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My Big Adventure ~ I walk 1435km through Germany


In 2015 I took a sabbatical time out from everything. The thought of doing a pilgrimage type walk was brooding in the back of my mind for many years and as my idea became a plan, I extended the route and added some training seminars and retreats to my itinerary and the trip grew into a big six-month adventure. With the original blog posts, I shared my experiences, mishaps, adventures, struggles, thoughts and the beauty of Europe with my followers, friends and family. I want to reshare my adventure with you on this website and hope you enjoy reading all about my pilgrimage.


My blog begins

Everybody starts a blog for a reason. Be it because they think that everybody should be interested in what they do, be it because they want to share information, be it to practise journalistic skills, be it to do advertising or be it to be ‘in’ (everybody has a blog, if I don’t have one I will be socially so out, nobody will love me, my cv will look bad and I will lose my job – I might as well kill myself!) As you might gather, I am a bit at two minds about social media and networking. I for one am not on Facebook all day and my world does not stop turning if I don’t have internet or access to my emails because of load shedding. Well, so why did I start a blog? Probably for all the reasons I mentioned above. Yes, to a degree I fell into the same trap.

I have never been good at keeping a journal. I tried it a couple of times but not with much success. So why is this attempt going to be different? Maybe it won’t but if I don’t try I will never know. So bear with me and hopefully, I will surprise us all.

Back to my reasons to start this blog. When I began sharing my plan to do a long hiking trail my expectations were that everybody would say that I am crazy, that I would never make it, that I won’t last a week etc. The response was very different. Some of my friends became more excited than even I thought I was myself. So it is for them that I will try my best to stick to writing a regular blog-entry about my adventure! And maybe my writing skills will improve, and maybe I will get some advertising out of it (call me if you need a good massage 😉 hint, hint – nudge, nudge) and maybe it could look good on my cv one day! Yes, in a sense for the same reasons as everybody else. Be that as it may, I am glad that you are in front of your screen and willing to read this. And of course, hope that you will follow my blog as well!

For those who don’t know the details yet, I plan to walk from Munich in the south of Germany all the way to Berlin, then further on to Hamburg in the north and then another 200km south again to OsnabrĂŒck – the city my father comes from. You can see a map with the +-1250km route by following this link: From HofbrĂ€uhaus to Lutherkirche http://www.komoot.de/tour/r4053565?ref=atd (you might wonder why it is under the name Nico; no, I don’t have a split personality, Nico Bee is my avatar on some web sites)

My blog will be about this trip. I want to share the trials and tribulations, my impressions, my thoughts. My flight is booked for the 23rd of March 2015. That is less than 5 weeks from today. Until then I want to write a bit more about myself and my thoughts and motivation for going. If I start waffling on, bare with me, it should get more interesting as I go along. Well, at least I hope it will, even more than you do! Believe me!

Let me stop here for today. Thanks for sticking around.
Cheers
E.

P.S. For those who don’t know, I am really I massage therapist. Not that you think I was trying to advertise something fishy above.

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Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!

Do you remember Captain Haddock from the Tintin comic books? He often uses this expression: “Billions of Blue Blistering Barnacles!”, well, may I say “Billions of Blue Barnecling Blisters!”

Luckily I have not had many, but when they do come and spoil my training routine, they sure are a nuisance!!

Let me share a part of an email I sent to a friend some time ago when my idea for the trip started taking shape:
I drove to Saldanha for a short holiday.[this was in September 2014] The one day I decided to do a first ‘test walk’. I walked from Saldanha to Langebaan, had lunch and walked back (about 30km). What an experience. [It took me about 7 hours] My first realisation was that that particular pair of shoes is definitely not going with to Germany!! I started getting blisters after about an hour already! .

Let me just elaborate; after the first hour – about 5km – my feet started to hurt. After the second hour I stopped at a shop to buy another pair of socks plus inlays. These gave me limited relieve but shortly after I was walking like a cripple – and I had not even reached the beach bar for my lunch yet!! When I got there the first glass of beer was HEAVEN! The pain of the blisters under my feet and on my heels got worse and worse on the return walk. Somehow I made it back to the cottage, then dragged myself to the beach and just sat in the cold water of the lagoon for some relief. My legs where stiff and sore for almost a week!

