In the run-up to our trip we visited friends and family in the Netherlands and Belgium. But first we visited Paul van der Beek from PSP ExpeditionCampers to mount an extra roof rail on our lifting roof.
The next day we visit Obelink in Winterswijk and buy some missing camping gear.
Brother Peter, lives in Winchester, works all over the world, happens to be in the Netherlands and proposes to have dinner together. We meet in Deventer where we have a delicious Indonesian meal.
Aunt Jannie in Bruntinge is very happy that we came to sleep with her for a night and is even happier when she experiences that we also want to cook well for her. Very cosy.
With Henk-Paul and Naomi and their girls, the new owners of the old Milady, we are spoiled extensively by Henk-Paul’s parents with a delicious lunch. After they have waved goodbye to us, we are standing still 400 meters further on, a problem with the fuel supply of the engine. Henk-Paul is already there 2 minutes later to help and after an hour of puzzling we have laid a new wire to the fuel pump solenoid valve and everything is working again. We spend the night in Giethoorn.
The next morning we drive to Balkbrug to show our new Milady Landy to the old owners. Jaap and Ans and their two sons are happy to see the car again and totally agree with our changed structure and layout of the car, luckily…
In the afternoon we drive to Leeuwarden where we see Martine and Andrew again, we met them in Uganda, we traveled in Southern and East Africa at about the same time. We eat together and exchange travel stories until late in the evening, we can happily stay with them and enjoy a real bed.
On Monday we met with Uncle Gert Jan, we were a bit mistaken on the Leeuwarden-The Hague distance and arrive fifteen minutes before he has to be examined at the hospital. We have lunch with cousin Bernard and Nieske, delicious at Simonis on the harbor in Scheveningen. Later we visit Uncle Gert Jan and we are surprised about all the stories he shares with us, nice to hear.
In the evening we eat and sleep at sister Annemarie (and niece Lisa), have a delicious meal and talk well and enjoy each other.
We spend the night in Ouddorp, after we have filled the tank with diesel. Unfortunately it appears that a part of the diesel spontaneously drips out of the tank, a container under the car that night is not a luxury.
Fortunately we already had the plan to be in Etten-Leur on Wednesday, so I agree with neighbor Arjan to look for the leak with his help. I can stand inside the shed with him and use a few goats to drive the car. The biggest job is to drain all fuel (more than 80 liters) from the tanks. Then the main tank must be removed with all protective cladding. The leak appears to be a gasket of the diesel return on top of the main tank. Extra liquid gasket in between and copper rings under the bolts do wonders.
Reassemble everything and Kees is ready (as we say in Dutch), I thought. Unfortunately, when dismantling the tank, I had broken off a nipple from the float unit, which I glued together with a two-component kit, but unfortunately not good enough. The next morning there was a small circle of diesel under the car again ☹. With the help of Gerard, Robbert Janssen and myself we emptied the tank, replaced the nipple and glued it well again and now everything turned out to be properly closed. Pff.
The stay with Ciel and Gerard was also very pleasant, good bed, delicious food, pleasant company and good beer …
Friday night we spent with brother Bart and Marilyne, had a nice dinner and a nice chat, nice such a brother …
On Saturday our Belgian family invited us to a goodbye drink in Balegem, where Sonja grew up, many of the brothers and sisters and cousins were present, all very pleasant.
On Sunday, Suzanne organized the Museummatinee in the Museum with her Willemsfonds … Interesting stories from BVs (Famous Flemish people) and another reception with drinks and sandwiches, well organized! In the evening we had dinner with Suus and Pieter at Le Saint Hubert in Brussels, tasty Belgian cuisine with fries and croquettes.
On Monday another day in Antwerp to see Michiel’s new apartment and have lunch with real fries from Sergio Herman.
Tanja and Luc invited us to dinner with them on Monday evening, very nice. We were able to sleep in our own bed on their driveway, great.
On Tuesday, after a visit to Aunt Liliane and uncle Marcel, we will continue to Ypres.