Day 122: Wed 19th Apr 2023

I genuinely feared for my life today.

Horrible day from the outset. Literally seconds after leaving the campsite I said hello to a policeman walking along the cycle path. He wanted to see my passport and did a full check while standing there in the rain. Maybe i should have pretended i couldnt speak German. I lived here 5 years. Austrian coppers are not known for their brains.

And it rained all day. Sometimes soft, sometimes hard. I walked boringly by the Danube for hours. Was considering stopping at an earlier campsite because of the weather and it had the only supermarket en route. Anyway, the supermarket was closed as well as the onsite restaurant for the next few days.

Continued up a very steep muddy hill of 300 metres. The path was muddy and slippy and i knew i had to come down a similar one in a while. So i found myself a big strong stick to act as a pole.

On top of the hill was a few kms of flat and i must have looked like Gandalf the Grey with my beard and staff.

Went through a small town and just as the rain was stopping decided to grab a big of goulash soup and a toasty to warm myself up. Expensive for what it is.

I left the cafe and within minutes the rain restarted. The flat continued, avoiding all paths until i couldnt avoid them. And then said here’s the path down the hill but nothing was there. It was only 660m in length. How bad could it be? Fucking awful.

Its a good job i had such a large stick. It was so steep a typical walking pole would have been useless. I picked my way down, grabbing trees. I slipped a few times. I was getting wetter and dirtier. About halfway down i took a proper tumble, turning over a couple of times. Luckily a flatish bit saved me or i would have been a broken mess at the bottom.

Then the path turned to moss covered rocks. I knew now that if i feel again i would break bones and they was no one else miles around. I continue being as careful as i could. Sometimes i had to climb back up to find a better route.

Then the rocks had ankle-breaking leaf covered hole between them. Even more careful.

Eventually two hours after starting the downhill i reached the bottom, soaking, filthy and with unsaveable ripped trousers.

I cant trust, at least on paths. Anything that steep or anywhere near will have to been walked around, no matter how far.

Luckily the campsite was only a couple of kms from the bottom. I got checked it to another stupidly expensive site and had a hot shower. I ate the tins the stew i bought yesterday. They were “budget” despite being 1.50 for a single portion but it was a false economy. There was hardly anything inside except tomato sauce.

Anyway, tomorrow is completely flat and i pass several supermarkets. Surely i can find something affordable.

Distance today (km): 28, total 2120

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