Although I don’t want that day over again, I still see it in a good light and am glad I pushed myself through it. It opened my eyes for what lies ahead and how important it would be to get good equipment, work out a training routine and do as much preparation as I could. Needless to say, I don’t use those shoes anymore. I spoke to a good friend who runs marathons who told me where and what running/hiking shoes to buy and I even went to a Podiatrist for some advice and individualised inlays. At the moment I do up to 15km in less than 3hours without stopping and without getting stiff. In Germany I will need to do between 20-30km’s per day.

Back to the blisters; for some reason I got one again a couple of days ago! It might be because I tried new socks or tied my shoe laces too tight. From now on I will definitely follow the good tip from my Podiatrist to wear a pair of ladies stockings inside my socks. This prevents the friction that causes those “Barnecling Blisters!”  :mrgreen:

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Caffeine for the legs

Isn’t it amazing how music can give you new physical energy? I have noticed this numerous times now with my training for my trip. I knew it before of course, but it was noticeably confirmed so to speak. I got a bit bored listening to a life coach thing I found on youtube while doing a short 6km walk today and changed to some electro swing music. The beat immediately made me walk a bit faster and full of energy, I was almost hopping or dancing my way home, 13kg rucksack, heel blister and all!

There are two songs that have almost become mottos for my trip. The one is an old Louis Armstrong song which starts like this:
I’m walking on air
For I left all my blue days behind
I’ve learned how to care
And there’s love, really love on my mind

The other one is by 5 In Love incorporating not only my hiking trip but my life journey as well. These are the wisest words I have heard in a long time 🙂

Swing What You Got by 5 In Love

I met a wise man on a mountaintop
And then I asked him “What’s the secret, pop?
The people down below we all want to know,
How to play the game of life before we got to go.”

He looked at me and said “I’ve pondered long
Listening to mother nature’s song
And let me tell you, son, life ain’t just for fun
But if you want to have a ball here’s how you get it done:

You got to swing what you got to save your soul!
Swing what you got b’for it gets old
When troubles gather round
Don’t stop then to frown
Just put on your dancing shoes and dance them out of town
The world is full of music, don’t you know?
Not just what is on your radio
So here’s my answer boy
For everlasting joy
Just swing what you got to save your soul!

You got to swing what you got to save your soul!
Swing what you got b’for it gets old
When troubles gather round
Don’t stop then to frown
Just put on your dancing shoes and dance them out of town
The world is full of music, don’t you know?
Not just what is on your radio
So every gal and gate
Come on lets celebrate
And swing what you got to save your soul!

I challenge you to try and keep your feet still while listening to the extended remix by Cab Canavaral https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ifpBx2wFzR8

Keep swinging!
Cheers

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The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The other day I was on my way home from a morning walk when I decided that I was going to take a break from all preparations and have a couch-potato day. With four rented DVDs, two big packets of chips, some Smarties and a 1.5 litre cool drink I snuggled under a duvet on the couch and watched one movie after the other. Three of the movies where boring to ok but the fourth one, The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, was a gem. A group of elderly English people fly to India to live in a luxury retirement hotel, but when they get there, it is everything but luxurious. The film is about the young entrepreneur who runs the hotel and these guests and how everyone deals and copes with the situation and their new life. I want to share some quotes from the movie with you. Some are inspiring, some are thought provoking and some are just plain funny but yet so deep:

“I don’t think you are going to cope!” – “Well, let’s find out, shall we.”

“Trust me! I have still got it. – Just don’t find anyone that wants it!”

“I am single by choice – just not my choice.”

“[Life changes are] like a wave. Resist, and you will be knocked over, dive into it and you will come out the other side.”

“I did join a gym last year. It cost me a fortune but I did not get any fitter. Apparently you actually have to go.”

“When I want your opinion, I will give it to you!!”

“Love of my life! No more will I believe that I am not worthy; for only by loving you as you deserve will I become so!”

“Nothing happens unless first we dream!”

“Nothing here has worked out how I expected.” – “Most things don’t, but you know, sometimes what happens instead is the good stuff.”

“The only real failure is the failure to try – and the measure of success is how we cope with disappointment.”

“The person who risks nothing – does nothing. Has nothing. All that we know about the future is that it will be different. But perhaps what we fear is that it will be the same – so we must celebrate the changes. […] Because everything will be allright in the end, and if it is not allright, then trust me, it is not yet the end!

