The last week of December there was some fresh snow again on the Hautes Fagnes. The eager to go there was high, but common sense told me to stay calm and be patient. The weather forecast predicted further below zero temperatures for the next week with more likeliness of snowfall.
These conditions, together with corona limitations and school holidays triggered massive human migration to Mont Rigi and to neighboring places when parking got impossible there. I do not mind people, but too much is too much. Moreover a lot of them do not realize that they are visiting a nature reserve and that they should behave in that mindset. Instead they act as if they were in an entertainment park, not obeying the reserves rules and leaving behind a lot of thrash.
So I left home on next Monday evening to a comfortable camperspot between Luik and Eupen not far from a motorway exit. Next day I had a walk in the forest south of Petergensfeld near the German border.
The area was wonderful with only a slight snow cover, but with nice beech, birch and oak trees and a gentle river flowing through. Due to this my walk was a bit longer than anticipated: I ended up with 17km and the only people I saw where some locals walking their dog. After some shopping in Germany (dog food is 30% cheaper!) I ended up at Roetgen and spend the long cold evening and night there.
The next spot I wanted to visit was Brackvenn which is not far from Monschau on the road to Eupen. This is to me the most beautiful moor of the Hautes Fagnes complex; it was astonishingly beautiful there with just the right snow cover. It stayed overcast all days with uniform grey skies; a bit of cloud and a few sun rays once and a while would have been better for photography, but no complaints. Things got a bit tricky when I almost got stuck with the campervan on the (not cleared) parking lot; I managed to get out and parked one km away on the tarmac beside the road.
Looking for a safe place to spend the night I ended up on the Wesertalsperre, where I made a late afternoon stroll: some nice beech forest there and certainly an area to explore more.
The next place to visit was the area near Sourbrodt. I know this environment very well from previous visits and I took no chances: I parked somewhere along the road, because I know the parking lot can be very muddy. I spent only a few hours here and concentrated on a few moors because the weather was not in favor: low clouds and fog coming in with rainy snow which made photographing a bit of a challenge, struggling to protect your gear.
So this was another rewarding short trip in these difficult corona times. But we get signals that things will become better and further travel is already breeding in the mind. Let's hope it works out!