Saturday, June 23, 2007

Stage 2

It is late and we have to get up early tomorrow to hike along the Benediktenwand, so I'll keep this short. A long day -- much longer than planned: 7.5 hours instead of 6. The problem was that the paths along the Isar prior to Bad Toelz that were straight as an arrow on the map were totally zig-zaggy on the ground (as in a zig every 2 meters). And when they were straight, usually they were horse paths with loose pebbles (Schotter) that felt as if one were walking along a beach. It was a lovely hike, but it was tiring and long.

The day was however saved from a descent into mutterings about how Shackleton would never have done this to his men, by the sudden and totally unexpected appearance of two cheering and bell-ringing maniacs with flags on which was written "H2H" and "Go Sally, Guy, Russ, and Dave", and on which were also the flags of all the countries through which the H2H goes. It was Beatrice and Arnulf, who had parked their car in Lenggries and ridden their bikes back along the Isar to Bad Toelz asking everyone they met if they had seen four Americans with huge packs. We met them just before Bad Toelz and then all had lunch together.

In the afternoon (ok, later than that: it was 3:15) they announced that they would accompany us back to Lenggries on foot, pushing their bicycles, a distance of over 12 km. Greater love have no friends than these two.... They stayed with us for dinner and left around 9:30, promising to reappear in Switzerland (at the latest!).

Much more to say (for example about the Bavarian jumping slugs), but I need to get some sleep so that's all for now.

Technology Teething Troubles

Apologies for not posting yesterday as planned... It turns out that the interface for my blog has some sort of underlying technology that is incompatible with my cellphone. Since you are reading this I have obviously resolved the issue (basically by finding a normal computer to set up my blog account so I can email posts to it), but it took a little while.

Stage 1

Day 1
The H2H began as planned today... OK, not exactly as planned, but at least it began. You see, it went like this: we had planned to leave about midday, but then Russell lost my housekey and had to drive back to the store he thought he had lost it in (and no, he didn't find it). Then I couldn't find my sunglasses. Then Dave... well, what can one say? Dave is Dave rather like "Mir san mir" describes Bavarians. Bottom line: we left at 2:15. Then there were photos to take, and finally we were off.

It was, as I had expected raining... Not a hard rain, but enough to make us wear our raingear. We stopped in Wolfratshausen for Sally to buy a Camel Pak (flexible water container, for those who don't know it) and then continued as planned along the Isar towards Einoed.

About an hour and a half later, after a short break, Sally drops a bombshell: she thinks that she left her money belt (with all her money, her passport, her drivers license, etc.) either in or just outside the sports store in Wolfratshausen!

General consternation. What to do? We decide to do what all intrepid explorers would do: call for help. Lidia wasn't at home, so we called Arnulf. Arnulf took charge, found the number of the store, called them and explained what to look for and where... no luck. So Sally and I take a taxi back to the store... and find the belt! It was black and in a plastic bag... in a bin full of black things in plastic bags: it wasn't surprising that even though they knew where to look, the store people hadn't found it.

Back to Geretsried where Russ and Dave were still sitting by the side of the road and we continue. I only make one significant mistake (which nevertheless costs us about a km) and we arrive at the Landgasthof Beham about 19:40... quite hungry but still very happy to have survived Day 1.