After a very relaxing day off eating and hanging out with Cat, she once again went out of her way to help me and dropped me off in the exact spot where I had stopped two days before – the ‘murder cabin’. It was still pretty creepy and after saying goodbye to my friend (not for long though, stay tuned), I quickly headed onwards, tackling the first climb of the day. It was a mix of forest roads, single trail, but always steep and unrelenting. It was slow going in the morning, but I enjoyed trudging upwards and listening to podcasts. Along the way I passed several devotional shrines depicting the last walk of Jesus. Makes sense, because at the top of the hill is an actual chapel, only accessible on foot, where they still hold special services occasionally. I passed several older men doing some repair work and renovations of the shrines and it always baffles me, how religion can make people so devoted to something. I mean, here’s this myth of an old white dude that no-one has ever seen, who supposedly sits on a cloud and knows everything and is responsible for all existence. He is benevolent (but only to those who believe in him) and supposedly at the end of life there’s a great reward waiting for you, if you behave. Don’t get me wrong, i think if you believe in christian values and live your life according to them, I respect that. But more often than not, these values are interpreted in a way and twisted so that they benefit old white dudes, oppressing others and validating horrible acts against ‘non-believers’. Because….’religion’, you know? I guess I just have an issue with organized religion that seeks to exclude others simply by perpetuationg the ‘belief’ that their way is the right way.
Anyway, it was still nice to reach the top of the hill, utilising the benches set in front of the chapel to take a break and enjoy the view. I made some Ramen (of course) and watched people come and go, lots of families out for a nice morning’s walk.
I headed out again, climbing a little more, then descending again, just to climb some more. After the first climb of the morning, the trail pretty much went up and own and up and down all day, nice undulation terrain, always offering some spectacular views on the hilltops. I walked through forest, over open meadown, along a golf course, through more forest, the scenery ever changing and it was great walking, nice soft forest floor mixed with the occasional gravel road and even the remanants of an old (Roman?) roadway. The hiking itself just kind of flowed today, I felt strong, capable, and oh so hungry. I finished an entire bag of crispy, seasoned peanuts, ate some bars, candy, and I was still hungry. What’s going on today? Along the trail I passed several huts of varying degrees of comfort, from a almost-fallen-down dilapidated shed to an amazingly cozy cabin with benches stored inside and a fireplace out front. I was trying to take my time today, but I just felt like walking, continually moving along until I reached my destination for the night, which I did….at 5pm. Welp. It didn’t really make much sense to keep moving on, because I was going to meet up with Cat in the morning, and there were only 6km between the little tiny hut where I was at and our meeting point. Oh well, guess it gave me enough time to enjoy the view.
Over the next few hours a lot of mountain bikers made it up the hill to the hut, some stayed, some chatted, some didn’t, but eventually everyone moved on, leaving the place to me by about 7pm. Some kind amazing soul had somehow dragged an old wooden door up this hill and I used it to construct a sleeping platform. Million star hotel, can’t be beat really. I made some dinner, watched the beautiful sunset and listened to the birds and creatures of the night taking over the forest again, an owl hooting in the distence. It got colder again as the evening progressed, but I drifted off to sleep pretty soon, snuggled up in my quilt.
Tomorrow, the longest day yet is about to happen, keeping you posted….