France - Day 20 : Beer twice
We had slept well this night. It hadn't been too warm or cold and didn't rain. Because of that we did wake up late. That didn't matter much, as we only needed to cycle 130 km today. Our plan was to visit to Rochefort to drink Trappist and then ride to Diekirch. Tomorrow we would then cycle home in one day as a practise for our upcoming race.
When we packed everything we counted our cash, we had 20 euros left. The most expensive campsite we had been on thus far was about 16 euros, so we should be OK. The girl behind the desk forced us to fill out an entire list with nonsense, addresses, pets, etc. Afterwards she copied it all into a computer. She told us the cost: 27,90 please. My eyes almost rolled out of their sockets, and she probably saw. I was really surprised it was that expensive to stay on a campsite from 10 in the evening to 9 in the morning, while not using any facilities except the showers. We also only had two small tents, didn't use electricity, didn't have a car, nor a mobile home. Now I understood why the personnel was so surprisingly friendly when we arrived.
When charging such high prices it would of course be normal if you could pay by card. Image if you would stay for 3 weeks with a mobile home, a tent, and use some electricity you easily had to pay 1000 euros. I asked "can I pay by card", "no", "is there an ATM in the village", "no", "is there a store in the village where I can get some money", "no". The closest ATM was 7 km away. Because they had all our data we couldn't just leave. Therefore I went to the ATM while Bram stayed behind so the lady wouldn't get upset. If they hadn't known who I was I would definitely have left without paying. I first removed all my bags and then sprinted to the village and back.
One advice: never go the camping 'chenefleur' in Tintigny, because it's way too expensive. While we were leaving there was a lady from the 'entertainment team' to keep toddlers busy, who mentioned we had told her yesterday we would leave around 9 and now it was so much later. We thought it better not to respond. Bram had stayed on the campsite and had seen all the entertainers play with the children. They were more childish than the toddlers. Especially one guy who was playing games with a bag and a stick, I don't think he had a bag nor a stick himself. And with those prices I would have loved to hit his bag with a stick.
Because the ATM took so much time it seemed difficult to take the detour Rochefort. I just wanted to go to Diekirch directly, but Bram insisted on going to Rochefort. When we had just cycled 10 km Bram saw a sign of Orval, which is another Trappist brewery. We hadn't been there yet so decided to go there instead. We quickly arrived because it was only downhill. The abbey lay deep in the forests, against the French border. We first entered the abbey to see if we could drink beer there. We couldn't, but we each bought an Orval glass and Bram also a bottle opener. There was also a 50 cm high glass, it cost 50 euro.
Fortunately we found a real bar after 200 meters. Bram already had drank it once and didn't like it. I was curious because the other trappists, like La Trappe, Westmalle, and Rochefort all taste very good. Orval was not good, no wonder it doesn't get sold as much. It is very bitter, but we still finished it. The long way back uphill was not easy, especially after the alcohol had sank to our legs.
Later we ate some bread in the town's square during which the big 1,2 kg jar of jam was finally finished. From here it would be another 80 km to Diekirch. I wasn't tired at all and thought it would be hilly, as we had to cross the Ardennes. Compared to the mountains we had crossed in the past weeks it wasn't bad at all. We ate dinner just after entering Luxembourg.
According to our schedule it would be another 40 km to Diekirch, but the map said 25. We were lucky, the map was right. After pitching the tents we entered a bar to drink Diekirch beer. There were some men who sounded like they were also from our home province of Brabant. We told them how far we had cycled and ordered two beers. Later one of them gave us another two. That was the perfect preparation for the long ride tomorrow. When we finished everything we took a quick shower. When we were all warm and relaxed we went to bed. It would be nice to get some sleep before tomorrow.
I started in Tignity and then cycled to Etalle without gear. Then we both left for Rochefort and after 10 km changed course to Orval. After leaving Orval we backtracked to Jamoine and rode to Diekirch.
Daily distance 99,77 km