Walking through the Kluizenbos (Aalst/Affligem) - a corona proof friend reunion

Early January I met up with some friends for dinner, but we couldn't all make it together. Really, we are the most impossible group to get together. While we all guard our agenda's carefully not to overbook them (so we understand veto's) , we have a hard time finding 1 date for the 4 of us once a year. Incredible. We also all live far away and therefore always need to take transport and transport time into account. 

But after that dinner, we immediately got the agenda's together again and decided we'd go for another dinner on July 10th.   Only on July 10th,  my friend had to see the notary to sign the purchase of her apartment and my mom was coming along with us to the Ardennes. 
No worries, thanks to Corona surely our agendas were all almost empty so postponing it would be easy. Well, not so much after all but thanks to homework and some organizations that are not going together we did postpone until August 6th. 

And then end of July the government, rightfully restricted the number of social contacts again. And to be blunt: I am not going to give my "bubble" away to good friends (they are good friends!!) but that I see once or twice a year.  I'd rather find some friends that I can meet more regularly nearby Leuven to profit from some social contact. So what to do.  

Not go together for dinner, that seemed certain for all of us. But it sucked so much to not see each other once again. So two of us decided to find a corona proof nature walk. We googled bluntly "walk in the woods Aalst" which would be halfway each of us driving. 

So by pure luck and coincidence we ended up both at the edge of Aalst near Kluizenbos for the start of the "blue walk". There were a lot of construction works, so we were afraid the head of the trail would be lost, but we found it after all and right away we found ourselves amidst beautiful nature and solitude. 

It was one of the first days of our heatwave (hence why we searched for some woods). We feared the wood would be tiny but even the fields leading up to it were very nice with changing scenery. 
We passed a little chapel and had to pass partially a residential area and the Aalst Golf Club, but then we entered the woods, where we pick nicked at a safe distance from each other. It was fun catching up and talking in real life in the midst of nature. 

When we continued our walk and took the many ripe blackberries as desert we were all of a sudden surprised by a couple of deer crossing our path and taking us in from a distance with some curiosity.  What a gorgeous evening! Totally worth the drive. I think we'll try to repeat it this autumn. 

Spot the deer's legs  


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