In Love With Vastness – The Mad Belgian

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Lou-Phi Loncke, the Mad Belgian! November 2018.

Belgian, adventurer. The two somehow do not fit as well as Belgian and chocolate, Belgian and beer, Belgian and female tennis.

Which does not mean Belgium does not have its fair share of adventurous people. Did you know for example that Alexandra David-Neel was Belgian? ( well, she did have a French papa) This spirited woman was among other things, an explorer in Tibet from 1916.

Fast forward to the last forty years, and you have people like Dixie Dansecoer and Alain Hubert.

The latest in the line may well be the have a go Louis-Philippe Loncke, a forty something dynamo who has become a regular of Australia’s wild spaces, and, thanks to his unsupported winter N-S crossing of Tasmania, has earned the “ Mad Belgian “ moniker.

Lou-Phi may be a little eccentric, but mad he isn’t. It only takes a look at his website to grasp the minutiae and eclectic genre of his adventuring.

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Younger versions of us, in 2008, Liege, Belgium.

We first met in 2006 Sydney, where I was presenting a slide show on Nepal. Next, it was 2008 in Belgium, for a beer and a chat.

Ten years later, where is Lou-Phi at, and what makes him tick? I caught up with him in my papa’s kitchen last November. And discovered a curious minded man who lives from the heart.

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