Flensburg to Idstedt
I was too optimistic: The delay of the night train grew bigger and bigger and thus my connection in Hamburg was gone. An hour to kill. Normally I don't mind but today it's not that easy. My restless feet want to hit the trail and not walking circles on the platform. While waiting, I get more or less completely ready so I could start my hike as soon as I step off the train. And that's exactly what I am doing once the train doors open in Flensburg. In fact I am so keen to start walking after 16 hours in the train that I nearly forget my "before hike" selfie.
When I left Flensburg after completing my Denmark hike in November, I was optimistic that I could continue my hike in shorts, shirt and with sunglasses on when I'd beck in May. Well, a beenie, a rain jacket and merino long sleeve shirt are what I am wearing on this windy, cold Saturday afternoon. At least I'm wearing shorts!
In combination with the lack of sleep and the flat terrain I can't get my body up to my preferred working temperature. A bit uncomfortable but I had experienced worse.
The trail is amazingly well marked with white "X"s everywhere. No way to get lost. Mostly on quiet back roads, through lush beech forest and picturesque villages, which look rather Danish than German, I make swift progress. My body feels good, not stiff at all, which is unusual on my first day on the trail.
Shortly before Idstedt, I pass a shelter. As a shower of rain is passing through at this very moment, I decide to call it a day and set camp here, instead of continuing another kilometer to a lake, where I was initially planning on camping.
After a bit of stretching, cooking I retreat into my sleeping bag. After 36 hours without sleep I think I will sleep tight tonight.
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George Mills (Saturday, 28 May 2022 22:00)
You're off! Good progress after the delayed start. The tree look like what we call a monkey puzzle tree. A native of New Caledonia and other islands up that way (North of us). Like us they have unique fauna. We see them in parks often. Hope it warms up soon.
Fredy Koster (Saturday, 28 May 2022 22:22)
So good to see you hiking again. Always so great to follow you on your adventure.
Good luck and take care.
Rob (Sunday, 29 May 2022 18:50)
I have woken an ungodly hour. My mind is full of many thoughts. A welcome distraction to send you a message. Yes, as George has already answered your question of the tree, it is a Monkey Puzzle tree. Quite prickly branches. It looks quite uniform when young, but expands to a much wider adult. It's a bit like our native giant, the Kauri. You would have seen them through the Puketi Firest up the far north, and along the Northland coast. As a youngster it has a more upright stance, but at it reaches maturity after many hundreds of years, it begins to grow outward, and have more of a crown. Monkey Puzzle is similar in growth.
I think the Monkey Puzzle, is a distant relative to the Norfolk Island tree, found on the Norfolk Island. New Caledonia, and Norfolk Island are not far from each other.
Rob (Sunday, 29 May 2022 18:55)
I stand corrected. The Monkey Puzzle, is native to South American - Chile/Argentina. A Version of it is found in New Caledonia. It is seen in parks and arboretums here. Not good for children as it's branches are quite spikey/prickly