Leaving Ghent we required more water, I found a sports centre on route to Hallebos which allowed up to 4 campervans and provided toilet emptying facilities and water. The campervan parking areas were taken by a childrens activity but the staff kindly allowed us to fill our water tank. They also assured us the activity would be finished by 5pm if we wished to return to stay the night. We didnt plan to, but it remained an option if the planned place didn’t work out.
With a full water tank (100l) we headed to Hallebos; bos translating as forest and Halle being the local area. It’s famous for the carpet of bluebells in spring time, we were hoping for full bloom and some shade as the temperature was reaching high 20s!
We entered the forest road and claimed the first space we could in car park 2 of 11. This meant we had a short walk to the epicentre of bluebells, which included passing under the motorway; but it was no problem and we all appreciated the shade the tall trees provided.
As the network of paths opened up and bluebells came into view, we were approached by 2 ladies asking for directions to the car park. I asked which one, but they didn’t understand me and pointed in the direction we had come from, since we had come from a car park I confirmed it was the way. They frantically ran off.
We picked up the yellow route, the longest of the 3 walking routes and enjoyed the vista of bluebells, taking as good a photo as we could. The 2 ladies hastily walked by us again, clearly it wasn’t the car park they wanted.
Following the well marked paths we covered a couple of kilometres, past 3 angry Belgian Sheperds which took a fancy to Stanley, but thankfully the owners got them under control.
Whilst sat on a log eating lunch; peanut butter sandwiches, we heard the knocking of a woodpecker or what we assumed was a woodpecker. We also heard the ladies still in search of the car park, to be fair it was a large network of pathways so I could understand how they got lost. Even though we followed the marked routes, I still consulted the Maps.me app.
We continued the yellow route until we found a direct track to our car park. The van was parked in full sun, 34 degress the instrument panel read!
With the aircon blasting out full we headed to our car park for the night. Parked next to a police station we enjoyed another salad and opened 1 of 4 boxes of wine we brought. We discussed if we will attempt Brussels tomorrow and wondered if the 2 ladies ever made it out of the forest.