Traction Sud

In between tarvelling I’ve been working on my van, turning it into a bit more of a camper. A while ago me and Jolien went for a weekend to the southeast of Belgium to get away and camp out, but also to visit an abandoned site that’s too far away to visit in a single day.

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I’d heard stories before about how it’s not a good idea to visit this placed unnanounced. There’s plenty of signs directing us to the owner’s house, and after some negotiating he lets us walk around wherever we want, for a small price. He gave us some crazy story about how he has a special “shampoo spray” for unannounced visitors that consists of old motoroil and diesel; it sounded like something we wanted to avoid…

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I didn’t ask him for the story behind the place, but from going around it’s clearly a truck scrapyard, of which only a small part is actually in use. Many areas seem to have been forgotten quite a while ago.

Interestingly a lot of the old stuff is of military origin, almost all of it West-German from the 60’s and 70’s.

On some of the more overgrown fields, it’s not just trucks. There were rows and rows of these towable boats with deploying wheels. I can’t find any info on what they might be, but I’m sure they are German due to some of the inscriptions on them.

Jolien is posing nicely here with some of the other vehicles, they were ex-Belgian state-police vans (FN 4 RN), and a lot of VW Type 181 and DKW Munga.

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The area around the hangar that was still in use wasn’t as densely filled, and held some more recent civilian trucks. Above a rare picture of me, from when I handed my camera to Jolien for a while.

Some of these were probably brought in in the last few years. I really like these junkyards, it’s probably my favorite kind of place to visit. Especially if it’s not just cars, but all kinds of wacky vehicles.

Some of the most memorable vehicles were the Red Cross VW Beetles. They were missing quite a few parts; the same thing I’ve seen happen at the Swedish junkyard with similar hip VW vehicles, with souvenir hunters taking parts.

All in all this was a pretty good location, very big, lots to see, not much destroyed and things basically left as they were. Just talk to the owner (you can even call in advance he says) when you go and be prepared to pay a bit. We were the only visitors that day.

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