27 Jul 2013

The Ardennes, a Hot Place for Romance

A trip report of a July hike along the GR 577, from Marche-en-Famenne to Wellin
July 19 - July 21

I would like to share some photos with you of my latest trip to the Ardennes with my girlfriend. We went there to celebrate that we've been together for 5 years. So that's the romantic part ;)
It was mostly around or over 30° C which makes it a hot place but an ideal preperation for the GR 20 later on this summer.

Day 2 morning

The GR 577

We did a good 30 km, it was an at ease trip and we arrived much sooner in Wellin than expected.

The part we walked. © Trekkings.be

Our Trip, Day 1

We arrived around 18:30 in Marche-en-Famenne. It took us roughly 4 hours by train.
We quickly passed Marche-en-Famenne and headed out to the nature. We enjoyed great views already in the first kilometers.

Laufbursche Huckepack
The Huckepack I took with

I later on changed the poles and put them IN the mesh pockets. Thank you dear girlfriend for pointing this out to me.

We walked on after Humain the first day and camped on a beautiful spot.

Camping day 1

We had some beers, it was still a celebration you know ;). Plus how perfect could it be: warm, no bugs, and this view!

Palm and Trailrunners

Sarah & Sam
Writing with a Petzl, a favourite pastime I see on many blogs

Day 2

We woke up quite early because of the sunlight and we hadn't slept all that thight. It was a lovely morning and the sun was already warming us up.
We ate our lovely Tourbread (thank you den_dzjow) and got our gear together.
I passad a monastery and asked a friar if I could refill our water supplies.

We later on passed the town of Rochefort where we drank some iced tea's (it was hot!) and I cleaned the cooking pot.

Cave outside Rochefort
Could've been a good hangout spot.

We picknicked in the shadow around noon and went further on. The heat was making this day a bit hard but the occasional path in the cooler forest was much appreciated.

Too hot for long pants
Shortpants friendliness

But most of the trail was out in the open and passed trails like the one above. You'd have to be constantly looking out for thorns and nettles.

In the heat of the afternoon we arrived at Han, famous for it's caves. We enjoyed cold drinks and fries (one needs the salt, no?) under the awnings of the terrace.

Ice Tea in Han

Drying socks on the Huckepack
Sweaty socks dry quicly on a Huckepack

We hoped it had gotten a bit cooler when we left but the sun was still burning so the caps and piz buin came out once more.

We left Han and soon came out on an asphalt road. It was so serene: no sound, cows eating slowly and a stale blue sky. A bit later we were sweating like we had never sweat before on a firm climb up a forest road.
At 19:00 you'd think it would cool down a bit but nope

Luckily the view was enormous.

View GR 577

Which was an excellent spot to take the best picture of the trip:

L'amour dans les Ardennes
L'amour dans les Ardennes

Who goes up, must go down. And in the Ardennes, not seldom this goes via a rocky path. 

rocky road

We found a camping spot quite late, it was after eight I believe. Just outside Resteigne, next to a river.
We ate couscous with curry and corn and dampness was settling in while we gazed at stars and clouds.

Day 3

Rising after a better nights sleep with once again the sun. Despite that it was a cooler morning. I could wear my windjacket for at least half an hour.

Story of the Mornign glory

The Tarptent was quite wet, as was our gear.
The hot morning had some very nice views but soon enough we were getting near Wellin.

panorama Wellin

We marched on, realising we'd arrive way ahead of schedule. I estimated we'd be there around 17:00 but in fact at 10:00 we were already sat on a terrace. No fries though. At 11 o'clock we took the bus to Jemelle train station and got home around 15:00, just in time to see our new king ;).

Hope you enjoyed reading it!

I do have one more question

Since it was so hot on this trip, I didn't really liked the way my shorts felt. What are your opinions on wearing a running short (above knee, but not too high) for the GR 20? 
And if anyone knows a breathier option than polyester briefs I'd be very happy to hear.


  1. Love the TR Sam!

    I know a lot of folks wear running shorts for hiking (I too) and it is just fine if the weather is HOT or you're going fast (or both).

    No briefs (if using a running short) or merino boxers.

    1. Thanks for stopping by, Hendrik!
      Your tips are much appreciated :)

      Kind regards

  2. Hi!
    My name is Amy and I'm with Dwellable.
    I was looking for fun and authentic posts about the Ardennes to share on our travel site, when I came across your blog...If you're open to it, shoot me an email at amy(at)dwellable(dot)com.
    Hope to hear from you soon!