Started off early from Maastricht and got to Leige before 10am. Was going to find a bar with 900 beers, but after seeing the pure novelty factor of it and I could not find anywhere to put my luggage, went straight onto Jemelle. Some of the things I noted on my 2 hours on trains today was finally seeing hills and valleys in the landscape, and seeing little villages tucked into them, with green hills of sheep reminding me a bit of Ireland. Seeing people in these villages getting on with simple tasks like chopping firewood. People camping beside the river, and on a farm seeing calves having their own little tents each. Old growth pines on the slopes of the hills behind Sy.
Was a very relaxing journey, but was ruined when I made it to Jemelle and had trouble finding things/information. Ended up leaving my main pack at the station and walking from there to the town of Rochefort where the make my favourite trappist beer. Language barrier even harder to bridge today with the person in the information centre being pretty short with me (probably as she doesn’t know much English. Still, I don’t know any French, so am happy to have received anything from our encounter) and then finding a place to stay for tonight and having a mainly body language conversation with the man at the desk to get it done. Then continued walking to see if I could find the abbey they make the beer in. You can’t drink the beer there but I guess was part of the pilgrimage, so even though I am not sure I even found it, it was interesting to search for even if I am a little disappointed.
So it is now 5pm, and resting a little in my room before I get a rochefort in me and have an early night. A few hours training around and then another few hours walking from the station and looking for the abbey have taken it out of me. Still, will make up for it this weekend, when I go back to Brugge for my second beer festival in two weekends. They have aged rochefort and Westvleteren 12, which I found from the beer book the owner of the Rembrandt in Tongeren let me look at is an abt beer that looks really interesting to me. So I am letting go of seeing more of Belgium to try more different beers. But at least get to be in one place for more than 24 hours and not have to waste time on trains.Anyway, now I feel a bit better after resting from the walk, will try and get a beer or two before it gets to 6pm…So I did get the beer by 6 (so not the latest I had had my first beer of the day in Belgium), at La Rochefortoise, which I sense some british in it like yesterday, and not just from the bristish songs they were playing. Is a bit strange hearing british music in a heavy French speaking area. Still they had Guinness, and I nearly though of doing what I did last night, but thought better of it after having the Rochefort 10. It was served with cheese, which was good as have done a bit of a monk thing today with me not eating since breakfast, so doing the beer nourishment thing for the day. 4 Euro for a Rochefort 10 experience, a bargain at half the price, but in this case, even double. Was yawning before I even finished it.