All of them but maybe especially this last one touched me deeply. I was going through some pre-event blues. My piggy bank was getting anorexic, I had a minor injury and my training was not going as planned, I couldn’t find accommodation for some of my courses, what will I do, once I come back to SA? I was getting scared of my own adventure! And then fate sent me this movie and pulled me up again. This trip will change me – I don’t know how yet, but that’s okay, I will risk it, I will face the future…

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inHAAAAAAAaaaaaaaln, xHAAAAAaaaaaln, fingeeers rlauuuuuxed

Don’t worry, it also took me some time before I figured out what these words meant. Another two that took me weeks to understand were cashewfeatranglechin and ‘pelfeces’.

To get my body a little bit more in shape and not just my legs from all the walking, I joined a Yoga class. Our instructor is a real character. With his Indian accent he makes us ‘stand tall like a mountain’, ‘grow like a tree’, ‘rock like a boat’ and stretch into ‘an inverted V’ while being aware of all body ‘moooomans’ (movements). And in between we do deep ‘abdooooominal inHAAAAAAAaaaaaaaln and xHAAAAAaaaaaln’ (inhaling and exhaling). At the end we lie in ‘corpse pose’ and our ‘toesfeetlegstieships’ up to the ‘neckfacebrain’ is ‘rlauuuuuxed’ (relaxed). While giving us the instructions his voice goes melodically up and down at least an octave – sometimes even in a single word! You just wait for the beat to kick in!

The funniest thing is that we all take it so seriously! Or is it because we concentrate so hard that our faces forget to smile?

We are usually 8-12 people. I go to the morning class so it is mostly house wife’s, a few students, sometimes a lady or two on her way to work, and me. One or two are very good and it always amazes me how they bend and twist their bodies into the different poses. But most of us are a bit on the chubby side and to an outsider it must look ridiculous how we try to reach our toes and how we stick our bums into the air! But who cares, we are trying our best and that is all that counts. Nothing else matters.

Never be afraid to start something new! The only real failure is the failure to try. It does not matter if you don’t understand everything from the start or how ridiculous it looks as long as you have the guts to get your bum of the couch and do it! And if other people think you are crazy, let it remain their problem! Don’t make it yours. Let them deal with their judgemental views in their own mind – you will need all your own energy and mind to pursue your own new goal. One day we will also be able to bend and twist! And even our bums will be beautiful up there, up in the air!

Oh yes, cashewfeatranglechin means catch your feet or ankles or shins and pelfeces means pelvis and hips

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Lotto Tickets

Please let me win the Lotto!” Every Saturday the same prayer. “Oh Lord, please let me win the Lotto! Please, please, please let me win the Lotto!” Week after week, month after month, year after year. Before every Lotto draw this old guy would fall on his knees and pray as hard as he could for a Lotto win. One day, after about twenty years of this, the Lord just had enough, and when the man fell on his knees again to pray, the Lord interrupted him and said: “My son, just once, will you pleeease go and BUY a Lotto ticket!!

This may be a funny little joke but there is so much wisdom hidden between the lines. The moral of the story is, it is never to late to win the “Lotto”, but you have to go out and buy the ticket! How often don’t we plead for something, for change or a miracle in our lives. We expect others, God, the universe or fate to bless us with what we want. We just expect. And then, when nothing happens, we blame or find excuses.

Do we realise that we have to buy a ticket? And remember that not every ticket is a winner? Before you pray to loose weight, you may just need to pay the price of not eating so many chocolates or actually getting off the couch to do some exercises.

Staying with the metaphor of gambling; I have always felt that I have been dealt good cards in this poker game of life – I was just never the best at playing them. My first hand was a blessed and protected childhood. It was not all Aces and having to go to boarding school from the first grade onwards was not always easy. But I had a good King and Queen, my parents, and my teachers were, well, let’s say Sixes and Sevens.

My next round was college. The first hand was great and I had fun snapping away for the National Diploma in Photography. The next hands were duds until I drew the Joker and specialised in Theatre Photography for my final exams. (Okay, I know there is no Joker in Poker but bear with me) I had nine years of fun playing my game at the State Theatre in Pretoria but never drew the final Ace for the jackpot of a fulfilled career. I never had the natural personal connection with my subjects to do good portraits.

A pair of Queens (real ladies – not the cross dress ones) also came into my life but did not stay for long and what followed after the theatre were eleven years of mainly dud hands with a few Jacks and Nines and Tens in between.

