Seraing to Oost Maarland 50km

What a difference a border can make. One minute we were riding down a potholed Belgian street past Frite shops and the next we were rolling past beautifully architectured houses, neat front yards and people riding bicycles. We had entered the Netherlands.

The day started in a forest near the delightful Seraing where George fitted a new chain to his bike in preparation for the tdf. We then made our way up a decent climb to the Stan Ockers memorial where I most ran into the back of George as he slammed on his brakes in excitement at seeing the monument. I had a waterbottle in my right hand so couldn’t grab the brake but managed to push George out of the way and jump off the bike before it went down.

We took a few photos then headed back down the hill to Liege where the tour is commencing. We happened upon a critical mass ride there which we rode with until I found a McDonalds that I could use to steal Internet.

After visiting another relatively useless tourist office we were looking for the library when a local pounced on us and offered directions. But then he began telling us his bike touring tales and before long invited us to his house. He regaled us with more stories about his disappearance to Norway, his art projects and bike touring. Quite an interesting fellow if somewhat paranoid.

We passed through Vise, the start of stage two of the tour and just next to the Dutch border. We checked into a campground and I finally popped my cherry and had a shower.

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