19km / 12km
We had a night of rumbling thunder and flashing lightening and enough rain to make us grateful for the shelter of the hut.
The morning started off with mist below us in the valley
but the sun soon burnt it off and we left the hilltop to the parascenders who were starting to set up.
The walk to the next village took us alongside more cornflower ringed fields
and across farmland surrounded by forest where the dogs took off after a deer, scruff’s pack not slowing him down.
In the village we were lucky to find a shop open for supplies as we’ve been disappointed in a few places that have been deserted and shop less. I came across my first Trabant, the old communist car of the people, and later in the day another that had been “pimped”
I’ve been surprised at the lack of old motors here and the Tranny stands out a bit, as it seems do we. There are NO other foreigners here and people sometimes seem wary of us or very curious anyway. Some of the villages are a bit eerily tumbleweed and staring locals, if you actually see anyone.
The heat was building up rapidly and we were glad to get into the cool of the forest on our way down to the lake.
There are benches along the trail everywhere, even on the forest.
but they are often just where you want them for a bit of a rest and view.
We passed through a huge deserted camping site and have seen a few big developments from what looked like 60’s and 70’s that have been abandoned. We wondered if they were communist era workers holiday camps that are no longer wanted.
At the lake was a popular “Eco” campsite that was dog friendly and had a nice beach so we hung out for awhile and had a swim.
It was the campsite with the cabins that we had been looking down on when we slept at the viewpoint two nights earlier. We had to stop for a swim a couple more times that day to cool off and the wooded hills made for a great backdrop while floating on my back amongst the jumping fishes.
Back on a small forest track we were surprised by a convoy of big bikes.
At the end of a hot afternoons hiking we came, at last, to an open bar serving food and we quenched our thirst and gambolled with the menu, getting a good result which gave us the strength to climb the last big hill and find a place to erect the tent and mozzy net for the hounds.
A gun shot in the early night followed later by a lot of stag bellowing made for a disturbed sleep but we made it though unharmed and in the morning I investigated the hide next to us. There are even more hides than benches and they come in a variety of styles from the basic but movable metal ladder strapped to a tree trunk to totally enclosed rooms with a view.
The one next to us had carpet and comfy padded seating and magazines to read while awaiting the kill.
So on our last, short, day on the trail we once again headed off down the wildflower strewn ways
and past vast woodpiles outside the old village houses.
At St Jacob, our highest point of the trail at 560m , there was a church dedicated to the Saint who is the same as St James of Santiago de Compostella and the pilgrimage goes either from or through here.
A breakfast rest on our last bench
was followed by a walk down a lovely fruit tree lined farm track
to finally arrive at the platform over the turbine pipes we had seen on our first day on the trail.
Just a few km downhill took us back to the van where we gratefully raided the fridge and food cupboards before heading off to a ” proper” campsite for showers and a washing machine. Did some house(van) work, got the awning up and planned our escape.
Thank you Germany for the forests, wild flowers, benches, huts and trails.
Looks to me like it’s a Grand Tour already and you’ve hardly started. I’m looking forward to the next installment! Bonne route! Also, Caminante, no hay camino, se hace al andar.