I did not feel that I was winning at Poker and decided to try my luck at Black Jack when I went back to college to study Massage Therapy. So far the hands I have been dealt where mixed, some high scores, some low scores and a couple of duds. No jackpot yet, but I feel that this game is more for me.

I was still frustrated and trying to control the cards until I met more Queens in Jenny and Celeste (I hope they don’t mind me mentioning their names) They gave me some wonderful tips and taught me how to play the hand that is dealt better, rather than getting mad if it is not a 21 score hand. A 16 score can also be a winner.

They also taught me that you can’t always rely on your skills alone to play. Sometimes you just need to let go and trust. And that is why I am back to playing Lotto. With this trip I have spent all my money and energy on a ticket, trusting that the winnings will be big. Maybe it will not be the jackpot but at least, on Monday at the airport, when I bow my head to pray for a win, I can honestly say that I tried my best and bought my Lotto ticket.

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“May I open your Brazier?” and other Nipple Stands

One of the first major concerns for me when I had the idea of becoming a massage therapist a few years ago was: how would ladies react to me – a not so young, balding man with a beard and body that never came too close to a gym routine – wanting to massage them? Was it feasible for me to even attempt the studies? Luckily, my fears where not grounded – well, not too much at least. Let me share some of my experiences:

I will get to the nipple stands later, for now let me start with the quote from the title of this post which was a suggestion from an American website I found during my research into the problem. The author was adamant that, even if a lady was lying face down for a back massage but left her brazier on, you have to ask her if you may open it. While I can understand the sentiment when doing a manipulating sport massage, I could never get used to the idea of this during a wellness massage. The last thing you want to do after spending half an hour relaxing the client (who at this point is lying on her back) by working on the front arms and legs, is to call her out of her dream world with a kind of ‘obvious’ question, after she has turned around to lie on her front. I tried it once or twice but soon gave up on that.

Our clients at the spa, where I worked for the last two years, were encouraged to send comment e-mails to a website we collaborated with. One lady wrote: “… and then I was massaged by this creepy guy … although the massage was very good…” I had to smile. I know I am not George Clooney or Brad Pitt, but creepy?? Anyway, from that day on my nickname at the spa was ‘Creepy Guy’. Well, at least she acknowledged that Creepy Guy still gave her a good massage 🙂 (Later on my nickname changed to Stud Manager – but that’s another story…)

One day a boss and his staff came to the spa. I was assigned to work with the man while Louisa and my other female colleagues treated the ladies. The next year I heard that they would not be coming back as the poor boss felt “traumatized” because a man had touched him. If it wasn’t so funny it would actually be sad that people would rather endure three ‘traumatizing’ treatments instead of just opening their mouth and asking for another therapist. Often ladies did say something though. When I was assigned to them they would ask for someone else (or chase me out of the room 🙂 ) I respected that every time and as you might have gathered, I did not take any negative comment or request personally.

I know this post is getting a bit long but before you think that I only had negative experiences – they definitely were in the minority – let me just tell you about one episode that of course tickled my ego. After having worked at the spa for a while, there were a number of ladies who would specifically ask for me and I often received compliments about my massages. Comments like “You have healing hands!” and “You touched my soul!” confirmed to me that I was on the right track with this new direction in my life. And that is also why I will interrupt my pilgrimage with seminars and further training workshops, to learn new techniques and widen the horizon.

A mother and her two adult daughters came to spend the day at the spa one Saturday. By chance the youngest daughter was assigned to me for the first treatment. For their second treatment the mother had chosen Aromatherapy and as I was well trained in that, the other therapists and I decided that I would take her for the treatment. I was standing by at the cubicle as Louisa went to fetch them from the relaxation area. At the cubicles the older daughter wanted to come straight to my door. Louisa politely explained that the mother was to go to me. The daughter said: “Oh, in the break we had a little tiff about who’s chance it was going to be to get the man next. But it’s okay. I’ll give her the precedence seeing that it is her birthday.” For the first time in my life I had ladies ‘fighting’ over ME. Wow, what an experience and boost for the ego!! Needless to say, the mother got an extra special massage for her birthday! 🙂

And then of course there was the day when I realized that the blanket started to rise. I was just innocently working on her arms when the lady had a noticeable nipple stand. “Yeeeehaaa!” I thought, “Today I am doing something really right! When you’re good, you’re gooood!”

