Well, not today, not that much anyway. Today all I'll be doing on foot will be the short distance from my house to my parents' place, where the first guests for my Mum's upcoming birthday will be arriving this afternoon from the south of France.
But I did go on a good long walk on the first Sunday in July. I was on my own that weekend, it was very hot, and I knew I needn't ask anyone else whether they felt like joining me; at temperatures of 30 Celsius and more, most people are reasonable enough to keep cool somewhere at home or in their gardens.
I meant to walk all the way to the "Grüner Heiner", covering a distance of about 12 km (one way). Taking a bottle of water and something to eat with me (and of course, my mobile phone for emergencies, and my camera), I left at around 11.00 in the morning.
Part of my route pretty much covered the same route as "The Longest Walk", which you can find here for comparison. The hen was rustling about on her own along the path next to a farm; I am quite sure she wasn't meant to be there, but there did not seem to be any immediate danger coming her way, so I just stopped for a chat and a photo and then walked on.
The nursery never ceases to fascinate me with its strange "architecture" and unusual vistas:
Some wildflowers - not sure whether they are the result of the farmer not using as many chemicals on his fields anymore, or purposely sown there to give his farm and its produce a "greener" image, but they look very pretty; the pictures don't really do them justice. And the first pumpkins!
Isn't it strange how strong winds and thunderstorms affect fields? How come the fields are flattened at exactly that spot, and nowhere else?
From here, I had the first good view of the "Grüner Heiner", the hill with the windmill on top you can see in the distance:
The next stage of my walk was to take me through the woods. I'd been there before (by bike), but it was years ago, and while I knew the general direction I'd have to take, I had no idea which of the paths criss-crossing the wood was going to be the right one for me. So I simply walked in and let my feet decide which way they wanted to go.
I hardly met anybody; as I said, it was above 30 Celsius (and lunch time on a Sunday). There were only a few people walking their dogs, a family on bikes and an elderly couple walking in the woods hand in hand.
It was 1.00 o'clock by now, and I was ready for a break. Coming out of the woods at the other end, I found this bench where I rested a while and ate my sandwich and tomato.
From behind the fence along the path, I could see the "Grüner Heiner" again - and realized that it was still rather far, and I did not really know how to proceed from here.
With the contents of my water bottle rapidly dwindling and my food all gone, I dediced to be reasonable for once, and give up my original plan. Instead, I explored a slightly different route for my way back, one I had not walked before.
At this point, my new route joined the old route again; the wood in the background is the same one I walked through earlier:
Can you see the bus stop? This is about half way home now. It is the only spot during the entire walk where I have to cross a normal road open to all traffic:
Past the nursery again - I couldn't resist to take one more picture:
Nearly 4 hours and about 16 km later, I was back home. It had been a good walk, nothing too strenuous for this kind of weather, although I was slightly disappointed with myself for not having reached my original goal. I simply had under estimated the importance of preparing well; I had been sure of remembering the right path once I would be out there. I have not given up on my plan of walking all the way to the hill with the windmill, though, so - watch this space!