My experiences with thru-hiking

Speed Walking It

Posted in Hiking GR5, 1500 miles across Europe by onefootatatime on June 19, 2009

 

Jun 16 2009

June 16 2009

Got up to a wet morning, and it was tough packing the tent. A wet tent is a heavier tent. But I knew I was headed to a campsite in Gondrexange, where I could hopefully dry things out if the sun decided to show up.

While I was walking by a lake, a deer stepped out of the woods right in front of me and sat down on the trail and peered out over the lake. I seem to be running into all kinds of animals, and they never seem to hear me until I’m like ten feet away. I had to actually clap my hands to startle the deer, so I could continue on the trail. I didn’t want to get too close.

Got into the woods and found that I was walking in the wrong the direction, so I turned around to get back on the trail when I bumped into Harry and Ronald. They probably had a late start and had already caught up with me.

So the three of us set out for Gondrexange, and it was really tough trying to keep up with them. I mean, they are dead serious when the hike. I did keep pace with them for a little while, and found myself slipping back and trailing behind them by 20 meters. I think they stopped once in a while to let me catch up with them. They’re nice guys like that.

While we crossed the first town, we saw a van that doubles up as a boulangerie, and we stopped it to get something to eat. There’s a bunch of these vans riding around the small towns, and it’s nice when you chance upon them. I had no idea that they carried food, until Harry pointed it out.

Got to Gondrexane in good time, thanks to Ronald and Harry’s aggressive walk. Ronald took a few minutes to show me how to read the topo-guide maps, because he was worried about me getting lost all the time, especially since they saw me in action today. Ronald and Harry have been buddies since they started competing in triathlons together. Ronald also loves to scuba dive, and is an instructor. After this hike, he plans to go diving with his wife in Zeeland.

At the campsite in Gondrexange, we bumped into some Australians who were riding Bike Fridays, folding bicycles from Portland, Oregon that are made-to-order.

We also bumped into a couple from New Zealand. The only restaurant in town was closed, so we bought some food from the local store and had dinner, polishing off a bottle of Rose.

Went to sleep nice and dry.

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