16 km hike around Orp-Jauche
A pleasant walk around Orp-Jauche. It takes in country lanes and crosses the fields of Walloon Brabant. And passes through four villages on the way.
I followed this route in early Spring this year. It starts in the village of Jauche and passes through Jandrain, Petit-Hallet and Orp-Jauche before returning to Jauche.
Starting (and finishing) point
If you are arriving by car, there’s plenty of free parking space along Rue de la Gare. If you plan to get to Jauche by public transport, it isn’t easy, particularly at the weekend.
giving your departure point and timeframe and I’ll see if I can help find a solution. Drop me a line
Here’s a photo story of my Orp-Jauche walk. The route map is at the end of the post.
First stop: Eglise Saint-Martin, Jauche. Fasten your seatbelts: there’s a lot of churches ahead! Never heard of Saint Martin? He was born in the 4th century in what is now western Hungary and became Bishop of Tours, France. He is said to have introduced the church’s now familiar parochial system.
Just around the corner is the Bailiff’s House. Did the Bailiff have so much work to do in the area to justify such a house? Apparently so.
Then it’s through a pleasant little village park …
… and out of the village onto the Avenue Rodolphe Gossia, which is actually part of the Ravel. The Ravel is a wonderful network of cycle paths extending through much of Wallonia. Mind you, today it was deserted of cyclists and I had the path to myself.
The view back into the village of Jauche. The main industry of the area is agriculture. Jauche is one of seven villages making up the municipality of Orp-Jauche, which has a population of 8,400 spread out over an area of 50 square kilometres.
Empty crates waiting to be filled with apples and pears from the surrounding orchards in the autumn. From here it’s a short walk to the next village: Jandrain.
How innovative! Saint Peter’s church in Jandrain is powered by renewable energy thanks to a wind turbine mounted on its tower! Just kidding. It actually took me ages to get this picture to create the right illusion. There’s quite a distance between the church and the wind turbines on the hills beyond it.
What’s this looming up ahead in the distance? Another church? A castle? I was curious, so made a slight diversion to check it out.
It’s some kind of water tower or water reservoir. Although I don’t understand why it has windows. Perhaps the water tank is inside it, and the windows are to give light onto a spiral staircase around the tank and up to the roof?
Looking back along the path travelled gave an outstanding view over the fields and orchards of the area.
Next stop is the village of Petit Hallet, which is definitely petit, consisting of a few houses …
… a large farmhouse …
… a church of course! (And also named after Saint Martin; he is certainly a popular saint in this region) ….
… and a sleepy cat keeping an eye on potential avian visitors to this novel collection of bird-houses.
Then it’s time to hit the open fields again. I was certainly blessed with a beautiful day with a gorgeous blue sky.
I also came across this neat little duck-house. But no ducks.
What I did come across was some Coltsfoot. This is one of the first wild flowers to appear in Spring, sometimes even in January. It’s also rather unusual in that the flowers appear well before its leaves.
And then rounding a bend I came across some more early bloomers: a stunning carpet of snowdrops.
A welcome sight after the dark winter, and a happy anticipation of warmer days to come.
I’ve been trying to work out which Henri Fontaine this stream is named after. There’s a Henri Fontaine who was a French Catholic missionary, and a Henri La Fontaine who was a Belgian lawyer who received the Nobel Peace Prize. Does anyone know for certain?
And here’s another puzzle. I came across this sign, which I just could not decipher. I’m not sure if it’s someone’s initials, or is that a horseshoe? Again, anyone who can shed a bit of light on it, please let me know.
The walk then led back to my starting point alongside a wood that was just beginning to burst into life.
And of course there was another church, this one in Orp-Jauche. Saint Martin seems to be very popular in this village too, which is also clearly a very religious village. It has not one, nor two, but three churches – and two of them are called Saint Martin’s!
All that remained was the trek back to my starting point in Jauche under that gorgeous blue sky. Plenty of time for thankful reflection on how good it is to be alive and healthy and able to enjoy the scenery, the fresh air, the peace, and the beauty of nature.
All in all, this is a very pleasant walk. Here’s an overview map of my walk:
Any comments or questions on this route, feel free to add a comment below,
or drop me a line via the email me page: especially with your answers to my two questions (Henri Fontaine and the strange picture). Contact