Sunday, 3 December 2017

Vaalbeek - adventure no. 117

Another adventure, another record. Today, we not only had the coldest adventure in adventure history, but also the only adventure that was under 0 degrees.

We started off with a sign saying 163 ahead. We couldn’t find where 117 was so we decided to do the picture at the end, not knowing that 117 was literally right behind where we parked.

117 was far away from 116 where there was forest but we still managed to end up in a forest even though it was a different forest.

Winter has started, was the first thing that came to my mind when I looked around. Most of the leaves were gone, the trees and the branches were brown or black, as if they were dead. The best thing about it though was that it was like we were in a sea of leaves. Their colour hadn’t completely turned brown so it was like the ground was made of leaves. Tonio thought it was all very grim. There were trees that were cut off and placed on the ground everywhere.

Towards the end we passed by a lake and at that point I thought that it was a mix of many adventures that we posted a long time ago. First I thought of it as the adventure where we had a cafe and Tonio told me about his profile picture and later on I thought it was the place where we found a toad. Both times we were at numbers we had already walked through so we had definitely been there before.

Finally, we walked back to the car (after taking a picture of the sign saying 117) and I sprinted the last bit as I always do, we went in the care and drove home... Did you enjoy our winter adventure? If you have, then there are many more coming soon so make sure to join us in our next adventure. Also take a look at Tonio’s blog called The Wanderer. But for now, I hope to see you next time in Adventures In Dijleland!


[by Tonio]:

There are two types of cold. There's the "fresh" type, which, even if the temperature is below zero is tolerable, I would hazard to say even enjoyable. The other type is cold and damp and penetrates deep into your body.

The latter is what we had in this weekend's adventure. In one fortnight since our last outing (the intervening weekend we went to Malta) autumn gave way most definitely to winter. I have to say, unless it's covered in snow the landscape is much less attractive in winter than the other seasons. So what would one expect, now that we're in winter and the landscape is not picturesque... but that the first picture I took today was when we had not even left the car at Vaalbeek, where we would start our walk.

We have just arrived, and the landscape shouts out loudly: it is now clearly winter time

At -1 degree Celsius, this was probably our coldest adventure yet even if you include Iceland. But apart from the cold, today's walk was mostly about the trees, in their vast majority without any leaves now. In the beginning I was rather upset to see the remains of several freshly sawn off trees that must have been over a hundred years old. Gianluca reassured me that for every chopped down tree it's now compulsory to plant a new one. In Iceland, according to him, they plant two new trees instead because they're trying to "greenify" their country. I'm not sure I agree with that. Their landscape is so unique, and beautiful, that covering it up with trees would spoil it somewhat.

As we went on, Gianluca pointed out various interesting trees, root formations, double trunked... there was even a triple trunked tree.

We walked fast today. Gianluca had his table-tennis training at 2 p.m. and the route was 5.6 km long. A vigorous pace might help warm us up a bit (it didn't) but, in particular, it would take us back to the warmth provided by the heater in the car.

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