La Vallée de la Hoëgne (Hockai, België)

Let’s do a throwback to one of the hikes Bert, Stefan and I did this autumn. A couple of weeks ago was the best time for fall foliage in the high fens. So about time that we went back to a place we visited before. The first time we went here, it was raining all day. We can take a couple of raindrops but our cameras can’t. Also this time, it was raining but luckily we were able to shoot some pictures in between the raindrops. I was very skeptic about the result but I must say that I really like photographing these kinds of things. It’s because I like water and sometimes you have to put the tripod in the river and look for a stable position yourself. I like to get my feet wet.

but let’s take a look at the result of this nice hike.

 

 

 

Underground Landscapes

It’s underground season so you can expect more underground landscapes or throwbacks to the autumn trips I still haven’t processed. The pictures in this post are from an underground quarry we explored recently.

In 1922 the local authority got the permit to start the quarrying and in 1976 an organisation got a permit to use the quarry for mushroom-growing so this means that it is a pretty young quarry and it also looks like that.

This quarry is perfect for bats, they hang on the ceiling everywhere so walking through this quarry has to be done with caution since they sometimes hang a couple of decimetres above your head. I found one very big one, but I don’t know what kind it is.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wild camping @ Les Hautes Fagnes

We’re coming close to autumn and that means colors everywhere! The autumn officially starts on the 21st of September but a lot of trees are already coloring red, orange and brown and leafs are already to be found on the ground. So Stefan, Bert and I went to a different region of the Ardennes this time, the area around the high fens. There are some beautiful spots over there.

This weekend, we started off in Monschau, to take some photographs at the blue hour. It’s a very picturesque town with a lot of nice buildings. They call it the pearl of the Eifel region. The Rur, the river you can also see on the photographs, cuts the little town in half. I definitely need to go back to check out all the views and the castle during the day.

 

 

Afterwards Bert drove us to a parking lot we found which was perfect for a wild camping night. When we tried to sleep, I heard some animals around the tent. Nothing happened but it was nice and surprising to hear.

 

I was already awake very early the next morning so I went exploring the neighbourhood for a small hour and I walked next to the little river close by.. When I started my morning walk it was still muddy, cold and cloudy but after some time the sun cut through the clouds and it really felt like autumn.

 

 

When Bert and Stefan were ready to go, we went for a hike. Along the way we passed what appeared to be the highest point of Belgium, ‘Le signal de Botrange’. It’s said to be 694 meters high but it didn’t feel like this at all, but still nice to drop by. Just to see and to check off the checklist.

 

 

 

We walked through the valley of La Statte following the Hoëgne and passed Les rocher de Bilisse. The platforms and trails led us to the Cascade the Nutons. I am pleasantly surprised with the results I found on my camera. After having some fun with the foam that pilled up on the riverbanks we decided to hike back, eat something and return home again.

 

 

Camping @ Bouillon

We can’t get enough of the camping life so we hit the road again this weekend. The weather forecast was bad for the weekend and it already started raining on Friday evening when we left and hit the road to Bouillon. It was storming and Bert had a hard time driving the van through the rain. Since it’s getting dark very early already, we arrived to our feeling pretty late, but it was only around 21h. This time, we went for a real camping, so the only thing we had to do was searching for a good spot for a van and a tent, after 1 round around the camping we found a spot somewhere not that far from the river. It was raining the whole evening, night and even in the morning but luckily not that hard anymore.

We got ready and so we left for the first spot to prepare some food.

We took a small hike to the Bevéldère de Bouillon. Along the trail there were some blackberries and the trial had a really nice texture at some point. I regret not taking a photograph of it. Once at the top we got a stunning view over bouillon. It was a magical moment when it started raining over bouillon. The sun break through the clouds and the fog rose out of the woods. There was a little bit of hope for a rainbow but that didn’t happen.

Afterwards, we visited bouillon and the castle itself. It was a nice walk since the sun warmed us.

In the evening we continued our visit in Bouillon to create some photographs during the blue hour.

On Sunday we went on a trip along the Semois river, we started driving back and had some views to check out. Bert had already seen them and I was happy Stefan and I also got the chance to see them since they were very nice! We switched to parking life and started off with a view in Botassart, Le tombeau du Géant.

The next stop was Le point de vue sur Frahan.

The last stop was in Bohan

We even tried to do some urban exploring which I haven’t done since a very long time. But unfortunately, it was a no-go.

Back to Kanne again and finished our trip at the usual snack bar.

Hiking and Mining @ Ardennes

Another camping trip, it’s been some weeks and I was already missing the wild camping life, so it was about time that we went on the road again. Me and Mariska joined Bert in the van and as always we started in Kanne and went on south to the Ardennes. We drove to the place where we met Thomas and Yves and we all got ready to hike. I underestimated the hike a bit but it was awesome though. We visited a really nice slate-mine. Slate is very dark and consists out of thin layers of minerals and it is often used as roofing.

We continued the hike to search for another entrance but couldn’t find it and returned back down. Although we all were exhausted, the hike was really nice with some really good views and some parts of the woods were overgrown with moss, it was really nice and also a very good suspension for our knees and ankles. We had another idea to try the day after so the next challenge was to search for a spot to put our tents. After some driving, we found a spot in the woods far enough from houses and dense enough to keep our noise down. We enjoyed the evening with a really nice campfire, cooked some food and had a good night sleep after. As always I got cold in the middle of the night but a quick walk through the woods helped getting back to sleep and staying warm for the rest of the night.

 

 

 

We continued the next day and went on to conquer the big hill again to find the next entrance. A slight bigger mine with a shaft filled with water that must have gone at least 20 to 30 meters down. The tricky part of navigating through these mines is that slate can become very slippery if it gets wet and since you focus on putting your feet stable on the ground, you don’t watch your head enough and so head-bumps happened very often. It was really beautiful when somebody shines some light in the shaft, it was very clear and blue.

 

 

 

 

 

 

After taking pictures and finding our way back outside we were very satisfied and enjoyed the view a little while.

A great weekend with a lot of laughs, head-bumps and a lot of slips of tongue. Can’t wait for the next one already!