We started this year with all kinds of plans: bikepacking the Trans Netherlands Offroad route, multi-day hiking adventure, bikepacking France, a cycling adventure in Nepal or maybe go back to the United States. Well, as with many of you, these plans never saw the day of light due to Covid-19.
We were longing so much to the feeling of adventure, to ride somewhere else than our backyard and finally we got a chance to go to the Belgium Ardennes. I, personnally, got tired of all the ‘but Holland is also very beautiful’ comments and really needed to see some change in landscape, other than green flat fields with cows and windmills… 😉
And Belgium was the answer! As soon as we were allowed to travel abroad again, we reserved a campsite near Malmedy and National Park the Hoge Venen, very close to Belgiums highest point.
Signal de Botrange – Belgiums highest point
Right next to our campsite are a couple of mountainbike routes and I think it would be funny to ride one to Signal de Botrange. We start of on a wide forest track, easy riding and slow climbing.
But soon the track becomes more challenging and difficult. I like riding offroad, but I lack technical skills and so I am pushing my bike up the hill, over narrow logs and through streams; I love it! Elmar.., not so much. Cursing my route planning, he finally accepts the challenge and a faint smile appears on his face. Deep down, he digs my routes. 😉
What goes up, must come down. And after reaching Signal de Botrange we ride back down to our campsite where a Belgium beer and a good meal is served to us at the on sight restaurant. A perfect ending to a great ride.
Mountainbike route to Sankt Vith
Yesterday we rode to the North, today I have planned a ride to the South; to Sankt Vith. I noticed there’s a mountainbike route running directly from our campsite to this small town and we decide to take this route. It’s slow going, but we have such a great time; no traffic, no other human beings, just us, the hills and the forests.
We brought fresh croissants and baquettes for lunch and with no other sound than the wind and some birds we enjoy our lunch in one of the forests before we ride the final off road kilometers to Sankt Vith.
In Sankt Vith we have a cup of coffee before we find the Vennbahn route back to Malmedy and our campsite.
Even though this was a short get-away, we enjoyed it to the fullest. What’s next? I guess flying overseas is out of the question for now, so we are staying in Europe this year. We plan to leave somewhere in September, maybe Germany, maybe Norway, maybe France… 😉 I guess, it will be a place where Covid can’t find us!