Day 17 Maastricht to Liege to Soumagne (52 km)

21/9/16

We paid our dues at the Eetcafe de Bosrand cafe, where we ate the previous night, and headed west back towards to Meuse. After a couple of kilometers we stopped at Eijsden for supplies. Whilst waiting for Emilie in a grassed area opposite the supermarket I unknowingly stepped in dog shit. The paste of shit squished into all the nooks and crannies of my shoe and cleats. No matter how much I wiped my feet on the grass some still remained. Over the next few days I would randomly get a whiff of the unmistakable odour. From then on at the end of a days ride my shoes were banished to beneath the trailer, rather than the relative warmth and dryness of the tent alcove.

Shortly after our supply stop we crossed the river onto a spit of land between the Meuse and the Albert Canal, and into Belgium. The tiny little ferry was just large enough to accommodate the bike and trailer across its width.

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A couple of kilometers later we crossed the Albert canal by bridge and followed it south towards Liege.

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On the outskirts of Liege, where the canal meets the Meuse river, we passed the imposing monument to King Albert I.

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We headed for the centre of Liege to indulge Emilie’s waffle dreams. As we approached Place St Lambert we had to dismount and battle the pedestrians, although the square itself wasn’t too crowded. We had lunch and more waffle than we could finish (almost).

Out of Liege we had some navigational issues and battled up some quite steep sections of cobbled streets, before we hit the main cycling route. We joined up with the the Ravel 5 (Ligne 38) which was a great sealed trail taking us up about 200 m of elevation in around 10 km.

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Just outside of Micheroux we left the route for the closest open campsite, Domaine de Wégimont. From the trail we descended steeply down the hill towards the campsite, all the time aware that we would have to climb back to the trail in the morning.

The Domaine de Wégimont incorporates a Château, park grounds, swimming centre and camping facilities. The camping was excellent and it was really quite cheap (12 euros). We explored around the grounds and the Château, now used as accommodation for school camps and the like. As and aside, when writing this post I discovered the disturbing fact that during the second world war the Château de Wégimont was used as a maternity home for the Nazi Lebensborn program, designed to foster the expansion of the “Aryan” population.

With the camping season drawing to a close, there was only one other family camping at the ground. In the evening it was possible to see the silhouettes of drawers and beds in their two tents, the light and sound from the huge television that blared out into the evening. Not our kind of camping but fortunately we were so tired that when we lay down we went straight to sleep.

To see the route, elevation profile, etc., click the link to Ride with GPS below (it should be able to be embedded but WordPress does not allow this).

//rwgps-embeds.com/trips/11169388/embed?privacy_code=pVtyUSGNSVms6Pbr

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