We spent a Sunday afternoon in February walking through the biggetjesbos (pigs forest) in the town of Aarle-Rixtel. I saw the ad in our local newspaper and it seemed like the perfect activity to get the family out of the house.

The walk starts at the Brabantse Kluis (www.brabantsekluis.nl) – an old farmhouse converted into an inn and restaurant, and there is a small barn in the courtyard where you can pet the friendly cows. For six euros, you can purchase a small green backpack at the gift shop, it contains: a walking guide, a juice box, “pig” candy and a pig-shaped pen.

The walk took us 2.5 hours in total but we made a few stops including one for lunching. We passed the Klooster Huis (a convent), a man-made grotto and piggy statues but the sight that I personally enjoyed the most was the pig farm  as it gives you a glimpse of a real pig farm (www.varkensinzicht.nl). Since this is a self-guided walk, the farm has two areas open to visitors: in the first area, behind plexiglas, you see the adult pigs in the barn, most of them sleeping. The second viewing area is the nursery; we saw several sows nursing their piglets including some that were likely only a few hours old since their umbilical cords were hanging. They were very cute but sadly, we saw two dead ones that hadn’t been removed yet. At first, I didn’t want the kids to see this but then again, that is life so they did see it and of course they asked lots of “why” questions.

Even though the walk was a little longer than we had expected and the weather was on the chilly side, we all enjoyed this walk and plan to do it again in the spring or summer.

Tot ziens,

Christine

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