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Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  

Stage 14   Wiggensbach - Altusried 9.1 km


November 02, 2021

Wiggensbach - Altusried

Weather outlook: more likely to rust than sunburn

A forgiving start to the day

Amazingly, I wake up before the alarm clock. That doesn't happen too often.  I pull back the curtains, look out of the ground floor window into the garden and am delighted. It's already light outside. The sun is also just rising and the sky is bright blue. No comparison to yesterday. That makes you want to leave as soon as possible .


Breakfast in the living room, pilgrim's stamp in the cupboard

All clothes are dried overnight and ready to wear again. What more could a pilgrim want?

We pack up our things, and this time I pay attention to the jacket and shoes too  Stow it in a waterproof sack, because according to the weather forecast we could face worse weather again in the next few hours. Then we go up to the first floor. This is where our hosts live and receive their pilgrims for breakfast at the dining table in their living room.  I hold my pilgrim passport in my hand, because the house also has its own pilgrim stamp, which I now get pressed into my passport.

A lovingly set table and a sumptuous breakfast with everything that goes with it await us. The smiling descendants of the couple look over our shoulders as we eat from numerous photos on the windowsill. I can't help thinking of the waving, magical portraits in Harry Potter. I look again. No, these aren't moving.

Marianne is very concerned about the well-being of her guests. She does not exclusively rent her two double rooms with bathroom and kitchenette, but has been renting them primarily to pilgrims for years. Accordingly, she can also tell many stories about her overnight guests.

She also reports on an older man with diabetes, but without a lot of luggage and a change of clothes, who was on his way to Santiago that summer.  101 days later he arrived there.  He informed the Seelos of this from there by postcard. The two were really happy about it.

It confirms again what everyone actually knows, but hardly anyone pays enough attention to:

It's the small gestures in life that can have a big impact.

Only "half" a day's stage  

Today we only have a short stage to Altusried, which closes the gap to stage 13, which I actually wanted to finish in Wiggensbach in July, but had to shorten it due to the lack of overnight accommodation.

We deliberately chose the order of the two stages so that after arriving in Altusried we still have enough time to return to our starting point and start the two-hour drive home from there. 

Perhaps this explains for one or the other attentive reader why we did not walk this section of the way, actually target-oriented, towards the south, but the other way around.  If we had kept the original direction, we would not have had the opportunity to return home on the second day before the very late evening.  That in turn would have put me under time pressure to have to run faster on the way.

And that wasn't the point.  

When I say goodbye, I leave three pilgrim stones at Seelos' and explain to Marianne that the pilgrim stones are also on their way. The task of the stones is to remind, support and accompany the wearer on the way. To report back to me those of their bearers, where the stones will be deposited again.

I hope that the next pilgrims who will spend the night there (probably not until next spring) will take the three stones with them, at least for a while.


I have the impression Marianne is really happy about my pilgrimage stone idea. Inwardly, I regret not being able to leave her any more stones. 

Maybe in a few months I'll just ask what happened to the stones.


Church and fountain in daylight

Shortly after 9 a.m. we are back in the same place as the previous evening.  Now I look at the listed St. Pankratius with the late Gothic saddle roof tower from the inside. In 1770/71 the church was expanded in the Rococo style, I can read about it.  In this church, too, I find  a pilgrim's stamp, but since I already have a stamp from Wiggensbach, no further imprint will be in my passport.   

The extraordinary fountain on the market square  reveals a lot more details in daylight. The sculptor Josef Michael  Neustifter designed it in 2000 based on a drawing entitled "The News" by the Wiggensbach artist Franz Xaver Knoll in cast bronze. To the original drawing  gives an interesting story, but I am unable to  to be reproduced in abbreviated form in an understandable manner. In any case, the title is "The rooster laid an egg".


After visiting the town center, we leave Wiggensbach in a northerly direction and follow the road along the Rohrach river until a small tar road turns off to the right. The wind is damn cold and I put my Russian hat on.

Same  At the junction there is a bus stop sign with an abandoned children's scooter leaning against it. Not completed. A large farmhouse rises 100 meters behind the sign in front of a lonely forest and meadow backdrop.

What? The scooter owner will probably not drive the 100 meters from the house to the school bus stop on the scooter, it shoots through my head. Anyone can run the few meters just as fast. I'm looking for an explanation and I visualize the scene of a hectic morning departure.  The late riser steps up in a panic, only to thunder the scooter against the sign 15 seconds later and at the last second to jump on the bus. 


We leave the courtyard behind and walk along the said path. It's up a few meters and around a curve.

We are about 15 minutes on the road when another lonely farm appears on the roadside. OK. Now that makes more sense. I conclude that the scooter driver starts from here every morning to get to the bus.

Hey, what's next?

We dawdle around a little, stop frequently, take a few photos, enjoy the panorama that we couldn't see yesterday. The Alps stand out well against the horizon today.

And then notice that it is  to pull itself surprisingly quickly, or the sun has already moved again. I take a deep breath.


The color of the clouds on the approach does not bode well.

Rain cloud gray is probably best.  I sigh inwardly, but am not in the least as horrified as yesterday, because I know that we only have a mere six kilometers to go and that we would not get half as dripping wet as yesterday. In theory at least. Little consolation.

The best thing to do is to whistle a little song to yourself:

"Always look on the bright si-hide of life ...

... düdum-düdum-düdumdüdumdüdum .... "

Red jacket and the many cool girls

The tarred one  Path leads into one  Forest and meadow path. We continue along several farmed cow pastures. The cows stare curiously at us from a very short distance from the fence.  I stare back, ready for the slightest sign of cold disapproval  to put in a short sprint. But I don't trigger negative feelings in them today. They just notice us rudely. I think Redjackets are a danger  (my husband is smart anyway, since it is inconspicuous in blue) cannot be represented.

