Cranz to Handeloh
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.