As I mentioned in my last post, I spent the first July week with friends and family. On the 6th I returned to Neustadt and although Germany was experiencing a heat wave, I was glad to be walking again. It took a while to get back into rhythm and by lunch time I was exhausted and decided to have a 20 minute snooze in my hammock. Well, the 20 minutes turned into a good three hour nap. As I woke up, I heard wood cracking and as I peeked out of my hammock, I saw a tree break and just fall over out of the blue. I went to investigate and it seems that it was hollowed out by insects and just could not carry its own weight anymore. Just shows you, never underestimate the little guys!
That evening I double checked that the trees where I hung my hammock for the night were solid and not about to fall over.
The next day I reached Havelberg. The town was full of tourists who came to visit the BUGA, an anual flowershow. I got talking to a small group who were also taking a break in the cool shadow of a church. Not sure if I look like a flower, but all of a sudden I was also a tourist attraction, when they heard about my adventure. One lady even wanted a photo with me.
My newfound status as attraction could not stop me from pushing on. What stopped me in the next town was a massive thirst for an ice cold beer. The heat wave was not over yet so I ordered a big glass of water and a big glass of beer. Within a couple of seconds both glasses where almost empty and I had to stop myself so at least I could enjoy the taste for a little time longer. I was still enjoying the shade of the beergarden when another tourist bus arrived. They had noticed me in town and whoops, I was an attraction again. Some of them had visited South Africa before and so I chatted with them for another hour or so.
Unfortunately all this socialising made me a bit late for the day. I still had to go on for a while and it was getting late. As I walked on the dike next to the Elbe River, I also realised that the heat wave was about to break with a massive thunderstorm and there was no shelter in site. I was still rushing to a thick bush to find protection but alas, it was too late. All I could do was stand in the rain and look at some sheep looking at me. So we just stared at each other feeling sorry for ourselves. When the worst was over I said farewell to my new wet friends and went on.
Soaking wet I reached a tiny village and found a bus stop shelter where I made myself at home. At least there I could change into dry clothing and was also sure to stay dry for the night.
The next morning I was almost tempted to take the school bus that came by but no, I was not going to cheat. However, the day was tough. I was tired. Although I could sleep during the night, a cement floor is not the most comfortable place to sleep. The weather also changed. After the hot days it was now windy and cool with some showers as well. Not as bad as the previous day but still uncomfortable. That evening I was pleased to reach Schnakenburg where good friends awaited me.
I stayed with Friedel and Mo for two nights, enjoying the luxury of a bed and shower during these windy and cold days. My feet and blisters where also thankful for the break.
The next day after a lazy breakfast and another good chat Mo accompanied me for the first 2km of my walk and then it was just me and the road again. As I entered the next town disaster struck yet again. This time it was the front axle of my cart that gave up. Luckily I was close to a garage and workshop and my good old companion did not have to limp too far.
With a welded axle my cart and I continued. I soon realised how lucky I was that it had happened where help was close by.
This was almost the last bit of civilisation I was to see for the rest of the day as my path took me into deep and beautiful natural untouched forest.
As I got to the end of the forest I found a little horse stable and meadow where I spent the night.
On day 36 I cracked the 1000km mark!! When I got to the next town I celebrated with a biiig ice cream. It looked so yummy that I immediately started eating and therefore forgot to take a picture for the blog. Sorry! But here is a selfie from the day.
My hotel for the night was a shooting range that has not been used for a while. I first wanted to go on a bit further but was glad that I did stop there because I found a little bird dangling by its little claw that got stuck in some old chairs. I could free it and it flew away, much to the delight of its chirping mother that came fluttering by. Hope it will be okay. At least I could end the day with a good deed 🙂