The Road goes ever on and on; Down from the door where it began;
Now far ahead the Road has gone; And I must follow, if I can;
Pursuing it with eager feet; Until it joins some larger way;
Where many paths and errands met; And whither then? I cannot say.

[JRR Tolkien, Lord of the Rings]

Saturday, 21 July 2018

Friday 20 July - Around Beuron

About 4km into today's walk, I questioned whether it had any point to it. We had been weaving our way uphill through the trees, and unlike Wednesday's outing just up the road, these were dull forest tracks through conifers, rather than nice paths through mixed woodland.

Happily, the route did then redeem itself, firstly, on the north side of the valley, with a couple of viewpoints, one of which was particularly good.

There were two sets of buildings (castles?) atop tall limestone outcrops visible from this viewpoint. Not sure whether either of them show up in this snap.

We paused on a bench at the second one for elevenses, being entertained by a family whose four young children were, we decided, quads. I can't imaging the effort and level of vigilance that must be involved in taking your four 3-4 year old children out on a walk!

Having dropped from there down into the valley to cross the river (yep, still the Danube)...

...I expected to climb back up the other side. That expectation was based upon the gpx file I had downloaded, which turned out not to be the route we were following. So, instead of climbing significantly, we undulated along the river on nice paths, through interesting woodland (alive with butterflies!), taking in two caves as we went:

The first cave - I following a tunnel off it until it dead-ended at a gate. Don't worry Kay, there's not a chance that I would follow any tunnel where I can't proceed in a vertical stance!

The second one was only accessible due to the installation of a staircase

It was quite a size and had a natural chimney over to one side of it.

We arrived back at the Abbey at Beuron having covered just over 12km, with around 375m ascent and (as far as we can yet tell) without a single insect bite. Until we met the Danube, insects hadn't been troubling us. Then on the Donausinkungstelle outing we were, in places, beseiged - mainly be annoying-but-non-biting flies, but also by horseflies. I finished that day with one minor horsefly bite (minor because I felt it the moment it bit and reacted quickly). Horseflies have been around on sections of the last two walks too, but they haven't been in full-on attack mode. Then there's the ticks; fortunately, I've pulled all bar one off us before they've had chance to latch on.


  1. What do you use for horseflies? I had one on my hand yesterday and although I don't normally react too badly this one was quite nasty, swelling up and with a burning itch for a long time.

    1. We had some horrible experiences with horseflies in the Pyrenees. The one occasion that particularly sticks in my mind was a small section of track up to a forest where it was too steep to outpace the blood sucking bastards, and they were too voracious for us to be able to stop to don Deet. By the time we got past them, we both had multiple bites.

      As much as I dislike using it, Deet does seem to keep them away - but I only ever put it on if they are proving hungry and troublesome (we're not even carrying it on this trip).

      I've had a few nasty reactions to the bites (including in the Pyrenees when my thigh swelled up to slightly alarming levels). I usually apply hydrocortisone to little obvious effect, but find that most of the swelling tends to go down after a couple of days and the itching stops within a week.

    2. I use autan and in severe cases deet, seems effective .. never had the courage to use that Avon stuff they keep on about.
      BTW did you see I finally found your comments on my blog?!