Day 16: Road Trip with Kids from the Highest Point of Belgium to Mini-Camping Hovershof Netherlands

Continuing with our plan to go family camping in small villages, away from big population densities (thanks to coronavirus), we move onwards and northwards, from Belgium to the Netherlands, and camped at Hovershoj rural “mini-camping” with playground, antique farm equipment, and billy goats. Unfortunately, one of my kids had an accident and we had to cut our camping short. Here’s a little review of the Hovershof camping site.

Hard work walking up to the highest point of Belgium and the BENELUX region.

But first. . . The highest point of Belgium?  Yeah, we have this thing of visiting places with little curiosities mainly based on this book that we received as a gift when we decided to quit the job, clear out the house, move the family to Spain with kids in tow, and. . . well, change a lifestyle 3 and a half years ago.  Makes it interesting and fun for the kids and us!

At home. We had to cut short our camping because Kaj fell off a zipline and broke a collar bone. “I’m OK, Tata!,” he says. “But I fell and I can’t move my hand.”

So, YES, we made it there, to the peak of BeNeLux region, to a place called Signal de Boutrange, unassumingly marked by a few steps behind a restaurant on a hill.

And… what a breathtaking view when you are all the way up there at a majestic 694 meters above sea level (that’s 2,277 feet for my fellow ‘Mericans) and pay 6 euros for your kid’s tomato soup at the lone restaurant next to it! Wow! 😂

Yup, the humble highest point of Belgium is just a few steps up that thingy behind this cafe.

TIP:  If you ever visit this place, we recommend climbing the 24-or-so steps to the top, take your selfies, then (if you’re hungry or thirsty) head down to a brewery called Belgium Peak Beer some two kilometers southeast on the main road for a more local experience.

Kids’ could play for hours at the playground of Camping Hovershof, Netherlands.

“Tata,” my 8-year old says, “Nobody talks here” [in Belgium].  Interesting observation of how quiet Belgians seem to be, at least the ones with whom we’ve crossed paths.  They would nod and wave.  Many would stare.  But not many would speak, not even grunt.  The only loud things in Belgium seem to be the birds.  Even the cows don’t say “Moooo”, or so it seems.  OR maybe we’re just in the quiet rural parts.

Rural mini-camping Hovershof… that looked like old stable for horses.

After a pit stop at the highest point of Belgium on our family camping road trip from Spain to Poland this post-coronavirus-lockdown summer, we crossed the German border then the Dutch border with no coronavirus checkpoints. We confirm: freedom of movement within the EU has been restored from Spain to Deutschland!

Standard pitch at Camping Hovershoj was enough to fit a 2.5-person tent and just a bit more.

NOW a REVIEW OF CAMPING HOVERSHOF

NOTE: In case you’re wondering. . . No, we have not received any form of compensation or freebies or anything at all for reviewing or mentioning this or any others on our blog.  We just do it for the fun of it. 😊

Camping Hovershof near Venlo, Netherlands.  In a word, this rural mini-camping site was kid-friendly as long as parents are nearby.

Antique farm equipmemt and decor accentuates the rural atmosphere at Camping Hoverahof. Kids… watch out!

Unfortunately, it rained again.  And it’s our 3rd day camping in the rain… and cold.  This shaize-auf-der-strasse’s getting old.  We need to get the kids rubber shoes for camping in the BeNeLux region.

The section for campervans and caravans are separated from the tents with tall privacy hedges.

This is the building that doubles as common sanitary facilities and a cafe/pub at Camping Hovershof, the Netherlands.

Unlike the camping van section, there were plenty of spaces for the tents.

For both, there were no privacy bushes or markings to separate the pitches from each other.

The receptionist/owner spoke English.

Al fresco dishwashing area at Camping Hovershoj, the Netherlands.

TO DO: What’s to see/do nearby? The small town of Venlo nearby that we did not get a chance to see on account of a little accident. Duisburg, Germany is about 30 minutes away.

SHADE. Hardly any shade. There’s one old shadeful tree in the center of the small field. Given the cold and wet weather, you’d likely have NO NEED FOR SHADE here.

You’ve gotta ring the bell at Camping Hovershof’s reception.

ACCESS. NO problem findimg the entrance to the camping site. It was clearly maekes feom the outside though it did not look like a typical campgeound once you pulled into the property.

PITCH. How’s the pitch? Soft pitch with no problem sinking tent pegs. The grassy pitch is big enough only to fit a small-to-medium tent and a bit more dor your eating area. Cars are parked about 40 steps away in a separate lot.

Separate pitches/plots for campers and caravans that sureound an empty center field.

Privacy hedges only on one side to separate the tent section from the rest of the property.

PLAY. Big playground with many playthings, even a zipline from which our 4-year old son fell while playing unsupervised wuth his older brother. So, watch out!

There’s even a zipline… from which Kaj, unfortunatwly, had an accident.

PRICE. A bit higher for what it offers at 30 euros (including tax) for a family of 4 (2 kids–1 under 5), 3-person tent with electricity during high summer season (July). Note that our car was parkes away from our pitch which rwquired a lot more legwork for making and breaking camp.

FACILITIES. Sufficiently basic and very clean but small with toilet paper. Only 2 shower and toilet each for the men and women section and only one entrance to the restroom.

Dining area with roof provided much needed cover from the rain.

DINE/DRINKS. There’s a bar/restaurant in the same building as the sanitary facilities but we did not try it.

What we like about this place? It has a peaceful charm and a family-friendly setting with the play areas as the centerpiece and the farm animals to top it add.

Plenty of playthings at Camping Hovershof’playground. As you can see by our bluish green tent in the far middle background, there was no need for social distancing here.

What we don’t like about this camp site? Lots of farm equipmemt could be harmful to children. So make sure you keep an eye out for your wee little onea all the time.

The next time you’re camping or driving in this area, try somethimg different. Your kids would love it.

Next stop: We’re supposed to have two stops in Germany for 4 more nights. But ooooooopppppsssss…. our 4-year old son fell from a zipline and broke a collar bone. So, off straight to Poland we go for 9 hours plus stop. Big Smile!

Please excuse the typos…. we’re doing this on the road.

Billy goats next door and a lone horse in the background completes the bucolic feeling at Camping Hoverahof.

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