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
Total (km) : 61.257
Altitude: 120 m
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.
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.
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).
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?
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…