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 7 July 2018

Friday 6 July - Schattenmühle

Facts I knew about today's destination before arrival:
1) a car park;
2) by a gorge; and
3) walking routes nearby.

In keeping with normality, I had done no prior research, so I hadn't downloaded a map, nor any walking routes in advance. Thus, it was a bit of an impediment to arrive here to find that there was no mobile phone signal. However, there was a map in the car park, setting out 15 circuits (not all starting here; the map covers the surrounding area too), and the number of cars suggested that there was something of appeal nearby.

Following the waymarks for 'Route 5' out of the car park, a path, whose maintenance was clearly a fight against nature (the path clings to the steep side of the gorge and nature clearly wants to deposit said path into the stream below), took us upstream, via some engineered walkways and via a couple of modest waterfalls and cascades:

Meeting a road, and not immediately seeing where we were to go, we took a look at another map in the car park there and it took a while for me to locate the 'Standort' (You Are Here!) marking (or lack thereof; it had been rubbed off by years of fingers pointing to it) as it wasn't where I had expected. That temporarily discombobulated me until I realised that my baseless assumption that we were to walk the circuit anticlockwise was false.

Up a tarmac track (road?) we climbed, giving extensive views over the surrounding countryside, which today was much more agricultural than the meadows and forest we have seen over the last couple of weeks. Today there were crop fields aplenty, and the rolling land was more gentle in its undulations.

This cultivated field of wild flowers was buzzing with bees and aflutter with butterflies.

It was up at that high point that I finally was able to download a map. Whilst the waymarking was excellent, I still feel better being able to follow where we're going and see how it relates to our start point.

Through a village and out the other side, a path then took us zig-zagging steeply down to the river below. Our return route lay on the other side of that river.

Downstream from the bridge

The rest of the route undulated alongside the river, initially on track then on a path made interesting by the exposed network of tree roots. Where there weren't roots there was polished limestone, which isn't the grippiest of surfaces on a damp day.

I should have asked Mick to stand by (under?) this mossy waterfall to give it scale. I'm not sure it comes across as big as it was.

We returned to our start point having covered 10km, with 320m of ascent, which wasn't entirely in keeping with the advertised 8km with 240m ascent (and we managed not to go awry or deviate at all from the route on this occasion). Given that, save for a couple of minutes at the beginning, it stayed dry whilst we were out, we didn't mind the extra distance at all.

As for all those other cars in the car park, I know not where their occupants went, but once we were half a mile up the gorge, we met not a single person on our circuit and Mick, walking ahead of me, was constantly getting cobwebs in his face. There was, however, quite a crowd at the bus stop here when we returned, and when the bus arrived people alighted to return to their cars, so it seems that linear routes are a popular choice.

1 comment:

  1. That looks quite an interesting walk by the waterfalls. The new hat is settling in. It needs a chin strap sewing in, but first I must put it in the wash to make sure it doesn't shrink to doll size. Further report to follow.