Güster to Reinbeck
It's gotten quite late around the campfire yesterday, which doesn't really matter as I have a comparably short day ahead of me. With 80 kilometers, it's too far to make it into Hamburg, meaning I split it into two stages. This one will take me somewhere into the outskirts of Hamburg. Where exactly, I don't know yet. But I have a rough idea of where I want to camp. Tomorrow, the plan is to cross the whole city and take one of the last ferries out to the other side of the Elbe River, where I have another 1nitetent spot to camp. That's the plan at least. The ferry only runs when water levels are high enough. It's a bit of a gamble. If it does not sail as planned, then there's no plan B. Just yet at least.
By 05:30, I lay wide awake in my tent, no need to prolong it so I get ready and hit the trail by 06:00. A low cloud layer lays above Schleswig-Holstein and the sun needs half of the morning to burn them off. What follows is another beautiful, sunny, warm day.
The hike itself is unspectacular, in the beginning at least. Mostly westbound, initially through forest, then fields, than forest again. This second forest is surprisingly lovely to walk. More than 5 kilometers of sweet, soft single trails, a bit rugged at times. For once a welcome thing as the terrain is challenging my feet and ankles a little, which got a bit stiff lately due to long days on mostly the flat surfaces. I deviate slightly from E1 to enjoy this nice paths a bit longer.
As I get closer to my planned overnight stop, I take it slower. No need to arrive too early. I sit down in the forest, enjoying the peace and quiet before heading into Hamburg tomorrow. By far the largest city on E1 so far. Very exciting but also a bit frightening.
I make it to my designated spot just shy of 19:00. Some Russians are there celebrating a birthday. They seem somewhat apologetic to what is happening in the Ukraine. When I say I don't care too much they invite me for a glass of vodka. They say they don't mind if I camp here. Still, as it seems like to be a long party and they have a dangerous looking fire going, I kindly excuse myself and retreat my steps a couple of meters to a spot I've seen before to pitch my tent.