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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 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 toward an abbey, but we weren't sure if it was the right one. After finding a map, we decided just to go there and see what happened. There couldn't be that many abbeys in Chimay.

Nothing indicated that Chimay beer was brewed there and we wondered if we were in the right place. Eventually, we found the word Chimay once, so we were in the right spot after all. 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 they didn't suit a monastery.

Next, we decided to visit the official Chimay restaurant 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 flush them down the drain anyway. When we were sure the beer had sunk into our legs, we started cycling again. First, we needed to buy a souvenir though.

They had all sorts and sizes of Chimay beer, cheese, and hard liquor. Bart and I each wanted a glass. I thought a set of three 75cl bottles looked nice, but I was pretty sure I wouldn't 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 were 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 seemed to get fuller during the trip. Now they were also stuffed with all the souvenirs, and there wasn't 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 workout.

Chimay village

We were in Chimay

We cycled on and after another 50 kilometers decided to camp on a section of grass 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 cycled : 150 km.

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