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Day 20 : Chimay

When we woke up there was a bunch of white stuff all over and around our bivy bags. It turned out that the guys walking past us yesterday night had been throwing wet newspapers at us. It was a pity we didn't realize it then because I would have chased them in my underwear and forced them to smell Bart's socks. 

 

Because the guys were nowhere to be seen we packed our stuff and headed over to the front desk to pay. Then we ate breakfast before cycling to Chimay, where the famous trappist beer is brewed. Sixteen kilometers before Chimay we already saw signs directing us towards an abbey, but we weren't sure if it was the right one. After finding a map we decided to just go there and see what happened, there couldn't be that many abbeys in Chimay.

 
Inside there was nothing to indicate that Chimay beer got brewed there and we doubted we were in the right place. Eventually we did find the word Chimay once, so we really were in the right spot. After seeing the church and garden we walked back to the entrance where we encountered a monk, he looked confused at Bart's cycling shorts, as if that didn't suit a monastery.

Next we decided to visit the official Chimay restaurant a bit further up the road. We ordered a Chimay triple and nearly fell asleep while drinking it. There was a type of bag to catch flies in a way that didn't kill them. We wondered if they would release those 50 kilometers away or just flush them down the drain anyway. When we were sure the beer had really sunk in our legs we decided to start cycling again. First we needed to buy a souvenir though.


They had all sorts and sizes of Chimay beer, cheese, and a type of hard liquor. Bart and I each wanted a glas. I thought that a set of three 75cl bottles looked nice, but was pretty sure I would never be able to carry those on my bike. Nonetheless we bought two glasses and the set of 3 bottles (each of every type of Chimay trappist). The man said they still had bottles but where out of Chimay glasses. I said there were over a thousand at the bar and asked if we couldn't buy one of those, even though they were used. After being difficult for a while the man agreed to sell them to us and we walked out.

Now I had a problem. Before I left on cycling vacation everything had easily fit in my panniers, but for some reason they always seem to get fuller during the trip. Now they were also stuffed with all the souvenirs and there wasn't really room for the bottles. After fitting everything inside like a type of 3D-Tetris game and attaching some clothes to my luggage carrier I was ready to go. Now it would be even harder to keep up with Bart, but at least it would be a good work out.

Chimay village

We were in Chimay
 

We cycled on and after another 50 kilometers decided to camp on a section of grass in between a meadow and a field with sugar beets. It looked like a good spot and the sugar beets didn't taste bad.

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The campsite
 

After Bart again needed to call his girlfriend for 45 minutes we went to sleep. We hoped there wouldn't be any mice crawling into our bivy bags, because we could hear them all around us.


Distance cycle : 150 km