Day 136: It's all About Change

Grossgemeindenstein to Siegen

Distance: 30km

There's this one thing with thru-hiking: you keep moving, have to. Things around you keep changing. Be it the landscape, the food, the people, the weather.

You constantly keep leaving things behind. Mostly good things, but not only.

All you take with you are memories.

Sometimes it is not easy for me to leave things behind. For example leaving the Norwegian mountains for the Swedish forest, leaving a comfortable, warm bed of trail angels for rain and wind outside. It's simply part of the game. And it's a part I love about thru hiking. 

Because change can also be the other way. Mosquitoes, mud,... Also these hot days, the sorry looking forest which I am currently experiencing are only temporary. They won't last forever. They will be gone eventually. Maybe tomorrow, maybe in a week, maybe a month. Different things will come my way. Better, worse? I'll walk and see, expecting the unexpected. 

With this in mind I make an early start into my day. Trying to beat the heat. It's warm already when I start though, luckily getting considerably cooler once I drop down into the Ilse River Valley, which I'm following for a couple of kilometers. Sometimes the trail is impassable due to fallen trees blocking my way, so I use the road instead. No problem, as I have the road for myself on this early Sunday morning. Highlight, if you want to call it that way, is the Heiligenborn Spring. Apparently, its water can cure all kind of diseases. Despite feeling completely healthy, I refill my water bottle, enjoying a sip of the ice cold water. 

The rest of the walking day is fairly unspectacular. A thin, high cloud layer is blocking the sun. It's muggy. Yet, it's a bit easier to walk. Around noon I stumble across the second highlight: a cherry tree. Nothing special about that per se, as I have passed hundreds of them, but this one, standing in the parking lot of Aldi, is full of more or less ripe cherries. Finally, I can eat them. My hiking poles come handy as I can use them to grab some higher limbs. 

From the cherry tree in Deuz it's only another 3 hours to Siegen. I let my trail angels, who will host me for two days (I'll do a zero day here. After roundabout 1000 kilometers and 3 weeks, which took me halfway across Germany, I want to give my body a day to recover), know about my ETA of 15:00. An early finish after a comparably short day. On the last couple of meters, some tiny droplets of rain are falling on my head. Change - the only constant in a thru-hiker's life. 

7 minutes before 3 I ring the door bell. Gabi, my wonderful host, let's me in promptly. After a quick tour around the house I head straight into the shower. Important things first. 

I head down again for some bread and cheese and a Miami Flip - orange juice with vanilla ice cream. Super refreshing after such a day. 

Two days ago, Gabi asked my what I'd like for dinner. I replied a local dish would be nice. 

She tells me, she had to think hard about what to cook. But found something. Something with potatoes. I'm looking forward to that a lot, curios what she will cook for me! 

Walking, the sun in my back
Walking, the sun in my back
Heiligenborn Spring
Heiligenborn Spring
Typical view today
Typical view today
Walking in the noon heat
Walking in the noon heat
Cherries 😊
Cherries 😊

Write a comment

Comments: 3
  • #1

    Rob (Sunday, 19 June 2022 20:41)

    Yeah all those factors of change and letting go. A constant reminder, and frame of mind, about commitment. Moving on (*no matter what) is the only constant, that you need to focus on. No matter the changes that each day will bring you (*landscapes, weather, people, events), the one thing that remains constant, is no commitment. The truth is, you can't afford that frame of mind, as it may hinder your "moving on". You're on a mission. As with the changes of your day, so too are the Rollercoaster of emotions. Being close to people, yet knowing your commitment to them can only be brief, and so, in moving on, is a hint of loss and grieving. Allowing yourself to feel their presence and to "be" with them, but knowing you are to experience loss. That has to be tough. But to be resilient is the only way to cope. And then, to keep moving until your next encounter with people replaces your last. ...

  • #2

    Rob (Sunday, 19 June 2022 20:58)

    He aha te mea nui?
    He tangata
    He tangata
    He tangata

    What is the most important thing?
    It is people
    It is people
    It is people

    ... the one constant, which surely the hardest to deal with.
    Kia kaha e hoa mā.
    Be strong my friend
    At the end of this section (*as with other sections), is the comfort of home, and the familiar.
    It's not easy is it. To leave people behind.
    I take from your writing a sense of that everlasting reality. You know your other reality though, and that is
    "I have to move on"
    "I have a mission to achieve"
    Keeping your eye, and heart, on that mission - is constant.
    Stay your mission Sandro, as I know you will.
    Retain your determination. Your spirit. The bigger picture.
    Only when you have achieved the final and last step of E1, will you fully appreciate the entirety of your painting. Your picture.
    Kia kaha e hoa mā. �

  • #3

    George Mills (Monday, 20 June 2022 03:51)

    Another good day for you. I had picked up earlier that you had stopped in the Aldi car park but thought you were shopping not cherry picking! Sounds like a more interesting walk than the day before. Hope you enjoy your local meal and the company of your host. Have a good zero day and take it easy. Keep on tracking


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