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GR126 - day hike, 32km

For those who have an excess of calories due to the past weeks diet, here's a stage of the GR126. The starting point will be the city of Dinant and the trail will follow the valley of the river Lesse to the village of Houyet. You can find a report of the second half here: http://www.javaganu.net/wandelen/gr126/gr126_5.html in Dutch, but there are pictures). The first half is more "countrysidish", but there some nice spots too, like the rocks of Freyr.

Some facts

Difficulty: upper-intermediate

Distance: 32km

Walking time: 8 hours

Total elevation: ~850m

Kind of surfaces: unsurfaced (which means hardened mud with stones), mud, gravels, asphalt. With the combination of humidity and fallen leaves, it can be slippery.

Landscapes: Meuse and Lesse valleys, countryside, forests

Gear

Waterproof hiking shoes are necessary, and the necessary drinks, food and appropriate clothing to hold the day. A headlamp is necessary: the last 9km are in a forest (the one in the photos), with almost no access to roads as backup.

Transportation

- one return train ticket to Houyet (a Rail pass is better, or a shopping deal ticket: http://www.belgianrail.be/fr/titres-de-transport/billets/shopping-deal.aspx)

Schedule

Meetup at 8:10 at the Brussels-Luxembourg station. Arrival in Brussels around 19h40 if we walk fast, 21h40 otherwise.

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  • Chris

    A really beautiful hiking route, great weather; I had a great time although with the fast pace I was pretty tired and happy to take the train back to Dinant after 22km along with most of the group, even though it meant missing out on hiking through the forest after dark with our headlamps.

    January 13, 2014

    • Renaud

      Actually we didn't use the lamps. We arrived in Houyet when it becomes really necessary to use them ;)

      January 15, 2014

  • Ferran J. L.

    Thanks to Renaud for organizing this very nice hike. Varied landscape with stunning views, worth doing it again in a different season. The final stats reflect what I felt on my legs ;-), I would have done the same (without the 9 Km extra) but possibly a bit slower. In any event, a great hike.

    January 14, 2014

  • Joanna ₤.

    Oh, I really hope you'll do it again when it's a bit warmer.

    January 13, 2014

  • Renaud

    Congratulations to all of you, it was a tough one, but also one of the best ones, beautiful area, perfect weather and good company! Also, here are the stats: to the first station: distance: 25.8km, average speed: 4.2km/h (including stops), total ascent: 765m, total descent: 735m. And the extra done by the second group: distance: 9km, average speed: 5.4km/h, total ascent: 134m, total descent: 129m.

    1 · January 12, 2014

    • Pierre

      Thank you Renaud for this great hike - best one in Belgium so far - and thank you for the stats.

      January 13, 2014

  • Pierre

    Great hike. Best one so far!

    January 13, 2014

  • Klara F.

    Thank you, Renaud, for the opportunity to try out a longer hike. It was a beautiful one! I hope today I will get to clean all the mud from all my clothes;) A real success!!

    January 13, 2014

  • Anne-Lies Van Den E.

    Thanks for the great hike with amazing views! Cu

    January 12, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Beautiful area however I will look for shorter distances in the future.

    January 12, 2014

  • Luisa

    Just saw now that I can join the hike, unfortunately I did not expect this anymore and commited to different plans... what a shame. See you next time

    January 11, 2014

  • Maurits Lysander K.

    I'll be on the 8.06 train from Gare central to Dinant.

    January 11, 2014

  • Anne-Lies Van Den E.

    I will come on my own... So a place left!

    January 11, 2014

  • Emily B.

    Sorry, I made other plans thinking I wouldn't get a spot! I hope someone else can use it.

    January 10, 2014

  • Nathalie

    I already have to train with my Oxfam team tomorrow and I fear that two walks will be too many at this time of the year.
    Enjoy it

    January 10, 2014

  • Chris

    I've dropped out since I can't do two hikes on the same day and there's plenty of people still on the waitlist for this one.

    January 10, 2014

  • marsh

    I would be interested in joining if a spot opens up. Marsh

    January 10, 2014

  • Maurits Lysander K.

    Hi Renaud, my +1 had to cancel.

    January 10, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Sorry I can't come any more either - hope you have a good day.

    January 8, 2014

  • Petra

    Hi Renaud, hi everyone. Im sad to say that yet again I won´t make it this Sunday. Another trip off Belgium came up unexpectedly. I really hope to join you next time! Enjoy yourself!

    January 8, 2014

  • Dagmar

    Another happy one on the reserve list... sorry, but I won't be able to make it after all ;-( . Enjoy the hike, and I hope I'll be able to join you again next time!!

    January 8, 2014

  • Sophie

    I will take the alternative one. Enjoy the new year first Hiking.

    January 7, 2014

  • Dagmar

    Hi Renaud, I recently came across the SNCB Shopping Deal ticket: http://www.belgianrail.be/fr/titres-de-transport/billets/shopping-deal.aspx Unless I overlooked something in the conditions, I wonder whether this should not be a better (cheaper) ticket option than either RailPass or weekend ticket? Valid only during weekends in January (same-day return) and has to be booked online.

    January 7, 2014

    • Renaud

      I have to admit that I only looked at the timetables. I said that the Railpass is better because the distance is greater than 100km, but didn't looked for cheaper alternatives. So thanks to have mentioned it.

      January 7, 2014

  • Joanna ₤.

    Mmm, somebody on the waiting list will be very happy :) I am canceling because after last weekend walk I realized I'd better limit myself to 20 km sections until warmer days start again.

    January 7, 2014

  • Cristina

    Wow..sounds challenging :-). I need to practice a bit more, before venturing to this kind of hike ;-). True reason is I am not in Brussels, otherwise, crazy as I am, I would have come :D I already did a 13hrs hike in the mountains ... so I know I can survive it :D

    January 4, 2014

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