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And finally Friday came! And also the 5 hottest days of the year, and, based on the newspaper, even of the last 15 years. And I'm here, looking at the motorbike that enjoy the warm in the parking lot.
In fact, I still have the half-tour that me and Vinci did last month in the Ardennes. Hummm... hills, mountains... maybe some place a bit cooler than here... why not? Vinci is gone to please his beauty (girl, not bike) somewhere on a beach in Greece, so if trip is, is solo. Well, not that I have a problem going solo. So here I am, booking an hotel in Namur, putting something in a bag and with the thermometer reaching the horrible temperature of 28 degrees (!) I take off for Belgium.
This time I preempt the problems, avoid useless stuff and leave with just the topcase and the tank bag. I'll end up carrying along the lapdog anyway. To tempt fate I even carry along only the enduro helmet.
The road looks like is coming directly from some Lovercrafitan story, it looks like the Dutch and the Belgian are trying to beat each other at who does the worse things. At one point, just before the border, there is a big jam. Luckily, since I don't have the side bags, I can sneak through the lines of cars and in the end I reach the source of the problem: an idiot turned upside down (literally) in the left lane with his crappy delivery van. Now, there is huge-ass discussion about peoples that uses their company vans to go around on their own, and some peoples thinks that it shouldn't happen. Well, they have my vote.
Anyhow, around five in the afternoon I manage to get to the hotel. Nicely placed along the river Maas. And nicely place in the fscking middle of nothing. Ok, I wasn't looking for place in the "center" but... Park the bike, check in, get into the room and catapult myself under the shower to get back into temperature. Then I spend an hour or so cracking the hotel's wireless protection (I had the key from the reception, but I wanted to see how long it would have toke: not much) and then do nothing 'till diner time.
Note for hotel owners' - workers' (Angelo! Don't hide 'cause I saw you!): those fscking parking spaces filled up with gravels, every now and then pay a digger to flatten them. Is already a pain in the ass to park in them with a bike, if they are also on a slope is going to be a Royal pain in the ass. And maybe, provide some little piece of wood or flat rocks to put under the sidestand (I always carry my own wood-piece with me) eh?. And moreover, when a guy arrives in full bike gear: jacket, boots, gloves, and drop his helmet on the counter, don't ask him if he is by car!
Anyhow, after a partially sleepless night due to the temperature, I get up around 7.30, jump under the shower, get a couple of sandwiches and a coffee and then get ready to hit the road.
I decide to bring along the tank bag with the photocamera and a little more stuff, the sky is grey but ain't raining, on the countrary, after a while even the sun is shining!
I find back some of the reference points from the route we did last time and even end up stopping for lunch in the same place.
Nota for Vinci: if you get there at a decent time, it's chocked full of place where to stop for lunch. I suspect that your problem is to get out of bed before 10.
During the tour I notice many sign that inform the riders of the dangerous road, with a telling drawing of a crashed motorcycle. I'm not sure however, if the motorcycle was crashed by the dangerous riding, by the sucky quality and non-existent maintenance of the road or by the kamikaze-style driving of belgian car drivers.
Despite my attempt to "fix" the route to avoid a couple of "wandering" that we did last time, I do get a couple of time on the wrong road. Mostly because all the little villages are chocked full of tourists and is kind of complicate to figure out which one is the right way.
Around 1pm I reach the Boisson Pass and stop to take a couple of picture. Around 3pm I arrive at the bottom of the valley and at that point I decide that I'm kind of tired and is time to get back to the hotel.
At about 4.30pm I reach the hotel and, being the front parking lot full, I decide to put the bike in the back one, and at that moment I discover that the gravel on the road (25% incline) leading to the parking lot is about 30cm deep. After a lot of cursing and having left routs in the road that not even the T72s in the Gulf War did, I manage to park the bike and then is time to get another shower.
Anoter nice note for Hotels' Workers: is nice that you put a sign in the toilet reminding the guests about their duty towards the environment, and to give them the choice of what to do with the towels (leave them on the floor = change, put them on the rack = I'll use them again), but if then you don't give a fuck of what I do and just change them anyway, what's the bloody point? And moreover: don't put a sign that says that the minibar is fully stocked and just tell the reception what you used if the minibar is locked!
Sunday, get up at around 7am, a shower, breakfast, and then blood, sweat and gunpowder to get the bike out of the parking lot (goddammgravel..). And then, just a long ride home. The total for the week-end is 967 Km.