We left our nice roadside parking space fairly early and picked a campground southwest back in Belgium.
We drove for a bit along the huge Canal Albert, which is about 80 miles long and connects the city of Antwerp on the north coast with the city of Liege.
Reaching the village of Oteppe we found that the campground was huge, with hundreds of cabins and very few campervans. There are many things catering to kids, including a swimming pool with water slides, sports courts and a large area with playground equipment.
Luckily our spot was well away from the noise of screaming children, although also far from the washrooms and showers. As soon as we were settled I headed up for a shower and could barely finish – it was scalding hot with no control other than on or off. I considered leaving the shampoo in my hair rather than being boiled alive, but instead kind of splashed water from my hands and hoped I ended up rinsed enough. I always thought very cold showers were awful, but at least they weren’t dangerous.
We went for a walk through the forest next to the campground but were unable to find the ‘fish pounds’ that were shown on the map we’d been given. We did find yet another large playground area but skirted it in favour of returning to the campervan.
The campground does have wi-fi but the signal was crappy so I couldn’t load any photos or post anything, although I was able to email home.
We didn’t stick around long the next morning but made the short drive to Huy for groceries, then followed tomorrow’s race route backwards to choose our watching spot. There is a 29 km loop at the end of the race that they’ll cover twice and it has three difficult climbs.
We followed the loop part way around but turned back to the town of Marchin as we’d seen a perfect place and the town is at the top of a small hill. There’s a large church in front of a nice grassy area that has a war memorial, a gazebo, and lots of parking. There were already 3 campervans there so we were pretty sure it would be ok.
After a nice lunch outside with the table and chairs set up on the grass we went for a walk to see if there was a cafe or something in the town – couldn’t find anything open so returned. The town itself is, as usual in Belgium, very neat and tidy – the houses and yards are all well kept and the few businesses seem prosperous and not all derelict or abandoned.
You can catch a glimpse of the valley below between the houses and other buildings – they must have fantastic views from their back yards.