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  Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  

Stage 10:  From Siebnach  to Bad Wörishofen 22 km

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Tuesday, June 29th, 21

Overcast sky - lucky

It rained a little overnight and has cooled noticeably. Breakfast outside would actually have been uncomfortable this morning. I am glad that no sun can be seen far and wide. I decide to wear my windbreaker over my T-shirt and therefore postpone the planned Vaseline experiment to another day. The legs are astonishingly good, although my muscles are a little sore, I can walk well. The feet are also still chic and free of blisters and have not caused me any problems in the last year, thanks to deer tallow.

Who said it, on day 3 the backpack doesn't fit like a glove and my shoulders still hurt, but  we have got used to our mutual presence again and are getting closer.  In any case, this time I was attentive when packing.

The air is fresh and the conditions for running are good today. On the first kilometer to Siebnach it starts to drizzle and I am torn to put on my poncho.  I risk it and continue without it, because as I described in an earlier stage, I want to put on my poncho in the rain without a bench  be practiced and is quite a laborious endeavor.

Pants on the wrong track

It is the right decision, after about 20 minutes it will stop again. I walk through the village of Siebnach. The only people I see are three roofers working on a not too high pitched roof to my right. Gentlemen!  One of them kneels with his back to me and presents himself to me  almost bare, somewhat greasy, unattractive rear part with an enormous crack, because the work trousers and everything that might be underneath are pulled by the tool in the pocket towards the knees.  The good guy probably forgot to buckle on a belt in the morning rush. Or didn't think it was necessary, because otherwise there are never gawkers around here. No idea.  My fingers itching to take a disaster photo, but I don't dare to do it because I don't have my cell phone to hand and the other two would notice me if I stopped and rummaged around.

  I'm not sure I would run faster than them ...

And who knows, you always see each other twice in life.

In my head someone is singing, “Coward, coward….!

Briefly lost

Behind the village, the path makes a few swings and then leads in the direction of Wertach, the little river that I followed the day before yesterday. Here it gets uncomfortable for a moment. I trudge through knee-high, dewy meadow and only notice after a while that it can no longer be right and it doesn't go any further, because a fast flowing stream that doesn't look like the Wertach,  suddenly cuts my way. Strange.

Look at Komoot. Huh? I do not understand.  

I'm going in the right direction!

The path leads along here

Here I went wrong

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Nothing helps, I have to go back through the wet field. After walking back about 400 meters, I suddenly discover a sign of the Way of St. James behind a lot of green leaves, which I must have overlooked. It branches off to the left from the meadow path and also leads through  knee-high greens that have reclaimed their way. But luckily only for about 30 meters until it meets another path that leads me directly  leads to a bridge over the wild brook. Only now is the Wertach on my left and I am back on a clearly recognizable wide path.  That was at least 700 extra parameters that are now added to my daily workload.

But sometimes you have to take a detour or even go back a little to be able to see where the right path leads….

My faithful friend, the sun


The conditions for running are good today, after less than 2 hours I have already covered over 8 km.

Despite the detour.

The path is very flat, the whole time goes along the Wertach, the route is lined with trees on the left and right. Nice and shady, because the sun has been showing up again since late in the morning. To my delight, it should not be as hot as yesterday and actually there should also be a weather general store.

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I pass several weirs and these barrages.

Shortly before Türkheim I take my first rest at a green lake. Up to this point I had nature all to myself again. At the lake I met a woman for the first time who was walking her dog.


I pass the edge of Türkheim, always walk south, accompanied by the Wertach and finally pass under a railway line and then the A96, which with its engine noise cuts through the friendly tranquility of nature from afar.

I'm looking forward to the Irsingener See, which I should reach shortly, and imagine a small local recreation area  with a few benches on the bank and a beautiful lake panorama. Ideal for a second break.

To my regret, the sun has developed an enormous radiance again. It's almost as warm again as it was yesterday.

But puff cake.  The hydropower  the Wertach is used in various places by weirs and hydropower plants. And the lake, too, is of course a reservoir that is dammed up by a power plant weir. Unlike the day before yesterday in Bobingen, however, I can't see the lake at all because the view of it at the power station is obscured by a slightly higher dam. At the bottom of the dam there is an uninviting sign at this point that forbids entry.

