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J291 - Tuesday, August 3: Hamerènne - Pontillas

77.87km – 11H41’
Altitude : 198 m
For our third consecutive day in Belgium we have had a visit. Claude, of the “Heavenly Runners,” which is not an association of crooks, and who, with his friend Michel, will help us cross Brussels on Thursday. And I am already aware of the fact that we will have another visit tomorrow. In Wallonia things move and the entire stage will be “Walloon”.
We entered Belgium from the French side. Wallonia covers 55% of the country’s territory and has 33% of the population. Today, we were close to the official capital, Namur. We will go through two other regions of the country: the Flemish Region and the Brussels-Capital Region. Tomorrow we will still be able to speak French, after that it will be a different matter because it is no secret that the Flemish Community insists on speaking Dutch.
Today, I find Serge just as fatigued as yesterday. He labors on the road and Daniel is unhappy that he can’t offer him a flatter route; however, that would mean a flat road without shoulders and with heavy traffic. It’s always the same problem.
Today it was Jean-Yves’ and Sebastien’s baptism in reconnoitering. They marked the route between km 35 and km 67 and it was not easy. Secondary roads are not indicated on the map, only tractor paths, and there are no signs at intersections. So it takes map + GPRS + reconnoitering to find a better route, one with as few hills as possible, so that Serge does not wander in the valleys, which puts strain on him.
Florian spent a lot of time in the van, from km 25 to the end. He likes the job of refueling (each youngster has found his niche). When we prepare dinner, like this evening, Brigitte goes with me to set up the kitchen and I attend to my writing and the maps. Because there are more of us, we have the time to work in better conditions; however, there is no slacking. A good siesta at a hypothetical swimming pool…no, don’t start dreaming Laure!
Everyone is well, Serge, like a fox terrier has a locked jaw and doesn’t let hold.

Town : Pontillas

GPS : N 50.32’82.2° E 005.01’34.3°