I think I mentioned last week that some of the hikes organised by the University Hiking Group don't allow for meet-ups at noon and so you're either in for the long haul (25km) or you don't go... Well turns out my second weekend in Liège was going to be one those, and quite frankly after the aches of the previous week and worried about my ankle I wasn't up to trying a 25k hike on my second trip out! Fortunately for me some other people in the group felt more like a half day hike as well, so a friend (the one who got me mixed up with this group in the first place!) and I joined them on Saturday Sept 25th for a hike organised by the Fédération Francophone Belge des Marches Populaires (FFBMP for short). I hadn't heard about this organisation before, but I think it's fabulous! Each Saturday and Sunday they choose a couple of spots where they programme circular hikes of varying distances (usually 5-10-15-25-50 km) and mark the paths with colourful bowties or arrows so that they're easy to spot and follow (and you don't need to be an expert with maps and following complicated GR trails). You go alone, with friends, in a group... at your own rythm! There's a rallying point where you start and finish in a local school where they serve food (grilled sausages) and drink, and there are a couple other "rest stops" along the way where they also have drinks available.
So Isa, a University hiker with two dogs, e-mailed several people telling them she was going on one of those hikes in Creppe (région de Spa) instead of the big Sunday hike and who wanted to join her? Well 4 of us did and we had a lovely afternoon of it! Not as challenging as the University hike for sure, but was nice to get some km under my feet (we went a bit too leisurely and ended up doing the 10km circuit instead of the 15km as planned 'cause we were running out of time). Had a bit of rain (not too bad for Belgium) and mostly had to deal with a lot of MUD! :p
So ready to join me on another hike? Here we go! ;o)
We started out by getting the necessary info at the local school in Creppe, and playing around (i.e. scratching, feeding grass) with a couple of donkeys who were very curious about all the goings-on:
In Belgium people are really considerate when it comes to the 4-legged companions of its 2-legged inhabitants, they're welcome many places and in this case at the rallying point for the hike they even had their own "bar"!
So off we go...
...across the fields...
...and through the woods...
...guided by these signs indicating we were on the right track:
Green forests with golden leaves at the base and streams running through them, what's not to love?! ;o)
Oh yeah, this:
There were plenty of funky mushrooms again:
Even those from a Tintin comic!
And at a crossroads we came across a hunting blind:
This chateau off in the distance was like castles in the air:
As if the frequent mud wasn't enough to complicate things, we even got some rain! Fortunately not much and not for long... but long enough so that when it stopped there were drops still in the air creating wonderful lighting situations within the trees...
Pity the image doesn't quite do the magic of the moment justice!
Our nature guide was once again instructing us in the art and nature of mushrooms, particularly what to do with the edible ones! lol!
Although these would have made one very BIG omelette, they're just a tad bit too old... :p
I'm still amazed by the details within the moss and trees and bushes... like these flowers:
While others just took a few moments to bask in the sun when it reappeared from behind the clouds:
And then it was off again trekking through the mud...
You should have seen my calves at the end of the hike, no longer black but brown!!!
Ahhhh... all hail the sun!!!
These two snuggling donkeys were adorable:
Liège is somewhere off in the distance, underneath a storm cloud!
Was a good day to get out of the city, apparently it got quite a bit more rain than where we were!
Home again, home again, jiggety-jig... back at the beginning with the donkeys:
Short (10km) but sweet! :o)