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Friday, 1 April 2016

Getting lost and re -finding the way before the fog came.

Today's walk didn't get off to a good start. We had decided to have an early start so after we had breakfast we shouldered our backpacks and headed out of Peiting towards the Ammerschlucht and a path that would take us to Rottenbuch. Well the April Fool joke was on us as there were no KLW signs to be found but after stopping locals for direction we finally got on the right path to Rottenbuch but only after having walked an extra two miles circumnavigating an industrial estate. The terrain was flat until we had to make an hour of nearly vertical walking that took us through another forest before it finally broke through the dense foliage and emerged into open countryside. From that point the walking was pleasant as we passed through several farms and then finally saw the familiar onion shape of the church spire of Rottenbuch in the distance. Now Rottenbuch joins that group of Camino towns, like Astorga, that look to be very close but as you walk seem to stay that same distance away and it takes what seems like an eternity to get there. Eventually we passed under a tunnel and the beauty and magical mystique of Rottenbuch surrounded and overpowered us. Rottenbuch is a monastery town that gleams, pure white,emitting an aura of calm and peacefulness that descends down around you as you pass through the arch leading to the church and former cloisters that are now family homes. In 1073 Rottenbuch had a church, the Altenmunster, but after a series of fires it was in 1773 that the work began on the present day frescos and baroque altars which have been restored, in recent years, to show and highlight the beauty and joy of the Southern German baroque era. After the church and before heading on we had a pit stop in a little cafe for cake and drinks. One of the negatives of this walk is that there are usually no stoping points from start to the finish of each day's walk so today we made the most of this unexpected coffee break. After leaving Rottenbuch the KLW was well signposted towards our end of day destination, Wildsteig and the Gasthof Zur Post. This was pleasant walking through beautiful farming country, with unfortunate muck spreading smells, until we had only four kilometres to our lodgings when, like the Camino's, KLW threw in a curved ball. Just as we were congratulating ourselves on having experienced a lovely, fairly easy days walking, apart from the fact that the sun hadn't broken through the cloud cover, we rounded a bend on the path, and the way took itself off in an upward direction. It was two exhausted and breathless walkers who climbed the final series of steps that led to the local church, with the welcoming sight of our Gasthof opposite, and the thought of a long, cool glass of Bavarian beer to revive us. We were lucky to arrive when we did because about fifteen to twenty minutes later a thick misty fog rolled across the mountains giving everywhere a magical, mystical appearance, but you wouldn't want to be out walking.

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