A pleasant 7.5 km circular walk in the neighbourhood of Doiceau, Brabant Wallon province.
Last Saturday, the morning dawned grey and cloudy, but the chirpy Belgian weather-lady on the radio predicted a rolling away of the clouds. It was going to be blue skies galore! So I decided to delay my walk until the afternoon. I shouldn’t have been swayed by her optimistic chirping. By lunchtime she had changed her tune. The thick cloud cover was now here to stay. All day. Never mind, it was fresh air and exercise I craved, so off I set.
There were still a couple of walks around Grez-Doiceau that I hadn’t covered yet (the others I had walked here, here and here). One started from Grez-Doiceau itself; the other in the tiny hamlet of Doiceau. Thinking that Doiceau might be less grey than Grez-Doiceau, I chose the former. Below is the map of my walk around Doiceau and the PDF to download. You can get the GPX coordinates for your GPS device here.
The walk indicated on the map starts from Doiceau church; a rather plain building. The route isn’t marked, but heads along Chemin Des Crahauts and this beautifully covered wall, which definitely deserves a photo.
Beware though. If you are a pregnant lady wearing a ball gown and riding a 1930s motorcycle, this route is not for you:
I hadn’t gone far when I came across a loaded chestnut tree:
that had conveniently dropped its harvest right in front of me:
They looked so good – and I love baked chestnuts – so I couldn’t resist filling my bag:
With a heavier bag, and fingers well pricked but not bleeding, I walked on, looking forward to eating them later. (I’ll tell you how I got on with baking them, later in the blog.)
The locals who live here are obviously a sporty lot, at least if you are a golfy, tennissy, horsey sort of person:
But what is this, I wonder, parked in the golf club car park?
I guess it’s a revamped funeral hearse, with a cosy “lieing down” area in the back? Or is it still used as a hearse? If anyone knows, do drop me a line.
The walk follows a pleasant, rural route along sides of fields and through woodlands.
The hedgerows this year seem to have a good harvest of sloes:
I didn’t pick any, but this is a good place to go if you like to make home-made sloe gin or sloe jelly.
But I know what you are thinking. How did I get on with cooking the chestnuts? Well, I ended up with 1.4 kilograms of the most delicious looking chestnuts. I was so looking forward to baking and eating them. They would bring back memories of an autumn spent working in Basel when the city centre was full of chestnut vendors cooking and selling little bags of hot chestnuts.
I prepared them and slipped them into the oven and went back to my study to do some work. Unfortunately I got so involved with the work it that I forgot all about the chestnuts! The result was that they had overcooked, dried out and even melted into their shells in some kind of chestnut concrete paste. I couldn’t even get them out of their shells. The whole day long there was a smell of burnt chestnuts throughout the house!
Maybe I should have called the owner of the pink hearse to give them a proper burial.
Better luck next time perhaps!