes were slow to arrive and at this point we still did not know if Sonia (our warmshowers host) was picking up at the airport or we were going to have to put the bikes together at the airport.
We pushed our bike boxes and baggage through customs and this woman rushed up to us and asked us if we were Jacky and Ralf. We took our bikes to her car and that is all that would fit. She told us which bus to catch to her house and off she went, with all of our worldly belongings, except passports, computer and money.
Ralf jokingly said “ Well that is the last time we see them”. When Sonia told her husband what had happened He asked “and they trusted you?”
We are different when we travel by bike, we trust in the kindness of people.
Sonia was waiting for us at the bus stop when we arrived in Kampenhout. We had coffee and some cookies and then Ralf put the bikes together. Sonia has a beautiful house and property and I enjoyed looking at her garden and chatting to her.
We had a couple of hours nap in the afternoon and when Ward got home from work we walked to the local restaurant and had a wonderful pizza and craft beer made on the property. Sonia and Ward have three children, their youngest daughter and boyfriend are the travellers and have travelled by bike to Croatia. We offered to host Sonia and Ward in Canada, but they have three children living in different parts of Europe that they spend their vacations visiting.
Once again we had kind, generous, warm showers host.