Ardennes - Day 2 : Making our own route
We got up and re-checked the 'map' Bart had printed. They were poor quality black and white copies of maps that had also been reduced in size. It was nearly impossible to discern anything. The names of some villages' were visible as well as a few roads. To be honest we might as well not have brought any. Fortunately, the bridge over the river we were headed for was nearby. When we reached it we noticed a man and woman who were also hiking. We asked if we were already on the GR5-route. They carried a real map and told us we were at the right spot. We had assumed that the entire route would be marked.
We waited until the hikers were out of sight and then continued. At the next intersection we had a close look at all the type of markings. There were multiple types of arrows, one of which was pointing in the right direction. In the distance we could see the hikers making a left turn, but there were no arrows. So despite all the signs, the route wasn't marked at all, which meant we would have to just make our own route.
The entire afternoon we walked through the forest while navigating by the sun and our unreadable map. Surprisingly, it didn't work. Eventually we reached a large road which we followed for a while. We weren't entirely sure if or where the road we were on was marked on the map. When the road made a turn we decided to enter the forest again and keep walking until we reached its western edge. As it had gotten cloudy navigating by the sun didn't go well. We did find our way back to the main road eventually.
We had another very close look at the map and figured out where we were. It turned out we had been walking east instead of west. We took a detour that would bring us to a few villages. There was a military training area next to us. We continuously heard guns being fired, it would probably not be a good idea to camp there tonight.
Bart's feet had gotten much worse. The blisters on his heel had opened and he had new ones on both of his big and little toes. Two of his toenails were also hitting his shoe and had turned black. My shoes were better but my feet were also not in great shape.
We passed a bakery in the village. It had been drizzling and raining the entire day. We bought bread and found a roofed bus stop where we warmed ourselves and ate a bit. In the distance, the hikers we had seen earlier emerged out of the forest. We spend the night in a pine tree forest near a village, the ground was level and it was warm. We slept reasonably well.