Velmerstot to Oesdorf
Some people showed up for sunset at 22:00, some for moonrise of the supermoon a couple of minutes later.
Since the double decker observation tower is quite big, it never felt crowded.
Sunrise a couple of hours later is spectacular as well. This time I'm the only one up there, I enjoy every minute of it.
With such a wonderful start into my day, it feels like I am floating down along the shallow descending ridge. Shortly after I bump into Johanna, who just got out of her tent and who is doing a multiday hike. We have a nice conversation and after a long hug I am on my way again.
Plenty of the pine forest has become a victim of the Bark Beetle, the lack of rain and storms during the last 10 or so years. It's a sad sight. No shelter from the sun, which is burning down relentlessly. At one point, I open my umbrella, to get at least a little bit of shade. I don't mind the heat, my body seems to cope quite well with it. Yet, progress is getting a bit slower and the feeling of floating has been vaporized by the sun.
Shortly before Blankenrode, I'm under the shade of the trees again. What a welcome change. After 45 kilometers I'm ready to set camp near a shelter a couple of steps away from Blankenrode. It doesn't look too inviting though. A sign says 4 kilometers to the next shelter and, even though I am not really in the physical state to continue I do so anyway.
And oh boy, it is so worth it. Not the walk there, but what I experience at that shelter, where a theater group is celebrating. Before I can put down my pack, I get asked if I an vegan. I deny it and soon sit amongst a cheerful bunch of lovely people, drinking beer, Schnaps and eating lots of delicious food. A great evening with lots of talking and laughing.
It's getting late, or I should rather say early. Shortly past midnight, I get ready to set up my camp (which I had do time and motivation to do before), when Bernhard offers me his couch and a hot shower. I can't believe how lucky this night is turning out for me. Together we walk into the town of Oesdorf and to his beautiful place.
After a shower, it's shortly before 1 in the morning, I call it a day. A long day, an evenful, fantastic day. Definitely one to remember!