Day 50 – 24 July
Ghent to Namur (via Brussels), Belgium
Transport: Bicycles 121.9km at 17.6km per hour pace
Let’s start with the lows today and Brussels cbd has to take the cake. We decided to ride throw the centre of Brussels mainly for the purpose of getting some of the famous Belgium Fritz (aka French fries). We dodged mad city car drivers and endured a lot of cobbled sections through the city (cobbled streets are quite popular in most Belgium city centres we have been throw and Brussels is a particularly big city…) only to find the fritz place we were recommended to try was closed ☹️.
Now I have that out of the way I’ll start with how the day unfolded. We woke up and had a really relaxed breaky with the fam – Jessica, Pieter and Robin. These guys were so hospitable and again we found ourselves saying to our hosts we would love to cross paths with them again in the future. Both Jessica and Pieter think it is unlikely they will ever travel to Aus (mainly on account of our reptilian animals 😨) so hopefully in years to come we will welcome Robin into our home -that is once we have one again.
We said our farewells and departed for Namur our destination for the day. We went via Brussels CBD which I won’t recount again 😠 and stopped for lunch by a lake just out of town. It was stinking hot and stopping may have actually been worse than riding but we had to eat. We eventually got going again and it wasn’t too much longer before we had to refill our water bottles. We decided to ask the friendly lady at s small town Fritz stand and whilst waiting for them we decided to take a second break and try the famous Belgium Fritz at a seemly innocuous food stand in a small town. The chips were 2.60 euro with sauce and they were pretty good. For reference my reference chip is red roosters chips with their salt and this chip was not too far off the mark.
I want to note I had some scorpion tobacco sauce and didn’t think much of it but at end had a fair bit and was worried for a while after I had overdone the chilli similar to the ‘hibo hot burger competition’ I had participated in years ago. Having replenished our carb stored we rolled into Namur and met up with Luc. Luc works for the Belgium cycling federation and is a keen cycle tourer himself. It was already late in the evening when we arrived but we still had time to share some beers together and get Luc’s advice on the best way to proceed with the rest of our Belgium leg of the trip.
Did I mention we got absolutely slammed with cobbles today…ask Emm cobbles are her favourite type of pave 😜.
We called it a night shortly after and passed into that blissful slumber made possible by the arduous day of riding.
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 23rd
DAY 51 – 25 July
Namur to Nassogne, Belgium
Transport: 90.4km at 17.4km/hour pace
Breakfast with Luc in Namur. Our standard oats mash up.
A nicer ride following legit routes thanks to Luc. Beautiful along the water, a graduated climb- all so stunning.
An excellent blackberries park up ticked a big box mmmmm.
#hutlife happened thanks to free Pole camping sites!!
See photo and video selection.
DAY 52 – 26 July
Nassonge, Belgium to Luxembourg City, Luxembourg
130km at 18km/hour
Beautiful ride!! We discovered Luxembourg’s superior cycling infrastructure. Seriously AMAZING! This country defitnely has cash and has a beautiful feel. Picked wild blackberries (again!) and cruised the perfect bike paths.
Warm Shower host Guillaume had myself, Beau and Scottish Connie as guests in his lovely Luxembourg city apartment. We all hung out until the early hours of the morning and cooked too much polenta lol. Guill is a top bloke! A fellow roadie who loves Lyra, coffee and beers. We got along with him like a house on fire. Hopefully he travels to Australia as we would love to spend more time with him. Learnt a lot about Luxembourg- interesting insight. Did you know Luxembourgish is it’s own language??! Our evening finished at about 1.30am whoops!!
DAY 53 – 27 July
Luxembourg City, Luxembourg to Trier, Germany
City walk around with Scottish Connie – stunning city!!
Chilled out ride enjoying Luxembourg cycling infrastructure yet again #amazing. More blackberries picked of course lol #blackberries for days
A wonderful night with Markus. This stay we had in Trier Germany was very special to us and we won’t share too many details of this stay. Just a few snaps and short snippets only.
DAY 54 – 28 July
Wonderful time with Markus.
