Tuesday 11 September 2018

Namur to Waterloo in a headwind.

Darren had booked us in to a room at a huge, rather tired looking Casino right on the waterfront in Namur, although our very nice room looked out over the trees behind.

In the evening we went out in the town for a drink and dinner, and I chose the venue - Charles and the Fries. 
It turned out to be an expensive sort of McDonald's, but the food was tasty and a good fun place. 

Today we set off for Waterloo, home of the battle of 1815 between the Duke of Wellington and Napoleon. 
We expected an easy day as it was only 65 kilometres and we have done much more on this journey. 
Unfortunately, we hadn't factored in the wind blowing strongly from the west. We were heading north west and often we rode straight into a gale, making for really hard pedalling. 
Quite a lot of the time we were riding across it, and it was like riding a sailing boat across the sea. We had to stay upright and tack and jibe with the wind. 
Very occasionally and brilliantly the wind got behind us and we were pushed along, hardly having to pedal. 
Eventually, feeling quite exhausted we arrived at the Lion's Mound at Waterloo. This is the monument to the victory over Napoleon and to commemorate the 13,000 soldiers from all over Europe who died fighting in the battle, not to mention the 35,000 who were injured. 

Close up it is a huge mound of earth and there are over 200 steps to the top. From the top you can see the huge area over which the battle took place, but we stayed at ground level and admired the lion from a distance. 

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