Walking Wednesday: Deelerwoud


Would it really be happening, would it be sunny for the first weekend in 4 weeks? Although I planned to go hiking in Reichswald in Germany this weekend, I had to change my plans. That morning, tickets for Pinkpop Festival were going on sale and since I really wanted to get tickets for their Sunday line up (Foo Fighters!) I had to stay home and try to get my hands on those, while Martijn was away for his first aid course. As I had no clue how long the virtual queue for tickets would be and I also planned on visiting my dad for a cup of tea I decided to stay closer to home. The sunshines on my weather app were smiling at me and soon enough I decided to get out to Deelerwoud, just north of Arnhem.

Deelerwoud litterally means “woods of Deelen”. Deelen is a small village with just about 50 inhabitants and it’s mostly known because of its military airfield that nowadays is only in use for helicopter trainings by the Royal Dutch Air Force. However, when visiting Deelerwoud you don’t see anything of this, other than an old military museum and a large ground being fenced off for training.

Deelerwoud is a part of the Dutch nature area Veluwe and is located right between the two national parks: to the left you can find Hoge Veluwe National Park and to the right you can find Veluwezoom National Park. There were, unexpectedly, quite some other people on the parking lot, but luckily I managed to leave them behind quickly. I really don’t like it when someone is following my footsteps…

Although you would expect this area to be covered in woods, nothing less is true. The walk I planned on taking actually goes all across a big heathland with incredible 360 degree views on a clear day. The only disadvantage of walking here, is that the trails are pretty straightforward, you just can’t go wrong. Many trails are closed for wildlife so other than following the signposted routes, there aren’t many other options for hiking.

Speaking of wildlife … you may bump into some big boys, which we call Scottish Highlanders (official name: Scottish cattle). Even though I’ve been told they do no harm, I always feel quite uncomfortable running into them. Sometimes they are right on the trail (and ofcourse, they don’t move) which can lead to hilarious situations… this time, oh well, I might as well tell you…

I always have to pee while hiking. Not a problem because I don’t care about zipping down my pants and squatting in the bush at Deelerwoud. However as you can see in the pictures, there’s not a lot of bush, or at least not at the area where I was.  So instead, I decided to kind of hide behind a tree. So when squatting and peeing, I suddenly heard a sound behind me. While looking behind me (try that without losing balance while you have squatted) I got the scare of a lifetime: a giant Scottish Highlander had appeared right behind me and I can tell you, his look wasn’t friendly. However, it’s not as if I could stop peeing on demand, so there I was, squatting behind a tree with my jeans on my knees and a big fat piece of beef behind me. All I could do is whisper “please don’t come any closer … please don’t come any closer … please don’t come any closer”  … and he didn’t. I think he just got curious about what the hell I was doing there… no need to say it made me pretty uncomfortable…

scottish-highlanders

Big, ugly, scary and beefy!

So anyway, after surviving that (oh boy, I am unsure how to handle this when hiking by myself in Alaska this summer … grizzly bears are definitely another piece of cake than Scottish Highlanders) I just walked.. and walked. Had a small break, hung up my iPhone in a tree to get a picture of me (I just ordered a new tripod!) and chatted to some photographers. And other than that, I just walked. Walking is like my yoga… but more on that some other time. For now, just enjoy the pictures.

deelerwoud-entrance

deelerwoud-map deelerwoud-pano-1 deelerwoud-pano-2 deelerwoud-pano-3 deelerwoud-reflection deelerwoud-tree deelerwoud-tree-3 deelerwoud-trees deelerwoud-waymarkerdeelerwoud-and-antorunkeeper-track
Next week I’ll be hiking in … Belgium! Until then.

More reading? Check all Walking Wednesdays or click we12walk for all of our hiking stories. Or any of these:
Winter hiking in Zell am See, Austria
Negro Bill Canyon Trail: must-do hike in Moab
Hiking Vancouver Island’s Wild Pacific Trail

Thanks for sharing!

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