Berry hunting 1.5kg of blackberries (not joking!!). Jam was made today. Blackberry sorbet yesterday mmmmmm….
We have a wonderful night again with Markus looking over the oldest cathedral in Germany at the ‘Blood Moon’ (total lunar eclipse). It was epic to be where we were for it. The view from where we slept and woke up below.
DAY 55 – 29 July
Trier to Cochem, Germany
Transport: Bicycles 98.6km at 18.7km per hour average speed
Breakfast with Markus in Trier. Home made bread yummmmm
Riding along the river Mosel #stunning
lol to where Beau films: Riding the River Mosel VIDEO
A decent climb to our secluded wild camp for the night under a shelter #delux (Dinner pasta mixed with boiled eggs, baked beans and green beans. Dessert nutella and more wild blackberries we picked today. Beau speculoos banana on waffles.
What a day!! Guten Nacht!
DAY 56 – 30 July
Cochem, Germany to Inglehein am Rheine, German
Transport: Bicycles 130.8km at 21.8km per hour average speed
River spotting: We started the day waking in our shelter and just a mozzie net overlooking Vinyards and the River Mosel. Not a bad wild camp eh? I guess that is easy to say knowing all I had to do was descend back down the mountain to the river for a day of water views. Our pack up was quick but I ate A LOT of blackberries that we picked yesterday evening (more on this later). We rode 50km along the Mosel river to the town Coblenz for our lunch stop. It was a really hot today and once again we found an actual haud of wild blackberries growing all along the river. Sooo we couldn’t leave them obviously. 15 mins later and over a kilogram of blackberries we decided it was only appropriate to eat yoghurt for lunch. A great stop but this is where it goes pear shaped for me. I obtained what one would call a BlackBerry Baby. Seriously like more than 9 months pregnant style. Bad ache in the tummy too whoops. We worked out I consumed 800g at least solo lol… A few toilet stops along the way and all was good.
Following on from the town Coblanz we then followed the Rhiene River and wow!! Castle count about 15, it was amazing the whole way. Beautiful bridges, vineyards and buildings- an all round stunning ride. The only pitfall is since it is right in tourist season now there were plenty of sketchy bike riders all over the paths. Our bells came in handy!!
Dinner was enjoyed in a town called Bingen. Pretty park on the Rhiene we cooked up this egg pasta stuff #carbsforlife with tuna, tomatoes, some cucumber and tomato base sauce. So good. To cap off the evening we had a nice last minute stay with Stefan who was back home for us to arrive at 9pm. A few beers were enjoyed (water for me I was sooo cooked) and bed about 11pm. Had a lovely couple of hours with Stefan and enjoyed hearing his travel war stories.
DAY 57 – 31 July
Ingelheim am Rhein to Heidelberg, Germany
Transport: Bicycles 121.5km at 20.5km per hour average speed
Racing the sun: we woke up at 730 and downed a breakfast of oats, bread and various spreads with Stefan. We knew we had to get going relatively early due to the hot weather forecast for the day so we’re on our bikes promptly after eating. Stefan was great and rode with us in the way out of town to save us some kms…#everydayhero.
We then rode tempo towards Mainz and once last the town we started angling towards Mainheim which we had planned to stop in for lunch and to escape the worst of the heat. About half way down we had to take refuge in the shade of a big barn and restock on Belgium style pre packed waffles, jam and bananas. It was really starting to get hot (around 37 in the shade) so we decided to only ride for an hour or 2 longer before finding a suitable arvo parkup. It was at this point we checked the maps and saw we could save a few kms by heading straight towards Heidelberg which lies on the Necar River.
Before reaching Heidelberg however we were lured into a Turkish donor kebab shop in Ludenberg and smashed (well Emm wants me to clarify that it was me smashing 1.5 kebabs 😜 lol).
I think we were craving some salty fatty meats as we had literally been ‘sweating bullets’ for the last couple of hours. From this pit stop we rolled along the Necar river into Heidelberg which is an amazing city. It was disappointing we did not stop to check out the old castle or the old city but it was seriously scorching and we both just wanted to be off the bikes as soon as possible.
