Today is the longest day (counting in kilometers), so we have breakfast at 8 and leave around 9h30. The first stretch is supposed to be really easy, since it follows an ancient railroad, however it seems that though the incline is small, it’s significant and continuous, so it’s basically a long way slightly uphill. The wind is against us, but there’s some cover from the trees so it’s not a uninterrupted fight to move forward.
We go up all the way until we cross under the E42 close to Namur, from there’s it’s a nice stretch down to the Sambre river. We have lunch on the quays with a nice view of the fort on the other side: pasta and steak. We’re only 35 km far, so we take off again and follow the Sambre to the Maas river, finding our way around busy streets and road works. It’s still pretty sunny, so we put on loads of sun screen.
The road is easy: follow the river all the way down. The path is mostly asphalt and there’s a lot of people about, strolling along the river and admiring the big houses along the bank. After Dinant it becomes a lot quieter and the valley a lot emptier, the path runs mainly along fields and pastures. We see loads of water birds with chicks in all sizes and colors: duck chicks, Canada goose chicks, swan chicks, moorhen chicks all over the place.
The average speed is still 15 km/h, so we’re at the hotel around 6 pm. After a hot shower we go to the italian restaurant next door and have delicious pasta on the terrace. The wait is a bit long, but we have books to keep busy.