When I say wilderness walk, I refer more to the name of the circuit we walked on Monday, the 10th of May, than on us actually walking in the wilderness.
As I have mentioned before, the area where O.K. lives is framed by the river Rhine on one side and the Black Forest on the other. The region is called Ortenau and you can read a brief summary about it in English here on wikipedia.
While the majority of our walks and hikes take us to the Black Forest, on that Monday we wanted to try something different. Sunday, the 9th, had been an extremely hot and sunny day - 30 Celsius (86 F), with the days immediately before and after being much cooler and rainy. O.K.'s sister had told us about a "wilderness path" down by the river where she and her husband had been not long ago, and which could naturally be rather muddy. After the hot Sunday, we expected it to be dry, and so we drove the 20 minutes or so to where the circuit starts.
A one-way system is in place at the circuit, making sure people won't get in each other's way. At the entrance, this measuring board shows whether the path is walkable or not. As you can see, the water level was low enough that day to walk without getting wet feet.
There are a few spots like this, designed for people to take a rest, watch and listen and maybe have a picnic, dotted along the path. So much for it being a "wilderness"!
I liked the look of this little shelter! We didn't need it that day, and since the entire circuit is only about 2.5 km long, resting wasn't necessary and we had not brought our rucksacks with water bottles and sandwiches.
The whole idea of the circuit is to provide families with a mix of fun and information, make them learn about wildlife and what a (more or less) natural enviroment needs. To offer some fun for the kids (and older kids, too), there are a few adventure playground bits included, such as this rope swing which I had to try, of course!
As it was a Monday, and the weather as unsettled as it had been almost every day, there were not many other people about, but we did encounter a few families and other small groups of walkers. I know that I would have absolutely loved this place as a kid - my parents would have had a hard time making me leave!
The circuit being so short left us with enough time to so some food shopping and spend the rest of the day quietly at home, reading, resting, and later cooking a nice dinner of green asparagus and potatoes. It had started to rain again just as we were leaving anyway, so we were not missing out on any great walking opportunities.
What a difference to the day before - that hot Sunday had been like a dream of summer, with us having coffee on the balcony first thing in the morning for the first time this year, as well as our first barbeque of the year in the evening. I am sure we will have more hot days, but this May is untypically chilly and wet here.