Since moving to Kessel-Lo I have spent quite some time exploring my new neighbourhood with Loki. Of course not every journey of exploration is a success and sometimes Loki has been less than pleased with me.

One day I dragged him up to Schoolbergen in pouring rain, lost my way and accidentally took him to the next village. The way back home felt endless and I got some disgruntled looks from my furry companion along the way.

Although Loki was somewhat confused about my intentions on that occasion walking in the rain is something Loki can live with. The next time I got us lost was worse. It was a lovely sunny day with 25°C and I thought it was a great day for a walk. So I plotted our a nice 8 km hike through fields and woods. But after losing my way twice the walk ended up being 12 km long and for a big part we walked on a country road with no shade from trees. Loki walked next to me completely exhausted, tongue dangling almost to the ground. After he had emptied his water bottle he tried to drink from a puddle that was mainly mud, and I ended up having to give him the last of my own water.

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The 3rd time I got us lost was somewhat anticlimactic since I ended up realizing that, although I was lost with regard to my planned course in the woods, we were actually walking in our own street…

But most of our expeditions have been fun. Kessel-Lo is situated in the Kesseldal, (Kessel valley), and is looked over by a chain of hills, among others KesselbergBegijnenbos and Chartreuzenbos. These forest covered hills are a perfect place to walk a dog.

The Kesselberg, (literally berg translates as mountain but at 75 m high, I think hill is a better description) is a site of historical interest. Remnants of an iron age settlement has been found on the hill and in the 11th century it was home to a fortress, the Kesselstein. From the top there is a great view over Leuven.

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The city of Leuven has employed some sheep to maintain the vegetation on the hill. According to the information board at the enclosure the sheep are Hebridean Sheep, a primitive sheep breed with up to six horns, but I did some research and white Hebrideans are extinct. Do any of the below sheep look black to you? Also, however hard I look I have been unable to see more than 2 horns on any of the sheep. Fishy….

If anyone is interested in walks in this neighbourhood just look up walks in the Hagelandse Heuvels area. This site maps the walking routes, but is only available in Dutch, unfortunately.

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