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30 minutes after I landed, 150 people die

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I have always been a fan of flying. It is never the most comfortable means of traveling but always fascinating. Sitting at the window and looking down on the clouds, the cities, the rivers and the fields from this perspective makes you realise how small everything is, literally and figuratively.

And thirty minutes after we landed in Bremen, the magnificent view I had followed was for 150 people the last they would ever see. Like everybody else I was shocked by the sad news of flight 4U 9525 that crashed in the French Alps. So many people who could not, like me, send a message back home to say that they had arrived safely at their destination. And how shocking is the news about the cause of the crash. What must have gone through the mind of such a young copilot for him to decide to kill himself and so many innocent fellow human beings with him?

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I found this little statue of St. Jacob, the patron saint of all pilgrims, in a courtyard of a church.

My first days in Germany where filled with adaptational issues. It is still rather cold and rainy here. Hope I’m not coming down with the flu. I needed to find a good sim card and prepaid option for my phone and tablet. This took me a while because there are so many options here that it was difficult to figure out which would be the best. I got the sim cards and data connection but now my e-mails don’t want to send. I have not figured that one out yet. The next problem was trying to open a bank account. I had tried doing this online from South Africa before but with no luck. They just replied that I would have to come in in person. And now that I did, German bureaucracy decided that it is next to impossible to get an account. I first need to get police clearance, it can take up to four weeks, our branch is too small to help you – drive to the next town, or come back tomorrow, we are closed for the afternoon, etc, etc. Only in the third bank did they eventually help me to open an account but I could not get a card yet. They will send it by post next week sometime and my poor cousin will have to forward it to me.
I also did a 23km training walk. It started to drissel and I had forgotten my rain poncho and got all wet. Plus my cellphone battery went dead so I could not take any more pictures or record the statistics of my walk.

And yet I am so happy to be here and grateful to have such trivial problems when I think of the 150 people who will never be able to have a single problem again.

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Mike and Niklas – and a sense of humour

Ice cold storm fronts named Mike and Niklas are blowing over Germany. Well, I trust, this is the last winter onslaught before everything turns to my favour and I get beautifull dry spring weather for the walk. Ha, ha.

No, I am staying positive and as long as I am sitting in a heated train I have no reason not to be. After some days with my cousin I am on my way to visit my aunt en route down to MĂŒnchen.

Next day: The storms are still all over Germany. After a pleasant visit at my aunt, I am now sitting on a train station and don’t know if my follow on train will come. The display board says Indefinitely delayed due to bad weather the one moment 80 min delay the next. We will see.

Should you ever travel on European trains, be sure to use the on board facilities which are free. I just had to pay 1 Euro, that is OVER R13, to take a pee in the station rest room. Okay, let me be fair, it turned out to be 70 Cents, but let me tell the whole story as I was not the only one involved. That does not sound right but I think you will understand when you read on. At the entrances to the restrooms I met a young African lady with her baby who was obviously having trouble. She asked me if I could speak English by any chance. Feeling that I was sent there in that exact moment to help her I said yes. She asked me if I could give her change for 10 Euro for the door mechanism. I asked her how much she still needed and she said 20 Cents. I just gave her a 20 Cent coin without a thought and they could go in. Then it was my turn at the door and when I saw that it costs 1 Euro I looked at the rest of my change and what did I have? 80 Cents! I was short the exact 20 Cents I had just given to the damsel in distress! And my bladder was getting impatient too. I just thought, God, help! You sent me to help this lady, now I need help too! In that moment the next person asked me, Is this your 50 Cent coin in the return slot? I said No, but I sure could use it right now! Me and my bladder were very thankful and we enjoyed the R10 pee! Sometimes God really does have a strange sense of humour!

30 mins later: All trains to Bavaria have been cancelled. Munich station is being evacuated as the storm is ripping off pieces of the nearby buildings. I am stuck in Fulda for at least the night. Eish. Luckily I know people here and it looks like they are getting an unexpected visitor.

6 hours later: I did not have their number with me so I had to phone my parents in SA first. And although they where expecting some guests our acquaintances welcomed me into their home with open arms and we had a very pleasant evening with lots of reminiscing stories, much to the amusement of the other guests, about the past when Wolfgang worked for my father on the mission station some 32 years ago.