Why is the new rain jacket actually red again?

This could also be the 500 euro question from Günther Jauch. I take the public joker. Do you know?

Because the pilgrim appears fickle? Is forgetful? Like to hunt for bargains? Like the color red?

All correct!  In an earlier stage, I swore that I didn't want to buy any more bright red garments, although it was also about a replacement rain poncho and it wasn't clear to me that I would say goodbye to the poncho model.

How should I best explain that? These hardshell rain jackets with good weather protection are not cheap in and of themselves. And coincidentally - how could it have been otherwise - it still had the last red bargain  given in my size.  The signal red was 40 euros cheaper than the same black or blue jacket at the regular price.  At home in front of the laptop, the memory of my little bull adventure had faded again. Instead, I had thought that I would do another stress test with the new jacket to determine whether the fluttering of the poncho alone was not the decisive factor for the animal misconduct and not the color.

Conclusion of today's stage of study: a steady one  moving  Man in red raincoat doesn't seem to scare these female animals at least. However, whether this is generally applicable or whether it is gender-dependent will have to be checked in further study sections on cattle behavior in Red Falls.

Is everything wet - everything is wet outside too.

Anyway. It goes past the edge of the forest, slightly downhill through dense foliage.  After a few minutes I hear a gentle plop.

Oops what was that?

I got the first raindrop. We are stepping up our teeth, but cannot escape the precipitation. It starts to patter harder. Short stop. It's about closing all bulkheads again, all men, backpacks and cell phones below deck. It continues in the rain.

At some point an educational forest trail begins, which of course takes us with it in the first part of its word. We are reasonably protected there. I would like to take a short break, would like to sit down for a moment. In fact, in the next few minutes we passed two or three benches, but unfortunately they are quite wet and too cold for tender bums. There would be now  the poncho was more practical, because you can sit on it. 

The same problem as the day before - again no relaxed break on the way possible. In contrast to yesterday, we unfortunately cannot find a sheltered stop on the way today. Sure, the tourist train wasn't long here either.

Resigned  let's continue and it doesn't take too long until we come to the southern foothills of Altusried.


The last kilometer is no longer fun at all. I'm hungry, I'm too wet to feel dry again and it's even colder than yesterday. But in the end we actually find a small, partially protected bank in Altusried and eat our leftovers there. Buns, banana, apple and granola bars. Again, we don't stay longer than necessary. It's just too shady.

What do taxi and TukTuk drivers have in common?

Shortly afterwards I am standing on the market square in Altusried. I had been here not long ago. I recognize the Gasthof zum Bären again. I leave a pilgrim stone in the church. The penultimate one. I will take the last one in Weitnau this afternoon.

When I leave the church, the tower clock shows 5 past 12. Most of the time, that's not a good sign. We walk around the corner to the Tourist Information Center on the main street. Who said it! Unfortunately five minutes too late for the tourist information. It is closed now. Damn.  Plan A would have been to find out how we can get back to Weitnau as quickly and cheaply as possible.

Unfortunately, the two communities are not directly connected by bus.  You have to accept a detour via Kempten. Travel time to Weitnau about 3 hours with a change. I had already found out that much beforehand.

Plan B is to opt for the faster taxi option. I had myself in this regard as well  A week ago I asked by phone what a taxi ride would cost and received information  from a taxi company: approx. 40 euros.

We now call the same local taxi service, which simply sends us a colleague from Kempten, which is not that close.  Before we get in, I ask, tuk-tuk-thailand-damaged as I am,  better again after the price and it turns out that the trip should now cost a mere 75 euros. Hm. Somehow that doesn't really surprise me.  I think the taxi driver whines pretty hard for us and in the end we agree on 60, - euros, whereby he thinks that this is a super savings price and we tend to believe that he is totally over the ear. Was a tuk-tuk driver probably in his first life.  

But well, either take the bus back for hours or just take the expensive taxi. I quickly look to the right and left. But again I can't see that in the next few seconds a black stretch limousine will appear out of nowhere to chauffeur us VIPs back. We get into the taxi.

The 35 kilometers back take 40 minutes, according to the navigation system. As soon as we sit in the car, it stops raining and the cloud cover tears open. After a few, after some  Minutes drive, the sky in front of us is blue. It's actually hard to believe. Direction Weitnau  the messed up weather turns into a wonderful, sunny autumn day.

When the driver drops us off at our car in Weitnau, it is still very cool, but the best hiking weather.

Haha. The appropriate moji at this point would be the one that rolls the eyes upwards.

A conciliatory end

At least we can now see what it should have looked like yesterday. It's pretty here. The air is fresh and clear, the sun is slightly warming. The historic office building catches the eye. It used to be the place of jurisdiction for the Hohenegger family, who were part of Habsburg Austria from the middle of the 15th century to 1805.  

We go again to the neo-Gothic church of St. Pelagius, whose visit I had postponed from yesterday to today. Here, too, I find a pilgrim's stamp and leave the last pilgrim stone I brought with me.


From here it's about 80 kilometers to Lindau or Nonnenhorn on Lake Constance. 4 day stages to the end of the Bavarian Swabian Camino. I am already looking forward to continuing to run. Hopefully in drier weather. But I can now assess the limits of my material much better. Everything always has its good points.  

Sometime in spring, it will go on for me. Then again with a hat instead of a cap. As Corona wants.

Until then, I still have enough time to optimize my homepage, paint a few more stones, work on my pilgrim stone project and invent a few neologisms for my texts.

Infos zu Etappe 14

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