Saturday, June 6, 2015

De Loonse en Drunese Duinen

Saturday June 6, 2015

The weather has finally begun to feel like summer so we made the most of it and drove 30 minutes away to a national park for a family hike: dad, mom, baby girl and doggy.  The Nationaal Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen is nicknamed the Brabant Sahara. It has wandalen (walking), horseback riding and mountain biking trails. We went to the Bosch en Duin entrance near Udenhout because it was on the south edge of the park, closest to Eindhoven and Tilburg and because it had a hondenlosloopgebied (dog off leash area). The park is located in between the cities of Tilburg and Den Bosch. Jackie read about a 4km Bosch en Duinroute with green post markers to follow. According to google maps satellite views, the trail would go through the sand dunes area and the forest giving us a good glimpse of the different areas of this park. The great thing about this relatively new Dutch national park, is there are no entrance fees!
We parked in a big lot by the Landgoed Bosch en Duin restaurant.
Daddy and Brooklyn on the hike in the Nationaal Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen near de bos (forest) edge 
Daddy and Brooklyn on the hike in Nationaal Park de Loonse en Drunense Duinen near the sand dunes 
Sand over 100km (60+ miles) from the sea 
Happy pup in the off leash area

Happy pup running in the ‘sahara’

Happy hikers on the sunny 70 degree day 
This water wasn’t a mirage afterall ;) 
Now that is one happy running pup! 
Happy girl likes to stick her tongue out 
Hiking through de bos (the forest) 
We followed the green hiking posts along. There were numbers on them at intersections. We kept going from 31 down to 24. We decided to keep following down toward lower numbers figuring the walking trail would loop around like the map Jackie saw online. We ended up walking through some private-looking farms.
Cows lying in the pasture 
Cows and their calves lying in the pasture
Brooklyn finally fell asleep in the backpack on the hike.
We ended up needing to pull out the GPS on our phones to make sure we were heading back on a path toward our car. We had to backtrack on horse only trails. It was not fun walking around fresh horse poop that were covered in flies. It was so disgusting. We finally ended up hiking/walking closer to 8km, double our intent. It was probably a good thing we started as early in the day as we did. They were a lot more cars and people at the entrance when we made it back there.
We had thought it would be a good idea to go to La Trappe Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven for lunch since we passed near it on the way home. We forgot that Chance would be with us and it is now too warm out to leave her in the car for that long.
We instead took advantage of the Bosch en Duin restaurant that had dog friendly tables outside. Chance behaved fairly well. She’d freak a bit and go after other dogs when they came near but eventually calmed down and laid down while the 3 of us ate lunch.
We have been trying to give Brooklyn more and more types of food, especially normal people food instead of pureed foods. She had some eggs, tomato, cheese and mushrooms off of Jackie’s uitmijter (an open-faced fried egg sandwich) and Joe’s sandwich.  

Brooklyn is on the verge of crawling any day now. 

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