An easy day today: hot and sunny with hardly a cloud in the sky, and even shorter than the expected 5 hours -- instead it took around four and a quarter. The shortness was due to our tearing up a very steep slope this morning far faster than expected (or, perhaps, sensible: the sweat was dripping off the brim of my cap by the time we arrived at the top). The sun was due to a regional shortage of water to make rain as a result of a heavy drain on reserves over the last ten days :-).
We stopped for an hour (and second breakfast) at the Feldkircher Hut after the initial steep climb, then walked another couple of easy hours to the Gafadura Hut. Beautifully positioned high over the valley of the Rhine, this marks our first foray into Liechtenstein. Tomorrow we will go back into Austria for a few hours, then leave it behind for good as we descend (a total of some 1840m -- 6,000 feet) to spend the night in Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein.
The hut does not have regular showers, but they do have a solar-heated outdoor shower set up: fortunately for us, there was lots of solar heating today. In the 4.25h of hiking I drank 3 liters of fluid, and knocked back another liter when we arrived at the hut here. Pant, pant, pant.
The free day in Feldkirch was very pleasant -- it is a lovely town -- but I must confess to a slight feeling of boredom: I would have preferred to have been hiking! Sally most definitely could not relate to this sentiment :-) Seriously though, it is a little difficult to know what to do to fill a free day: after blogging and responding to email, learning some poetry, and perhaps buying and reading a paper, there is still a lot of the day to fill
If, as was the case yesterday, Russell is busy doing other things and therefore not available for a game, then "boundless and bare, the long and lonely hours stretch far into the future". I did walk around town for an hour, but one feels as if one should be giving one's feet and legs a rest. Maybe next time I'll do what Sally does and buy a book. It'll have to be either a short one or a light one though!