Sunday, November 18, 2018


Excellent weather today and the weather charts predicted the East of Belgium completely cloudfree so it was off to the Ardennes one last time this year. Took our daughter with me, she loves the Hautes Fagnes (High Fens), Belgium's "roof", so it was quickly decided where to.

Some atmospheric shots.

And here are two pics our daughter took, with a Samsung Galaxy J5:

If you ever wanted to know what Outlaw Mike looks like, here it is:

With his trusted walking stick AD1985 or thereabouts, courtesy some Swiss forest near the Aletsch Glacier.

All photos taken on the southern leg of the walk Noir Flohay - Geitzbusch - Hill, a 15.7 kilometer circular walk with an appendix to Baraque Michel, where you can park your car. Baraque Michel is along the N68, about halfway between Eupen and Malmédy.

Since we walked counterclockwise and time did not permit doing the full walk (we started out hopelessly too late), we missed the northern leg which passes Noir Flohay, which reportedly offers the best panoramas. Don't matter. We'll do it next year, hopefully with the whole family. To get an idea of the walk, check out the following video. Double click for full screen and removing DowneastBlog's annoying banners and stuff, of course.

Video talks about the "High Fences". That's a lapsus of course, should be High Fens.



Reader timactual asked about the length of the wooden boardwalks and whether there were any restrictions as to where one could walk in these lands.

The High Fens are a National Park. The Department Nature and Woods imposes restrictions with regards to walking depending on the season, so as not to disturb several avian species, in particular grouse. This year e.g.:

A.) From 17 March to 15 June of this year walking on:

1) walkways 33 en 35 (B-zone) between Baraque Michel en Bouquet Bastin wasn't allowed
2) neither was walking in the C Zone of the Fagne Wallonne and the Fagne des Deux Séries
3) neither in the C zone and alongside the border of the Fagne de Cléfaye

B.) Additonally, from 15 June to 27 July:

Walking not allowed on walkways 4 and 5 (C zone) in the Fagne Wallonne (Drello) and on ways 19 en 21 (C zone) in the Fagne des Deux Séries (Brochepierre)

The boardwalks in the photos were the longest I ever encountered, some 6 kilometers before we turned back, with a couple of short interruptions where the land was dry. Because after all, the boardwalks are there for a reason. It's practically not doable to go cross country, since the bog is very wet. Yesterday, we made it as far as the northeastern tip of Grand Bongard. But it was almost 4.30 pm and I wanted to check out whether it was possible to make a shortcut across Grand Bongard instead of following the solid green line all around. The shortcut would have brought us to the point marked by the white on black flag to the right of no. 53. In this way, I thought, we could make it back in time AND still pas along Geitzbusch and Noir Flohay. However, after only thirty or forty meters I gave up. Required too much energy (you have to lift your feet to about knee level most of the time) and you're constantly treading in what the Germans would call 'Sumpf'. It's only normal that several streams have their source on this plateau (Helle, Statte, Hoëgne etc).

Anyway, we got back tail between legs along the same route (GR573). By the time we were back at Baraque Michel it was pitch dark.


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