Sunday, 9 March 2014

Adventures in Dijleland

I'm not sure who came up with the word "adventure" to describe the country walks that Gianluca and I have started to do, usually during the weekend.

It was my idea, about a year ago, that we would start to go for country walks, following planned paths marked on a map with numbered points between the many different paths. It's organised by the Flemish Brabant tourism service. The directions are provided along the paths on little signposts with numbered arrows. There are more than 600 points spread out over a lovely region consisting of farms, forests, rivers, lakes, castles, country houses... the region is called Zuid (South) Dijleland. It's the southern part of the region surrounding the river Dijle, in Flanders, Belgium.

True to character, Gianluca had insisted that we start from number 1 and work our way up to the last one. The problem was that, at the rate we were going for our walks, once every month or so, I didn't have enough time left to live to be able to do all the numbers... This was during a walk that started in Huldenberg (picture above). So we decided to hurry up a bit, and now we're normally doing one walk every weekend. A quick calculation confirmed that I have a good chance of still being alive by the time we reach number 600 and something.

This was about 3 months ago. Since then we've come to look forward to and enjoy these "adventures" tremendously. The scenery is beautiful and peaceful, mostly away from traffic, we get to exercise our legs, we're discovering the region and along the way, which for each walk is normally about 5 km long, we discuss a wide variety of subjects, ranging from the different colours of leaves, to life expectancy from one generation to the next, to Adam and Eve and the theory of evolution, to my most preferred job if all different jobs were to be paid the same, and many other topics. It becomes quite philosophical on occasion.

One such discussion gave rise to this blog. Gianluca suggested that I keep a journal of these adventures. I liked the idea and suggested that he should keep one himself too. We agreed that we would both write our own version for each walk, and record them on a blog. I hope the comparison will prove interesting!

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