Thursday, 7 August 2008

Trees and more trees

To summarise the last few weeks I've been getting acquainted with the afore mentioned Foret de Soigne (or Zonienwoud depending on which side of the Flanders (Flemish) - Woloon (French) divide your allegences lie). I've got to the stage now where I don't have to take my compass with me (apart from last night (see next post)).

If the truth be known it's actually Dave's compass. He kindly let me have it when I lost mine when I went up to do the Three Peaks. On close inspection the dial is calibrated into 64 divisions instead of the usual 360 degrees. Very useful. Picked it up cheap says Dave. No bloody wonder says I. Anyone any idea what these 64 things are?

Back to the woods. A word of advice to anyone who manages to get a run in these woods. First get a good map then choose a route that follows the sentier (footpaths) rather than the tracks. They are much more interesting and scenic.

I've been getting into the woods a couple of times a week. The first part of the wood that I enter from the direction of my flat is actually a park (pond, cafe, joggers etc.) but you're soon into the forest proper where you see the occasional runner but its fairly empty most of the time. Last week there was a guy in the middle of the forest practising his trumpet playing. Makes a change from birdsong.

I've seen a couple of red squirrels, one of which didn't seem to notice me and just kept shuffling around in the leaves just a few feet away. Not like the grey squirrels at home that scoot up a tree if you so much as look at them. I've also seen evidence of the wildboar where they'd been rooting around a tree making a mess of the ground.

At first sight it all looks pretty much the same but after a few visits you start to recognise the different paths and tracks. There's a couple of paths that follow streams (dry at the mo) that I particularly enjoy as they are twisty and rolling and great for running along. I bet the woods look good in autumn.

Coming back you have to go through the park and you get to play 'burn off the jogger' to your hearts content. I know it's wicked but it's great fun. While I'm at it can someone explain to me why when it's nearly 30 degree centigrade you would think it a good idea to go for a run (sorry, jog) in tracky bottoms, a t-shirt, a sweatshirt, a scarf and a hat? Seen it more than once in the park.

Is it me or what?

P.S. Decided to enter the Brussels Marathon on Oct 5th. Be silly not to while I'm here. It goes past the end of my street.

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