A to Z of Belgium || Hiking in Furfooz Nature Reserve

We’re making progress! We’ve made it up to F in this A to Z business. We’re getting there! Not by the end of the year, but we’re getting there all the same. Why rush the adventures, that’s what I keep telling myself. Sounds so much better than you suck at this.

F was a tough one! The options were pretty limited, and at first we were going to head to the Flanders Fields near Ieper (Ypres) and visit the Commonwealth cemeteries from the War and go for a bit of a walk, but we didn’t really fancy that. History not really being our thing and all that. So we did some late night internet trawling, on Friday night – we are nothing but organised here – and the next thing, we were up and on the train to Furfooz Nature Reserve down near Dinant in Wallonia. If we’d had known this, we probably would have combined this little hike with our trip to Dinant for D, oh well.

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You’ll probably be shocked to hear, but we didn’t take our bikes! Shocked-face emoji, or something. I just fancied a hike and since the reserve was so close to the train station, there was no need for the bikes. And, for a change, things went nicely to plan. We got all the right trains, we only had to walk 2/3km from the train station to get to the park, spent a few hours following the trail, walked back to the station and even managed to be home a little earlier than planned as we made a different train. It was all jolly good.

What we didn’t know was that Furfooz is a kayaking hot spot. There were many, many people kayaking down the river but hardly any one going for a walk. That just means more peace and quiet for me!

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The walk to the park was nice and easy, straight down the river’s edge. It only got difficult when we decided to take a different route up the hill to check out a cave we could see. This was completely unnecessary as the route would have taken us that way had we just continued on. But what’s a hike without crawling up an incredibly steep hill with shoes that are absolutely not suitable. I don’t know.

Entrance to the park was €4 each, which seemed reasonable, and given how much my legs ached the next day, I think I got my monies worth. Although most of the ache was more than likely down to not having good hiking boots (there were a lot of steps and rocks to walk over). I will definitely be investing in a good pair of boots some time in the future!

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I wish I had a little more to say about our day out, but there wasn’t much else. A lot of walking, a lot of stair climbing and a few caves to see.

Actually the caves were the best part, I’ve not seen any before and although these weren’t huge, they were big enough for you to go inside and at least be in a cave. That was cool. We even spied the odd bat here and there too! Extra cool!

I wish my photos could do justice to the scale of them. I think the one with Kris in the photo does the best job of that, but the fourth photo of that section above was a massive cave, that went downwards from the path, but I couldn’t get myself in a position where I could capture the whole thing in a photos. Sigh. It would have been nice to have gone down to the mouth of the cave, but it was far too steep and the big stop sign sort of said otherwise.

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What else did we see? Old roman baths, although not as old as they technically were, there were more of a replica. That’s the little building in the photos up there. Many kayaks, I already mentioned that. Some gorgeous views, see the photos just up there! Where you can see the train line, that’s where we started the day.

Also, those two insects (the last photos in the second set), I’m curious to know what they are. I haven’t looked it up yet, so I’m going to leave this post here and consult Mr. Google.

A good day indeed. Any advice for the purchasing of hiking boots? It’s not something I’ve looked into much at the moment, so I’d like to hear other people’s thoughts on that. If you have any that is! Happy Monday! 

Linking up with Van, Marcella, Lauren and Isabel for Wanderful Wednesday.

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