Day 123: Heathland And Trail Angels

Cranz to Handeloh

Distance: 45km

Horst, my host yesterday arrived with his partner a couple of minutes after I finished writing his blog. Two wonderful people, who used to work in Switzerland. Therefore, they offerd me to talk to them in Swiss German. An offer, I couldn't refuse. We go for a quick swim from their private jetty across the Este River. With 19 degrees fairly pleasant to swim and a great way to cool down after a long, hot day of city walking. 

The night is extremely wet, luckily Thor put up a tent above my tent. Despite the rain, my tent remains dry and packing in the morning is a breeze. 

Already after the first couple of steps I can feel that it's going to be a tough day. Not because of terrain but because I feel a bit stiff, I feel the backpack more than usual. 

Not much I can do about it. 1 hour into the walk, the path I am on, suddenly stops. Ahead of me, they are constructing an infamous German Autobahn. Initially, I follow a detour sign, which after a kilometer or so walking into the wrong direction, I realize won't get me back on track. A bit pissed off, I decide to hike across the wast construction site. Eventually, I am back on track. Not something I need at 05:30 in the morning. 

Soon afterwards, I join the Heidschnukenweg, a trail, E1 will be loosely following for the next 200 kilometers until Celle. The start of the trail is quite spectacular. Winding and twisting itself through heathland (so called Heide) on undulating terrain. The somewhat sandy trail is a pleasure to walk on after all the hard surfaces yesterday. 

After its fulminant start, the trail gets back to the normal forest walk. Plenty of tree fall is making progress slow at times. Towards the end of today's walk, I pass by Brunsberg, another lovely spot with surprisingly good views. 

The last couple of kilometers are getting even tougher. The stiffness did not disappear and now my feet start aching too. I think I'll have to throw in a shorter day tomorrow to give them some time to recover. 

Shortly before reaching my 1nitetent place, I meet Kai and Odin, his dog. My hosts for tonight. 

Kai turns out to be such a wonderful, kind and generous person. He is even offering me a bed in their spectacular half-timbered house. An offer,  I once more gladly accept after two weeks in the tent. A true trail angel. 

Kai heads to Hamburg for a quick job shortly afterwards, leaving me and Odin in the house, where I enjoy a warm shower and a big bowl of pasta, happy to have a roof over my head and happy to know that I will sleep like a king tonight. 

A tent under a tent
A tent under a tent
Early morning challenge: finding my way across an autobahn construction site
Early morning challenge: finding my way across an autobahn construction site
Heathland on Heidschnukenweg
Heathland on Heidschnukenweg
Climbing over a tree.
Climbing over a tree.
40 kilometers into the day. Not looking too fresh anymore.
40 kilometers into the day. Not looking too fresh anymore.
The X
The X
Getting close to my destination, with dark clouds looming ahead of me. And cool signal. A reminder of my Märklin model railway.
Getting close to my destination, with dark clouds looming ahead of me. And cool signal. A reminder of my Märklin model railway.
My home for tonight
My home for tonight

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Comments: 4
  • #1

    George Mills (Tuesday, 07 June 2022 06:31)

    Another great day. You must be in heaven. Another airport you passed by. And you didn't even mention it! The tent they put over yours is called gazebo here. Great until the wind gets up and gets under it. And you know how windy it gets here! The house you stayed in looks fabulous. A real gingerbread house. And the dog didn't bite. What more could you wish for? Don't overdo it with that leg. Keep on tracking

  • #2

    Fredy Koster (Tuesday, 07 June 2022 16:58)

    Hi Sandro
    What really nice people who give you shelter. It's such a beautiful thing.
    And as George said, take care of your leg.
    Keep following the X :)

  • #3

    Rob (Tuesday, 07 June 2022 21:56)

    A bit delayed in my reply, but rest assured, while George maps the detail (*mention no airport), I am keeping an eye out for you.
    Sometimes difficult to keep the spirit up, but you've been the walker you know, for some time now, so you know it will pass. Reminding yourself "what is my ultimate purpose?" Focus!
    Don't push yourself too hard. I fear I may be saying that to painted on ears. Never lose sight of THE FUN OF IT ALL. Every day, seek the joy. No matter the frustrations, let them go. You know there will be better times. To know the setbacks, is to discover more about yourself. The tests are not of the environment, they are of you. You shall overcome.
    While George is taking care of your map, I am looking for your wairua (spirit). Trying to read and understand your spirit. Trying to see your spirit, and it's affect on your 'self'. 'Te Whare Tapa Whā' (Māori Health & Wellbeing - The 4 Cornerstones):
    Te Taha Wairua - Spiritual Wellbeing
    Te Taha Tinana - Physical (body and environment) Wellbeing
    Te Taha Hinengaro - Mental Wellbeing
    Te Taha Whānau - Family Wellbeing.
    These are the realms with which I follow you, watch you. Not only on your walks/treks/hikes, but of your life. So you see Sandro, my watching you, albeit of a different manner and frequency to George it is nevertheless a duality of how we protect you.
    Coming back to Whare Tapa Whā, for me, watching you is about, the balance, or equilibrium of all 4 realms (or cornerstones). It's ok, and natural to have times of unbalance, but it's important and necessary to return to equilibrium, as soon as is possible. I'm here, to keep an eye on that for, and with you. Something I have taken upon myself, from when I first met you. Manaakitanga (take care of the visitor), which isn't just about being in our home, for many, it is a choosing I make - that remains lifelong. Even though (to me) you are no longer the visitor, it is the bond of friendship that keeps manaaki burning. Alive.
    You knew, and know, there will be setbacks. Conversely you knew and know there will be momentous occasions. Celebrate the lows and highs. In time when you look back at this section, no matter how bad a day (weather, terrain, people, mood etc), YOU WILL SMILE, because in those moments of time - you were changed. In some moments, you will not be aware of those changes, but in time, you will.
    You will loosen. Find the enjoyment in every day.
    Always know, we ARE HERE. Albeit far far away on the other side of the world (*I'm sure I've written this before to you), we are here.
    Kia kaha e hoa mā
    Be strong my friend.
    Noho haumaru
    Stay safe.

  • #4

    Rob (Tuesday, 07 June 2022 22:00)

    Ps ... loving the photos. Enhancing your kōrerorero (story telling).


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