Travel Through Belgium on a Harley-Davidson

By Peter & Kay Forwood

Belgium on a Harley (17/4/09 - 19/4/09)
Distance 248 km (525563 km to 525811 km)

This is part of the fifteenth section of our around the world trip.
Complete Trip Overview & Map

Coming from the Netherlands or read our previous visit to Belgium

17/4/09 It was just a short distance, a couple of hundred km's to the Tesch Rally in Belgium, and we had planned to spend the day in Maastricht, but a late start saying goodbye to Sjaak and his parents, and increasing rain along the way, had us on the freeway, hoping to arrive at the rally before we were drenched. There are hardly any borders in Europe these days, just a small sign indicating a change of country, and perhaps a difference in road quality, and stopping to warm up in Malmedy at a small frites (chip) shop, the language had changed from Dutch to French, without us noticing. There were already more than fifty tents set up at the rally grounds, in a fast becoming muddy field, the river crossing already too deep for most motorcycles, almost everyone was using the narrow pedestrian bridge to cross. We had been at the Tesch Rally eleven years ago, in 1998, it had then been the 20th motorcycle rally Bernd had organised and this years was now his 31st, or if you included his mixed carGetting a warm welcome from Bernd at his rally and motorcycle rallies it was his 51st. For us in 1998 it was our first true overland motorcycle rally and we were pleased that we could again arrive here with our peers, other world motorcycle travellers. Bernd welcomed us with his traditional bear hug and hand shake, a beer rapidly followed, old friends from eleven years previously. More tents arrived, more rain fell, more mud was churned up, and we thought again this was a true Tesch rally, Mud, Slush and Beer, a rally to show how life on the road can be, not always perfect, but always enjoyable. The large log fire in the evening was a true bonus, drying us out, keeping us warm and bringing the group together.

18/4/09 The rain and difficult economic times had kept away a few riders, but there were the regular travellers we had met here on our last visit. Glynn Roberts had again ridden over from England with a few of his mates, Werner Zwick brought us morning baguettes, and there were also a few familiar faces without names, plus Dafne de Jong who I had met on the road in Kazakhstan. The rain had cleared overnight but had left motorcyclists with wet gloves, boots and gear which many dried by theDrying wet motorcycle gear around the fire rekindled morning fire. Bernd had asked Kay and I to do a slide show of our trip, 13 years, condensed to half an hour. We had never done a presentation for over 250 people, and had only done two other slide shows in the whole time of our travelling, so it was with a bit of apprehension we waited our turn, following two other excellent presentations. Our talk seemed to be well received, I guess we had plenty of material to choose from. Then it was a mass ride back from the slide show venue to the campground, about 40 km's, and as we approached the river crossing, now a little lower, it seemed almost everyone was riding across, and with the momentum of the occasion we also crossed the river with the Harley. A couple of hundred motorcycles leaving and entering a farmers field through the small gateway had churned up the mud to a slippery quagmire and we, along with a number of other motorcyclists managed to go down. This section of mud, now the focal point of the afternoons entertainment, there was a considerable audience, more than we are used to on the lonely stretches of the world, where we have often dropped the motorcycle. Another fire, good food, good company, and with better weather, the evening moved towards morning before many were in their tents.       

The start of our slide show at the Tesch Treffen19/4/09 Some motorcyclists had over 700 km's to ride and were packing up early. Those closer to home helped return the campground to a field, and again riding across the river, this time just to clean the mud off our motorcycle, we joined Bernd and Patti for their regular end of rally coffee breakfast with a few other riders at a nearby tavern. 
 




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