The first hills

Even before we had reached the border we encountered the first hills. So Limburg has some of them as well! And then Belgium, the border sign was so high up in the verge of the road, we had almost passed it. Still we had to take a picture for evidence and after that we moved on. We took on some gas in the village just on the other side of the border (for the stove and because petrol is cheaper at our neighbor’s).

From the border on we immediately felt the Ardennes in our legs. We climbed almost the whole day. Nature is magnificent, nice pieces of forest varied by agriculture and meadows full of cows. Without the forest and the hills it’s almost like Groningen. The villages seem to have a different atmosphere immediately. That’s nice, because it gives us the feeling we really are traveling.

The first day we went as far as Jalhay. The first camping site at which we would get the opportunity to talk French………..sadly it is being managed by Dutch people. Here, in this piece of the Ardennes our every effort to talk French is being answered in Dutch. What do you mean, being abroad?

Day two started in the rain; even so we got going with our coats and trousers on. It remained quite chilly the whole day, although it stopped raining pretty quickly. We also conquered our first ‘col’. The “Col du Roussier” which is 556 meters high. This has to be considered a top performance to our standards at this time. After that we had to do a lovely down hill stretch and during that we raced passed a man with a fully loaded pram.

At the camp site we meet a Dutch couple, whom we had passed the day before. They too are on a long journey with their bikes, they are heading for Valencia. Just as they are telling us about some Dutch guy (from Friesland) who’s on a pilgrimage with a cart, the man comes walking around the corner. With 44 km covered by foot he has instantly deserved all our respects. It seems funny to occupy a field with three small Dutch tents.

On the morning of day 3 in Belgium we cross the border with Luxemburg. At first we only notice the border post in the verge of the road. Moments later we discover that the sign ‘Luxemburg’ is turned the wrong way around. Marlous takes care of that, so everyone who comes this way will notice which country he is entering.

Maastricht- Jalhay: 56km
Jalhay- Cetturu: 78km
Cetturu- Bourscheid(L): 61km
Totaal België: 141km

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