The third leg of our trip was very important for us. Yesterday morning we were in the Belgian embassy in The Hague. Everyone was very nice to us and the one who received us was a Belgian who spoke very good Spanish. So there we were, the cyclists, our friends from Antwerp, Kristel and Mathias, and unbelievably the man who seems to be everywhere, like God himself, Jan (he was with us on the 15th in Galdakao, in Antwerp’s main square on the 16th when we set off and now here with us today in the embassy. Pablo and Koro were also with us today and accompanying them were Pablo’s sister Amaia and her husband from Gernika, Juan-Felix despite the fact that they had to get up at 5 o’clock in the morning to get to The Hague from Dusseldorf in Germany to meet up with the Basques and Flemish here in the embassy. Good on you!
We continued to demand that the search for Hodei be continued. To help get our message across to the general public a crew from the mainstream Dutch television channel SBS filmed Pablo and Koro talking as well as the cyclists getting a send-off as they set out on the next leg of the trip. Then in the early evening we had the chance to see on TV in the hostel that they had given extensive coverage of our visit to the embassy. It was really nice to see that!
At midday we set off again quite late in view of the distance we had to cover. It wasn’t that easy to get out of The Hague and time and time again we took the wrong direction before finally getting going at a good pace which took us as far as the town of Vlaardingen where the van was waiting for us. Just as we arrived the skies opened up and it poured down with no signs of stopping so with the help of Imanol we did the last part of the leg in the van.
As we write this blog it’s clear that Alberto is exhausted and can’t wait to get to bed. He’s slept very little over the past few days between cycling during the day, being continually on the phone speaking to journalists, writing emails and looking over and arranging the next day’s schedule before going to bed. It’s not been easy for him!
Tomorrow it’s back to Antwerp where at 8 o’clock in the evening a lovely cultural event has been organised. There will be a poetry recital, singing, a “bertso” session (spontaneous Basque poetry) and much more to keep Hodei in our memories. If there is one thing that those of us who took part in this cycling trip have had the opportunity to do, it’s that of meeting some of the finest people who you could ever want to meet. Now that’s not bad in itself, is it?