Most memorable was our “Walking By Heart-Tour”, in which 2 friends and I decided to hike without maps or compass cross-country from Eltville to Miehlen. It truly was a “walking by heart”-hike as we tried to trust and follow our heart as well as the bits and pieces of “map” we learned by heart and saved in our brain. We made some amazing experiences following our body radar. Each time we would visualize a certain landscape mark in our mind, we would cross it in reality exactly the way we planned it! We were left stunned with our mouths wide open many times!
We intended to hike the estimated 50km cross-country in 3 days. The first day we walked about 12 to 15km following animal trails through the woods. Shortly before reaching the river Wisper (well at least we thought it was the Wisper, we weren’t sure) we decided “enough for today” and slept in a beech grove. Turned out that place was full of ticks, so we spend some hours
removing them (yeah we’re not talking about 1 or 2 ticks here… We’re talking of at least 100 ticks each!). Well at least I’ve lost all of my fear of contact with ticks, that’s for sure.
On the morning of day two we rose early with the call of the black woodpecker. After a good breakfast we broke camp not realising we’d have such a long day ahead. We had planned for another good nights sleep in the woods, but on day two ambition came over us and we walked the whole 35km home. Again we had some amazing experiences (demonstrating us the power of our minds and our connection to nature!), met a few deer (and again loads of ticks!), enjoyed the cold creek water (temperatures were above 30°C!) and eachothers company. Even if tired and even if our feet hurt, we had a blast! Our bodies were aching so much the last few km, we decided to change our “movement pattern” and started running. After 33km cross-country hiking it somehow felt pleasant running… Well that definitely must have been a funny view: 3 backpackers, all tired and done, but yet crazy enough to start running with a smile on their faces!
As for gear testing: I love my dirty girl gaiters! They kept all dirt out of my shoes and I didn’t have to stop even once to remove stones or dust or to tighten up my shoes. They were just perfect for a cross-country hike through the woods and the fields! And oh those shoes I kinda love them too. As well as my backpack and my cooking system.
After that hike I realised I’m quite confident about my fitness and my gear. Not much can stop me now!!!