Bart Kessels
Bart Kessels
Passionate open source software engineer who loves to go backpacking

Backpacking Pieterpad - Swolgen to Vierlingsbeek

Backpacking Pieterpad - Swolgen to Vierlingsbeek
This image is taken in Geijsteren at the Geijsterse moorland

After a great nights sleep and an amazing evening it’s time to pack up again and start walking.

The leg

The second leg of the vacation started in Meerlo instead of in Swolgen, so we were already a couple of miles into this leg.

The leg we've created for walking from Swolgen to Vierlingsbeek

This image is captured from Komoot where we’ve laid out our own leg

As you can see on the map, around Geijsteren there is a small detour for the camping we’ll be staying at after the first day. The walk to Vierlingsbeek took us to a town below Vierlingsbeek called Holthees, that’s why there is a small bulge in the route.

Walking from Meerlo to Geijsteren

When we woke up in the garden of my girlfriend’s aunt, we quickly packed up and went to the local bakery to grab some breakfast. Eating at the local bakery is almost always a good idea, because you get really fresh bread and they definitely know how to make a delicious sandwich (and usually good coffee as well)!

After our breakfast was gone and our coffee cups were empty, we started heading to the trail. The start of the trail consisted mostly of cow fields, with cows in them. This meant that at some points we had to get off the trail to get around the cows. Because those beasts are huge, we didn’t find it very comforting to walk really close by them as they were lying on the trail. The cow fields turned into the forest were a saw a little chapel that I recognized from my childhood. This was the forest my aunt took me to when we used to walk her dog; I never realized that this was part of some trail. Let alone the Pieterpad.

Just before we arrived in Geijsteren, were we would camp. It was time for lunch, and we both could use a cup of coffee.

The walk to Geijsteren was a short one, about half an hour, however, the camping we had planned to stay the night was a bit out of town. We walked through Geijsteren into the estate of Geijsteren all the way to Brabant (another province). But the camping was really cool, it was this small nature camping next to the Maas. We pitched up our tent near the trees, and we took our camping chairs to sit next to the Maas and just listen to the sound of the stream and watch the boats go by.

Walking from Geijsteren to Vierlingsbeek

Walking up in the nature camping was very peaceful. You’d hear the sound of the Maas flowing by, birds chirping and the occasional car because the camping was pretty close to a road.

Luckily for us, there was a local store that came every morning for fresh baked breads, so we had something to eat for breakfast. If the local store didn’t come, we’d have to walk for about an hour before we’d reach any city that had a store.

Because our camping was pretty off-trail, we had to walk back for quite some time, almost an hour. We could take a shortcut, but because many people told us that the moorlands of Geijsteren were a beautiful sight, I didn’t want to miss that. And if we took a shortcut, I was afraid that we might skip that part.

However, the part we walked back to the trail was also really nice. It took us through some forest area’s with these huge houses between the trees. And it just felt like we were somewhere else, but not the Netherlands.

Arriving at the moorlands, we were pretty star struck, what a beautiful sight that is! Honestly, I never knew that there was this beautiful nature just next to the road I’d used to bike to school. When walking through the moorlands, we just looked our eyes out and decided to pause and just take it all in over lunch.

When we were through with our lunch, we continued walking, and we stumbled upon an even more beautiful sight. The open moorlands, I don’t know what it’s called, but you can see it in the image that’s attached to this post. I never expected to see something like this a couple of miles away from home.

When exiting the moorlands, we had to walk a pretty boring couple of miles to Vierlingsbeek were we walked next to a train track and over the main road of the village. But that didn’t really bother us that much, because we’d just seen something amazing. And after that sight, well, everything is worse (in a good way).

However, as the time progressed, we could use some coffee, so we started looking for a place to sit down and order some coffee. But, given it was Sunday, everything in that village was closed. As opposed to where we grew up and live, we were just not used to everything being closed on a Sunday. We decided to walk to the camping and just hope that they had a café or something were we could order a coffee, but they didn’t. They did have a small restaurant but that was also closed that day.

In the evening, when we wanted to grab something to eat, we just walked to the nearest town which was 45 minutes away. We had a nice meal and even better beers, so we got to bed satisfied.

The next morning we packed up our stuff and started heading off. When all of a sudden, someone approached us and asked what trail we were hiking. It turns out that he and his wife were also hiking the Pieterpad, so we had a chat, and they even offered us a cup of coffee!


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