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    Day 1.390 – From H(e)aven To H(e)aven In Belgium (UK)

    Day 1.390 – 28JAN2010: Namur -> Zonhoven
    Distance (km) : 111
    Time on bike : 6h 04m
    Brutto time: 09.45 – 17.30
    Avg : 18.1 km/h
    Max.speed: 35.3
    Total (km) : 61.257
    Altitude: 120 m
    Difficulty: 4

    Bike track north of Namur...

    Leaving Namur proper turns out to be more complicated than expected. In town I manage to find the bike route (Ravel) that Nicolas recommended last night. It’s snowcovered though, so I opt for the road running parallel to it, hoping things will stay parallel. Bad choice. Gradually, the main road veers off the bike track, up to a 150-200 m plateau north of Namur, leaving me in smalltown territory, with no map, and no way of navigating with the sun since the sky’s cloudy and lousy.

    After 16 km cycling I suddenly recognize a shop sign that I passed 45 minutes earlier, just 3 km north of Namur, and realize that I’ve been cycling in circles (well, just one circle, but that was more than enough). Frustrating. Especially, since I have a rare appointment today and I’m already running late.

    Belgian backroads...

    Sofie has invited me to come and stay with her and her family in Zonhoven. Halfway between Namur and Zonhoven we’re supposed to meet up in Landen at 1PM from where we’ll ride back to her house. I hate being late, so for the next 3 hours solid I just kick the pedals hard (my knee luckily agrees to this plan) and focused, and make it just in time, with the biggest hole in my stomach.

    Sint Truiden central square...

    I’ve now entered the Flemish-speaking part of Belgium, and this province, Limburg, is literally plastered with fine-fine cycling paths. Sofie’s done her homework and we stay on mostly car-free bike tracks all the way home (ca. 55 km).

    Sofie in Sint Truiden, Belgium.

    Sitting in In De Zwaan Restaurant near Hasselt (Belgium) just a few hours after we’ve met, it feels like I’ve known Sofie much longer. It’s great company, the atmosphere’s right, and the food’s super delicious (and plentiful – Hungry Wolf likes). And did I mention the Westmalle?

    The good old (and dangerous) Westmalle!

    Sofie in De Swaan Restaurant, near Hasselt.

    In Zonhoven I get my own room, complete with TV, wifi, DVD, elevation bed (love it!), and it all feels wicked. Will stay some days here, I’m sure…

    The best meal of the year so far...

    On this day..


    One Response to “Day 1.390 – From H(e)aven To H(e)aven In Belgium (UK)”

    1. Maxime Says:

      I travelled 15 days around Belgium by bike and the Ravels are often very hard to find! There is not enough signs to show the way to bikers…

      Here is a website with some photos of this trip :

      Westmalle Tripel is one of the best beer I have drunk, good choice! 🙂

      Maxime, Tournai (Belgium).

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