Thursday, June 2, 2011

Day 8 - Europe 2011

Day 8 - Wednesday, June 1, 2011 - Brussels to Tongeren Trip 109.21 kms Time 7:04:39 Avs 15.23 kph

With the help of all the meds I was able to get a decent night's sleep so decided I would pack up and set off for Bonn. I had checked the route out on Google Maps and knew that it was going to take me at least 2 or 3 days to reach Bonn as it was over 200 kms which translated into my GPS usually turns out to be much greater.
By the time I got up at 7:20 AM Vivien had already left for work. I quickly had some breakfast, packed my panniers and after loading them up on my bike set off for Kortenberg which my GPS told me was only 16 kms away. By the time I finally did get to Kortenberg I had clocked 26 kms. I stopped and went into a Super Mache DelHaize to get some bananas, chicken sandwich, choclate milk and a slice of rice custard pie. 7.32 €.
Next I set my GPS for Leuven which was a further 26 kms down the road. Not so. By the time I got to Leuven I had covered 56 kms and my tummy and my butt were telling me it was time to stop and take a break and have some lunch. The BBQ chicken sandwich and custard pied washed down with chocolate milk was a very refreshing lunch which I had in a park along the route.
At 6:00 PM I had reached Tongeren after passing through Sint-Truiden. As it was getting rather late and I was pretty tired I decided to find a place to stay for the night. The first hotel that came up on my GPS was the Ambiotel just a couple of kms away. I did eventually find it in the town square which was taken over by vendors. So pedestrian traffic only. I had to walk through a very crowded cobble-stoned square for about 200 metres before reaching the main entrance to the hotel. Eventually the receptionist, who was doubling as a waitress, came over and informed me that it would be 90 € for a single room for the night including breakfast. I decided to try my luck elsewhere. I managed to find the "Chemin De Fer" hotel not far off but it was fully booked which was probably a good thing because it did look a bit dodgy. I returned to the Ambiotel deciding that since I had had several nights free accommodation and I had cycled 109 kms I deserved a little pampering. After checking in and locking up my bike in the shed around back of the hotel I carried my bags up to my room.
I needed to find an ATM so I could get some more cash to pay for my food and lodging. I walked around the square and so on and eventually asked for directions to the nearest bank/ATM where I could get some cash. I was pointed back in the direction I had come from but a slightly different route where I was able to find a KBC ATM but it was out of cash. Turns out it was right behind my hotel and I could see it from my room.
I had enough money for dinner so decided I would wait until morning to do my banking and hopefully by then the ATM would be replenished.
Went past the hotel into the main square and had dinner at the Grand Cafe Royal. I hate walking on cobble-stones especially in sandals. Dinner turned out to be OK except for the smokers in the room next to where I was seated. Three beers, a shnitzel natuur, frieten and mayo cost 20.60 € I began to feel somewhat better.
Went back to my room and tried to get on the free Wi-Fi but I was to exhausted to do any typing on my Blog.
More to follow

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