Again, I could have been stranded on any station en route to Munich but I was blessed to be stuck in Fulda. God does have a sense of humour to change a stormy night into a night to remember.

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The first 100km

Day 1

3 April and I finally made it to Munich after my unexpected pitstop in Fulda. A lovely spring day awaited me as I made my way to thé Munich landmark, the HofbrÀuhaus. As expected it was packed but I found a table which I shared with a young Spanish couple. I ordered a Breezen, a Brotzeit and a Mass Bier.
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A Brotzeit is a platter with different cheeses, sliced meat and bread. A Breezen is like a oversized pretzel and a Mass is a standard size glass of beer in Bavaria – 1 litre. Now I was ready to begin my adventure!

Munich is a wonderful city. Just a few blocks from the HofbrÀuhaus lies the Englischer Garten (English garden). The name refers to its English garden form of informal landscape, a style popular in Britain from the mid-18th century to the early 19th century, as opposed to the French architecture which sees everything in strict lines, squares and other forms well known from their palaces. As soon as you enter the Englischer Garten you immediately feel that you are out of the city. The street hustle and bustle is gone and all around just happy people taking a stroll, enjoying the sunshine or walking their dogs.
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With an area of 3.7 km2, the Englischer Garten is one of the world’s largest urban public parks, larger than New York’s Central Park. Once I walked through it I had almost reached the edge of the city as well. I continued along the Isar river, still surrounded by the forest and being greeted by the occasional swans or ducks. The weather stayed dry and I could follow along the river for about 18km without seeing a high rise building or any signs of city life. Wonderful. That is, until I realised that I would need some civilisation soon. In my eagerness to start while the weather was good, I had not looked for a supermarket to buy some food or organise water. After 20kms of walking, I left the path to go into a nearby village. This turned out to be research industrial area and university – so no shops or B-n-B’s around. I had to walk another 3km to the next town. By this time it was shortly after 9pm. Apparently too late to ask for a room. At least the old lady in her gown was not happy that I rang the bell. If it wasn’t for the fact that I was dead tired and dehydrated I almost told her that I would take my money elsewhere. But she let me in and soon after I was fast asleep.

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Day 2

I left Dietersheim at about 10h30 and made it all the way to Zöllingen. 28.7km. In Freising I found a supermarket and could buy some supplies. Outside the shop I could not wait to tear open the packet and bite into a delicious apple. I savoured every drop of juice. It had started to drizzle and rain but it was not too cold at first but got colder as the day progressed. I took a long break just sitting in a church. Unobtrusively taking my socks off and rubbing my feet with cream. Yes, my friends the blisters had returned.

The path took me up and down some beautiful forest paths and through quaint little towns. By the time I reached Zöllingen I just wanted to find the next pub to get warm. By chance the first one I found was a sports club pub just before my favourite team, Bayern MĂŒnchen, was about to kick off against Dortmund. With some food and beer against the cold I enjoyed the game with the locals. We won 1:0! After the game I got talking with some of them and they organised me an affordable room for the night. They even offered to take me and we had another couple of beers with the owner of the inn. After 3 litres of Bavarian beer I slept like a baby.
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Day 3

The morning was sunny and cool. As it was Easter Sunday I visited the local church for a special Easter service with choir and orchestra. By the time I came out and started my walking shift for the day the sun was gone and it became colder and colder. By 19:30 I had walked 28.8 km up and down muddy forest paths. This section was tough but still so beautiful. I was bushed and just wanted to lie down and sleep. Before the last light was gone I set up my hammock, slipped into my sleeping bag and started what was probably the coldest night I have ever had. I woke up numerous times from the chattering of my teeth, my ice block feet and shivering bones. It was close to 0 deg Celsius and the sleeping bag manufacturers lie when they say that this model is suited for -5 deg!

Day 4

It took some walking to stop the shivering. The day was ice cold and cloudy and the forest paths steep, muddy, but oh so beautiful. The last 5km I had to walk through snow drizzle. After 24.3km I reached Neustadt. It was only midday but I just wanted a warm room for the night. After unpacking everything and hanging it all over my hotel room to dry, I enjoyed a looong hot shower and climbed into bed for an afternoon nap that lasted till 17:30. The evening was filled with my blog, sorting photos etc.

I am just happy to have reached my first 100km.