95 – 100%

So, big day. Spent the night on the outskirts of Ghent on a free site, no facilities, “wild camping “, the advantage of having a “fully loaded” van. Driving and the solar panels charge the batteries, an inverter gives mains power from the 12v batteries and gas runs the fridge. Not as wild as Scandinavia will be, but self-sufficient.

Decided to head for Forestia on spec, hoping we could just get in and indulge in zip lining and tree top shenanigans. A two hour drive to the Ardennes followed, the third time driving on the right.

Driving from Brugge to Ghent had been OK apart from a confusing moment where sat nav confusion overrode my road sense causing a potentially dangerous situation. Thankfully, ┬ánothing happened but confidence was undermined. I marked myself as 65% for that error, essentially a fail. That night, I worried but fell back on my scuba diving training and the process of visualisation. I told Lisa I was aiming for 85% on the drive, targeting 100% and when we arrived at Forestia, after a great journey, we agreed 95% was fair. I docked 5% as a turn the sat nav was preparing me for was close to a service station slip road and I took that! Before we’d left we’d discussed getting fuel so it worked out well. First time fuelling up abroad – painless.

Forestia was a blast, but far more challenging than Go Ape. Lisa and I were chuffed at having completed it.The short drive to Spa earned 100% on the driving front, showing how quickly you can adjust. Checked into a nice campsite and strolled into Spa to eat. Belgium were playing Brazil and the streets were filled with good humoured fans. As we sat outside eating pizza in the town centre the place exploded with the first score, shortly followed by the second. We popped into a fan zone in a nearby square, where hundreds were watching the game on big screen, then wandered back to the site through a town of open windows and families cheering the national delight.

Back at Big Al, full time was marked by trumpets, car horns and a country cheering. Kind of summed up my feelings on the day. Had a great night’s sleep.

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