Microadventure: Hiking in the Belgian Ardennes

My dad and I have a tradition. Every year in spring, we grab our backpack, a tent and we hike. We are doing this for years now and it is our father and son quality time. Our adventure time! I like this tradition and it is important to me. We have hiked in Scotland, Germany, France, Luxemburg but most of the time we hike in the Belgian Ardennes. It is not far from Holland, there are hills and it is a beautiful area. The people are friendly, the villages idyllic and the beer tastes awesome. It is only a 3,5 hour drive for us but it feels like a whole different world. You do not always have to go far to find adventure.

Recently, it was time for one of our microadventures again. My uncle and nephew joined us and the plan was a 2 day hike in the area around the town La Roche en Ardenne. It is a lovely town in the middle of the Ardennes and the landscape is wonderful. It is green and lush with a mix of forest and farmland. The perfect ingredients for a great weekend. Although these trips are relatively short, they are an excellent way to recharge ourselves and to make the most of our weekend. We might walk like old men at the end of the weekend, we definitely veel revived! I can only encourage you to go on a microadventure as well. To give you an idea, I will show you what it is like.

After an early wake up and a sleepy 3,5 hour drive, we arrived at the small village Champlon, our starting point. In front of the small church, we had a nice hot cup of coffee and with a cloudy sky above us, we started our journey. Soon we left the last houses of Champlon to be surrounded by a hills, farmland and forests in the distance.

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The fresh air woke us up and gave us energy. It was a great feeling to walk free in nature with no other goals than to enjoy ourselves and to reach La Roche, where we would spend the night. After a while, the wheat and grass fields changed into forest and we crossed beautiful valleys, full of flowering foxgloves.

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Of course there was time for the occasional break to give our legs some rest, to eat some powerfood and to marvel the views. The colorful flowers at the edge of the wheat fields were a nice contrast against the grey skies.

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Further on our way, we passed small idyllic villages where people live peaceful lifes and time seems to has no effect.

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At the end of the afternoon, we saw the first signs of La Roche with its old castle in the valley beneath us. We made it! Of course, as a small celebration, we tried one of the delicious Belgian beers first and after, we pitched our tents on a neat campsite along the ancient river the Ourthe. Later that evening we went out for pizza and I can tell you, it tasted as good as it looks.

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The next morning we woke up early and after a good breakfast at one of the bakeries, we continued our journey. The morning started foggy but soon, the sky opened up which provided us with spectacular views.

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In one part of the forest we spotted multiple giant anthills, almost as tall as a human. It is the first time I have seen them that big.

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The rest of the journey treated us with many more great landscapes. We saw farmers working on their lands, cows grazing in green grassy fields and a proud lonely oak, surviving where no other tree did.

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At the end of the journey we felt proud too. Proud of the fact that we all did well and that we gave ourselves a great experience. I absolutely love these microadventures. They cost little but give so much in return.

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Thanks guys!

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