The GR5 day 13 and 14

The gr5. The day I got back and the day it rained inside.

Day 13

Distance: 22 km

Location: Bokrijk – Zutendaal 

Lodgings: Europarc Hoge Kempen

After resting for a few days it was finally time to get back on the trail. I really couldn’t wait. I was glad I had some time with my family but I couldn’t stop thinking about the trail. 

Knowing I had to walk at a slower pace because of my injury I started off at the speed of a slug. It was hard to find a ritme again in which I would spare my food but still feel comfortable. 

I started from the station in Bokrijk. Having walked here before I knew it would be a beautiful day. And it really was. A lot of pieces of forest and some heathland alternating with some roads.

I passed some places I know, like the hospital of Genk, a barefoot walk and a Lourdes cave. When my stepmom got sick she went a lot to a Lourdes cave nearby to burn candles. So I couldn’t pass this one without thinking of her and burning a candle. 

It was a beautiful day but I was a bit too focused on my food to make sure I did nothing wrong. But everything went fine and I’m glad to be out there again. 

Day 14

Distance: 28 km

Location: Zutendaal – Maastricht 

Lodgings: Camping de ploeg

With the irrational fear of being too late. And knowing I walk slower than usual I woke up at 6 am. I tried to be as quiet as possible but I can imagine my neighbors were not happy with me. I hear you asking: “why a fear of being too late while you’re hiking?”. Well in the Benelux you can’t wild camp. So I’m bound to the hours of the camping reception. And this camping decided that the reception closes at 4 pm. 


I set off around 7 am and started walking. To my big surprise I walked almost till midday in the same forest. In Flanders we usually don’t have big forests so I was really excited. I’m starting to see nature change slowly as I go and I love it. One example is, I spotted the first clear river in the forest. Most rivers in the Flanders I wouldn’t filter water out unless it was really necessary. But this one seemed fine.

In my head it was a magical forest. Not only because it kept going. But I had just finished reading a book about faeries. And I couldn’t stop thinking that some places would be beautiful faerie homes or portals into their world. I even warned Appie that she needed to turn her harnas inside out to repel spells. Of course she didn’t listen. 

We continued our road to Lanaken. Where the trail kept you sending in the same loop again and again (told you there were faeries). It took me a while to figure it out and find the right path. 

From Lanaken we walked next to the Maas till we arrived at the campsite. Of course more than on time. And also just in time to jump in the toilets and shelter for the storm (where I am currently writing this). 

My mom will visit me in the evening and we’re going to see Maastricht. Which I’m looking forward to. 

Note afterwards:

The dinner was great, I really enjoyed it. What I enjoyed a bit less was my wet sleeping bag and puddles in my tent. Something’s clearly wrong.

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Comments 1

  • Bluewhale : Jun 23rd

    I love the pictures and commentary. The trail is so different from the Appalachian Trail! Take care of your foot. You’ve got this!


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