Some hiking ideas in Picardy Wallonia, including a delightful and child-friendly walk starting from the village of Ellezelles
Picardy Wallonia is the name given to the area east of Brussels; a triangle located between Lille, Mons and Courtrai. The tourist board is keen to promote Picardy Wallonia as a really good area for cycling and walking, amongst other things. If you want some ideas of fixed walking routes in the area, go here. If you’re going to be on two wheels, go here.
I chose to make my own route from the hiking node network in a particular sub-area called the Pays de Collines (the hilly country). It includes the villages of Ellezelles, Flobecq, Frasnes-lez-Anvaing and Mont-de-l’Enclus. Observant readers with a good memory may remember that I’ve been walking in this area before: around Frasnes-lez-Anvaing.
THE WEIRD AND WONDERFUL!
Having designed my own 15 km walk, I drove to Ellezelles and parked in the village centre. Leaving the village I soon discovered that part of my route followed “La Sentier de l’Etrange” (The Weird Footpath). This is a 6-km walk featuring all sorts of strange and apparently mythical creations by Belgian folk art sculptor Jacques Vandewattyne, aka “Watkyne.”
I thought the walk and the sculptures was a great idea. Children in particular will I am sure enjoy going from one to the next. I could foresee some fun photos. Why not send me one and I would be happy to include it here?
THE REST OF THE WALK
On the whole, I enjoyed the route I had chosen. As you can see from the photos, the area is pleasant and slightly undulating, and certainly was attractive to walk through.
However, the route I had chosen wasn’t quite as good as it could have been. This is entirely my fault. I selected to walk on parts of the Ravel. This is a cycle path that follows the old railway line through the region. The Ravel is great for cyclists, but it’s of less interest to walkers as it’s dead straight and on asphalt. With a bit more thought I could have chosen parts of the walking node network that incorporate more footpaths over fields and through woods.
In the map you can see the (blue) route I took. I indicate where the Ravel is that you might want to avoid, and I suggest other areas that might be worth exploring instead.
You’ll notice that all my photos are 50 shades of grey. The weather forecast was for a cloudy, misty and fairly chilly early morning with a temperature of 12°C. But the weatherman promised that the sun would soon burn up the clouds so that by noon the temperature would be 20°C, and later up to 24°C.
So I dressed for the forecast: shorts and T-shirt. A big mistake! The sun never appeared! Consequently, I shivered my way through the 15 km. By the time I had finished and reached the car again at 5 p.m., the temperature had indeed risen – but only to 13°C! I was not amused.
Thankfully I met some amusing creatures on the way:
Feel free to send me your photos of your walk and I will happily publish them here. First up is Tom who sent me these. Thanks Tom!
Beautiful country side. Great place for your walk.
Yes Pat, and I soon thawed out! 🙂
So it was chilly that day?
Hi Sharon, I don’t mind being a bit critical where things could be improved. As a hiker and a cyclist I see both points of view. I have been frustrated by cyclists on footpaths, and by hikers on cycle paths. Sometimes the two just don’t mix very well together. So I am uneasy about the idea of hikers being led along a cycle path. Yes those llamas or whatever made me laugh.
Hi Sue, yes the temperature has zoomed up so I feel more comfortable now in my shorts and T-shrt!
Lol.. yes the temps are a bonus, Enjoy the weather while it lasts.. 🙂 And enjoyed my visit
Hopefully an expert in South American domestic animals will solve the problem Anabel.
Ah, and hereâ€™s me thinking you knew all along and were just withholding the info to tease us!
Maybe you need stilts when walking the cycle track to get the views?
Love the windmill photo – wonderful.
I’ve run across llamas & alpacas pretty frequently on New York farms, but it hadn’t occurred to me, until I saw your photo, that I’ve never seen one newly-shorn. They seem to fit in nicely with the Weird Footpath!
And there’s something so 60s Disco about them!
🙂 yes! and maybe early Pet Shop Boys, or Jeff Lynne from ELO.
Those guys are cute, at the end. Our weather has been all over the place. Foggy and damp this morning, glorious on Sunday, and a bit of everything in between. 🙂 🙂