Day 7, 24th May 2011, Huy to Brussels

There is a chain of hotels called Logis de France, or just Logis in Belgium.  They are usually well-priced, clean, well-situated basic 2 or 3 star accommodation run by lovely families.  The distinguishing feature is the appalling breakfast in a country where breakfast is usually wonderful.  Fortunately, breakfast is an optional extra, a fact we forgot. And so it was with the hotel in Huy.

We rode out of Huy with the pretty clouds of steam from the downtown nuclear reactor contrasted against the clear blue sky.

The ride along the Meusse is not pretty.  The river is canalised, and large barges ply up and down the river loaded with gravel.  It is not clear why so much gravel needs to be moved around Belgium.

We left the river to start towards Brussels.  We had a headwind up the river, and this grew stronger when we rode up out of the narrow river valley and onto the rolling hill country.  This was quite a hard ride against the wind with significant, but diminishing hills.  We realised that we could get to Brussels, albeit a bit late.  We had arranged to stay there for a day or two with friends.

This was a long day’s ride, occasionally trying, but through increasingly-attractive country as we moved away from the industrialisation close to the Meusse river.

We had not got around to getting a proper map so were still using our one-sheet map of the whole of the Benelux countries, and were navigating by selecting small villages on minor roads, and using TomTom to find an appropriate route.  This worked surprisingly well.

The route into Brussels selected by TomTom seemed to be particularly inspired, involving a number of tracks through parks and very little on-road cycling.

We road to our friends apartment around 7.00pm after a 102km day’s ride.

This is posted on the 26th May.

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