For the night we had contacted Thomas who lived just out of Heidelberg and is a local mountain biker/bike tourer/hiker/outdoor enthusiast/works with less able individuals and is all around a great guy…need I say more?
He mentioned his English was bad but it was quite the contrary and we were soon discussing the intricacies of Aussie slang whilst sinking some very delicious locally brewed Heidelberg Weiss beers 😋 (did I mention these half litre bottles go for 1.49 euros…#beerforfood #beereconomy #liquidnutrition
Note it’s a commonly known fact that if someone can understand my poor English then that rates them pretty high on the English communication ability spectrum. Thomas is also a bit of a master chef and whipped up what I have to honestly say is the best quiche I have ever eaten. He handmade the short crust pie base (which could have been served on its own – it was soooo good and served as the backbone of this tasty treat) and topped the quiche with salmon and went a bit unorthodox with the addition of cheese. Needless to say I was soon going for thirds and then fourths 😬 (lucky Thomas knows hunger and he had cooked BULK!). Another 5/5 on #BeausChilliScale that’s for sure.
We called it around 11pm and all went to bed pretty cooked and a little tipsy! A German beer is considered weak if it has 5% 🤔.
-B and E
DAY 58 – 1 August
Transport: Legs and a bus in and out of Heildberg from Neckagemünd and a 15km pedal around the Necka area at 15.8km per hour pace
Heidelberg city slicking: After a good sleep we woke around 7am for a chit chat breakfast with our friend Thomas. Standard fare of oats and yoghurt and then a dash for the bus (of course me finding blackberries on the way). First off we used our legs to walk not ride up to Heidelberg castle 😮😛. Despite the clouds it was still a hot day and we were both sweating
to Heildberg castle 😮😛)
Thomas fortunately had some time off so showed us around the entire day. So damn cool to get a whole day with him. We went around the old city and the more alternate area. First stop was for a mango lassi drink which is a yogurt mango drink popular in Indian restaurants. It was super refreshing in the hot weather.
We then made our way around the corner to one of Thomas’s local haunts – a hostel beer garden. Here Beau and Thomas had The local tap house Weis Beir served in stone jugs whilst I went for the Weis beir cut with sparkling lemonade (aka the Chika drink). I actually enjoyed the beir which is definitely a first for me.
The boys also enjoyed their beverages and it was awesome to finally be sitting down and relaxing in a German beir garden.
Thomas recommended we try the Flammkuchen which is a French type thin crust pizza essentially. I’ll let the video below give you the 411.
After this arvo break we cruised back around the river and took a few last glimpses of the beautiful city before catching the bus back home. We chilled out in the arvo before making a short bike ride to the shops to get some dinner supplies and get a few glimpses of some castles further up the Necka.
We decided to make a vegetable lasagna for dinner which is always a winner in most circles and this one was no exception.
Thomas invited a good friend Roger around for dinner. Roger has a lot of experience hiking around the Dolomites and heard we were interested and travelling through so he brought along a hoard of maps and info for our benefit. Beau dove straight into studying the maps with Roger but the alluring smell of the dinner soon had the boys relegating the maps to the corner to make way for more biers (Heidelberg Helles beirs again – Beaus new fave) and lasagna. We had made quite a bit of food but it must have been alright as everything was finished with everyone going for seconds. We stayed up till 11 trading stories and even managed to squeeze in some late night pancakes 😜. Overall it was a great day and night and we really have Thomas to thank for this. He is a great guy who is super laid back and has a real sense of adventure. We were disappointed we didn’t get to meet his long term partner Mirian but hopefully they will make the trip across to Australia one day or who knows maybe we will see them again on this adventure of ours…the hikes in the Dolomites are not that far away 😜.
#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Hazelnut spread jar count: 11
Jam jar count: 9 (2 additional jars from berries we picked ourselves)
Honey jar count: 1
Brake pads cooked: 2
Gear cables: 1
# fuel bottles: 3 litres of denatured alcohol, 1x 250g gas bottle
# Sporks broken: 1
# knives broken: 1
# knicks destroyed/used beyond use: 1
# shoes broken: 1 pair sandals