Wednesday, 12 November 2014


Yesterday in the afternoon, and then into the dark of evening I walked on in my new cheap, or cheap new but either way so far comfortable boots. It's dark by five now. It's odd to leave the lights of a village - there was no inn, no place except a bus shelter to stop - and walk into pitch darkness across open fields and then into miles of first. The track like a tunnel through towering pines. And my eyes adjust and I can see the track faintly and the shape of near trees. I walked on by instinct and hunch and was repaid. A hunter's cabin, locked (since Herzog's walk - because of his walk and break-ins? - huts and barns and holiday homes are locked and barred) but with a wide veranda. No need to put up the tarp, and there's a bench so I can sit as I cook packet soup and patch up my feet and write notes and route check the map. But it's cold and by nine I'm in my sleeping bag, wearing most of my clothes and gloves and hat. How cold will it be when I start climbing into the wilderness and high ground beyond the Danube? Well, I'll see in a day or two.
I slept to the shrieks and hoots of owls, and chuffle of distant trains. I woke early 6.30, but only a short while later a forestry lorry passed; those hard working Schwabs - they're renowned for it, even by German standards.
In Laupheim - where I am now - I bought more surgical alcohol. The pretty, English speaking chemist was intrigued by the walk. Like most Germans, it seems, she has no idea who Herzog is. She assured me that the alcohol was just alcohol (70%) and water with no additives. 'Don't drink it,' she warned me. Do I look like someone who'd drink medicinal hooch? Well with six days of stubbly beard and my walking clothes, very possibly.
I'm thinking of inviting some other film directors along on the walk to balance out Herzog. Hitchcock says he'll pop in along the way - that may have been him in that family party in a village café. Mike Leigh wants us to make it up as we go along. Tarrantino has to get the sound track sorted first. Spielberg's just going to recreate the whole route in an LA studio; I like this idea best of all.
I'm trickle buying coffees and cakes to be able to spend hours in this café charging camera batteries and phone, writing and preparing to walk on into cold fog alongside a busy road for ten miles. There's rain forecast for tonight, starting in early evening so would be good to have found a barn or some kind of lean-to or crude roof by dark.
Walk on.

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About Me

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I'm an independent writer on wilderness activities, slow adventures, traditional horsemanship and odd stuff. I'm the author of Paddle; A long way around Ireland (Sort Of Books), and i was the story consultant on the IMAX documentary on cowboy cultures across the globe, Ride Around The Word. The Slow Adventure sends reports back from the front-line of a slow and simple life; horses, kayaks, guitars, long walks, travel, books, simplicity, trains, travel, wildlife and the occasional thrill.