2015 – Canoe-Journey: Voyageurs on the Semois – Belgium [ENG SUB]

We are the type of guy who can spend hours watching at maps, always looking for new adventures. We have endeavored a lot of canoe-trips, on beatiful lakes, but now it was time for something different. After watching the movies made by Bill Mason and Ray Mears we decided to make a trip on a free flowing river in Belgium. And therefore, for the next couple of days, we will be, Voyageurs on the Semois. We drove 5 hours to the village of Chiny, which is situated directly on the Semois here in Belgium. After Kimmi had woken us all, it was time to put together the canoe and prepare ourselves for our first river-trip towards the village of Herbeumont. After Eddie dipped his self-made paddle in the Semois we took our first uneasy paddle-strokes on the Wild Flowing Semois. We felt a bit of unease on the water, but it was a realy joy to experience this for the first time. This man strongly advised us not to paddle any further due to the high water levels. This was not an option. We had to contiue. It is nice to paddle all the bends of the river. We really enjoyed it. After our first day of paddling it was time to set-up our Camp. This is a fun activity and everybody has his own little rituals. Eat some food. Study the Map of the Surrounding. Texting your Girlfriend. Or trying to catch some fish. The first day on the Semois was a realy joy to experience both canoeing and camping. We are really looking forward to tomorrow. It had rained all night, which really tested our tarp set-ups. Everything was in good order, exept we were missing our dog Kimmi, she went off wandering in the woods. We prepared and enjoyed our breakfast, and after that we went on paddling the Semois River. After this nice bit of paddling we went a shore because we could hear a big rapid around the bend. We found a lot of beaver-tracks, but also a rapid of which we were not sure we were able to navigate. We decided to portage our gear and then take on the rapid in our emptied canoes. For us this was a paddle into the unknown. In hindsight the rapid was not too bad. After this rapid we felt far more confident paddling on the river. After a short break we start paddling again towards the rainclouds and tunderstorms near the village of Chassepierre. The quality of weather is rapidly declining, but that did not matter. We had a great time anyway. We stopped at what seemed a real nice camping spot, and gave Kimmi her well-earned food. It seemed she really enjoyed it here. We took our time to set-up a nice camp and prepare and enjoy our diner. After that we prepared a nice campfire which concluded our day. Singing French Voyageur-Song: La Rochelle. Staring in the campfire we conclude we had a great day of paddling whilst an Owl seem to tell us goodnight. On the third day we awoke to a slightly frozen world. To warm up everybody has his own techniques. Role around. Hopping in your Sleeping Bag. Or just walking the dog. Last night Kimmi chased away two wild boars and we decided to have a look around if we could find any tracks leading us to them. All of a sudden a big and mature Boar crossed our path. I only just captured her on camera. Most likely this was the mother of these small piglets. It was a priveledge to see them, but they were far to cold without their Mother. We decided to leave them for their mother to return and packed up our gear and started paddling again. We had to stop at this rapid and inspect the best route to take. This rapid also was an easy to paddle. Wouter and Kimmie also enjoyed it. Near Herbeumont we found a ridge of stones we had to inspect. We found it to contain sharp stones, but near the shore we found a bit of deepwater we could take. At this point we start to paddle the last bends and curves of our trip. Accompanying us was really nice weather. We enjoyed ourselves. At Herbeumont we take our canoes out of the water. Wouter and Eddie leave immediately to check if they can Hitchhike back to Chiny or find a taxi. Whilst in Herbeumont all the gear is being packed and sorted neatly, Wouter and Eddie found a taxi with an awkward chauffeur. In Herbeumont everything is going fine, the taxidriver seems to text his whole phonebook whils driving to Chiny. After 1,5 hours Wouter and Eddie arrived and the joy of packing the car could start. Hoisting up the gear. Strapping the Canoe to the roof. And there we went off; Back to Home. Every canoetrip you ought to finish with a Burger and also this time we succeeded in this endeavor.

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