6/27/98. Wilhelmshöhe. 11:00. New blisters, changing to boots. Looks like rain. This morning, we took a short side trail to see the source of the Danube River, which lies just off the Westweg. [I met back up with the Danube in Vienna.] We're walking along the watershed between the Rhein to the west and the Danube to the east.
Beautiful farms we're walking past (and through) today, lots of cows. At one farm they all had cow bells of different sizes which made for a surprisingly melodious sound (40 seconds, wave file).
1:00. Schöne Aussicht Gasthaus (on very nice terrace looking up to the Karlstein mountain), no rain yet. We're eating lunch today at a restaurant since we have a long day planned (32 km). This is half-way. I called this morning and reserved a room at a hotel in Hausach so hope we make it that far. We're sharing an order of Wiener Schnitzel (29 DM).
6/28/98. Hausach, Gasthaus Blume. We had quite a day yesterday. We ended up doing the one thing we told ourselves we couldn't do because of how far we had to go, namely get off the trail. We took a wrong turn at Bannstein (no markers) and ended up wandering around for 2 hours trying to find the way back. In fact, we realized afterwards that we had climbed the same mountain (Horniskopf) 3 times from different points.
We finally took an overgrown old trail that led to an area we hadn't been to yet and when we got to the end-we were where we started 2 hours earlier. Seemed like we were bewitched. Afterwards, we figured out on the map that we had gone an extra 7 km. We were pretty discouraged since we had been making such good time and were on schedule to arrive in Hausach on time (between 7 and 8). Both of us also had in the meantime developed new blisters, probably from the steep up and downs that afternoon.
After getting back on the trail, we had another steep uphill, then steep down again on a rocky road that was murder on our feet. After a few minutes, a car came down the road very slowly. I was on the driver's side and when he came alongside of us I spontaneously asked if he'd give us a lift down the mountain, which he was glad to do. He dropped us off at a Gasthaus (Landwassereck) where they were preparing for a wedding reception.
I had thought the trail would follow the road, as it had been doing and that after the ride down we would be able to keep going on the trail. But the trail broke off from the road on the way down and the Gasthaus was far from the trail. By that time it was 6:00, and we decided we'd just try to find transportation to our hotel at Hausach. However, they told us there that there was neither bus nor taxi. So we decided to hitch-hike and after a few minutes were picked up by a young couple in a VW bus, who gave us a bottle of mineral water to drink and took us all the way to Hausach.
We were so worn out that evening that I asked at the hotel (Blume) if we could stay a second night. The manager said that was fine and commented that, in fact, we had looked "kaputt" when we came in. So today we're taking a "camp day", licking our wounds, writing postcards and planning the rest of the hike.
Had supper at a Schnellimbiß across from the train station. Chicken (9 DM). Hotel 2 nights-189 DM.