Three days in Belgium.

Eugenie resting in the hall. When you open the door of your bedroom, this is what you see.

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August 19-21 1998.

Life can be so easy if someone else is taking care of your kids for a couple of days! We started out with no other plan than to have a nice day's ride and a stay at the Motorcycle Loft Hotel in Belgium, a motorcyclists-only hotel I read about several times.

The sun was shining so we took a slower but nicer route south thru the most south-west province of Holland: Zeeland.

As you have to pass a large industrial area before you get there (Rotterdam) we were glad to finally hit the smaller dike roads.

In a village called Oude Tonge we had lunch and a cigar on a terras in the sun. We took our time as Belgium was nearby now, just one ferry away.

When we filled up the bike we were surprised at the fuel consumption: just one litre in 27 km. Aren't these old bikes economic!

After arrival in Belgium we decided to follow the little roads along the coastline. Many other tourists had the same idea so it was pretty busy.

Finally we arrived at the MC hotel. It turned out to be a great place, we knew that the moment we had our first Belgian beer out in the sun. The large doors of the hotel were open so it was easy to walk in and out and enjoy the music.

The room was simple and clean and had a good bed. No TV (fine), no toilet or shower (these were centralized and very clean indeed) but it had a view on the bikes of the guests. We enjoyed a perfect meal and many drinks before finally turning in.

The next day we got up pretty early, had breakfast and set off to make a tour in the region. Riding very slowly we had every opportunity to watch the old farms, pubs and fields. We stopped at a beautiful white nunnless nunnery where a museum showed us the history of Godelieve, a local saint. Any questions about her? We are ready to answer.. ;-)

On we went, stopping only at an old pub for coffee as it was gradually getting colder and more clouds appeared in the sky. In Oostende we parked the bike near a dock where the "Mercator", a former training ship (three huge masts) was ready to receive us as paying (100bfr) visitors.

Mercator, Oostende harbour.

We took our time and made the tour of the ship, a museum now, with much interest. It's hard to imagine life aboard these ships for us, but we've got the general idea now. What discipline!

After walking thru one of the mainstreets and along the sea, we entered a Greek restaurant where we were welcomed by a Bouzouki player, very nice! Good food too!

It was dark when we started out for the hotel. Amazing how little you can see with a 25W bulb; riding 70kmh felt like 250kmh! When we finally arrived at the hotel we had some drinks with three Belgian couples and the big boss and crawled to our room.

The next day it was raining. Too bad, as this was the day of our return trip. It was a bit unpleasant for the first 50 km but then the rain stopped and we were just facing a fierce headwind that made me stick in 3rd gear at 55kmh. After crossing several rivers and channels by ferry we were safely back in our own region, having covered some 750 km on the old bike this trip.

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