I don't have a bank with a panoramic view of the reservoir today  to you

I could follow a path a little further that branches off towards the lake and make a detour, but of course I also know that I would have to go back the same way because the Way of St. James changes direction here and bends to the west at a 90 degree angle.  

I am frustrated. I was looking forward to it so much.  At daily kilometer 15, I would have liked a shady bench with a view of the lake right here.  But there isn't even a sunny bench without a view of the lake along the way.

Behind the closed sailing club building I defiantly go into the adjacent meadow and crouch on my backpack under a few bushes. Time to put some lotion on. In addition, I pour another magnesium directly under my tongue and drink my large capris sun empty.  

T he sky is bright blue, only in the distance a few harmless little clouds move around, more to imagine than to see. Thunderstorms are announced for tonight, but then I don't care when I watch football.

I have the pilgrim-friendly one for today  Kneipp Kurhotel St.-Josef booked. With  Breakfast for a special pilgrimage price of 45 euros. I am very curious what to expect.  It is from  Mallersdorfer Sisters, run by a Roman Catholic women's order,  and of course mainly accommodates spa guests.

In its capacity as a spa hotel, the house naturally also has a swimming pool and for this occasion I packed my swimsuit.  Because I hope to find time to swim a lap after my arrival. It is pre-coronal since I was in a swimming pool. I think it would do my shoulders good. When booking it was mine  However, it was not yet clear that my swimming project could collide with a soccer game.

Unfortunately, my accommodation is not that central, but a bit away from the Camino de Santiago. But well, at the moment I can't even catch a glimpse of Bad Wörishofen, so there is still enough time to deal with the address and location later.

I get up, adjust myself and keep walking, dead straight on an asphalt road between fields. Even today the sun means it too well for me.

I observe two birds of prey up close, fighting for the same prey just a few meters above the ground. Unfortunately, by the time I have pulled out my cell phone and am ready to trigger, they are already over all mountains or fields.

One and a half kilometers later, a shady resting place whispers to me as I walk past: “Come on, stay here a bit. Sit down with me and enjoy the moment ”. Who could say no to that?  I take a few sips from my last bottle and swallow some more magnesium. According to the app, I am about five kilometers from Bad Wörishofen. Some older couples on e-bikes are now sharing the journey with me. It gets busier again near the city.

The colors of summer

After a left turn, the  leads along a wood, I find some nice photo motifs in a gold-colored wheat field on the right hand side.  The light lets them  Flowers shine. I love these color contrasts.

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At the end of the wood, the Way of St. James joins one on the right  frequented street. Civilization has me again. The foothills of Bad Wörishofen are now in front of me, but I guess I still need an hour to get to the center. I look for where my path is next to the road, but I don't see anything.

A little confused, I notice that the shell signs do not point parallel to the street, but rather on the country road. For the first time since Oettingen that I have to share the lane with the cars, which can be driven on here with a maximum of 60 km / h. Unpleasant, I am not being overtaken permanently from behind, but more often and at high speed, but I am not able to swerve next to the lane. And of course there is oncoming traffic too.  I pass the airfield and see an old biplane standing there that I would have liked to have photographed, but I don't have a safe position away from the road. I have no rest here  Stop and take a leisurely photo while cars rush by.

It's coming faster than I can go

In addition, it contracted inconspicuously but rapidly. The sun has been gone for about 10 minutes and the wind has picked up a lot.  I go straight to the end of the street until I finally hit a sidewalk. Then suddenly the sky looks like this :

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Auweiha, I think. It doesn't last until the evening before the storm breaks out.

The sky is changing every minute and the wind is getting stronger. I suddenly realize that I have to take my legs in hand to get to the hotel dry before the storm.

I'm two kilometers from my goal and after 20 km in my bones I'm pretty much at the limit.

But I have a lot of respect for what is brewing, which releases a few extra grains in me.  I rush towards the center  and along  of the Wörthbach. It has now also darkened properly, the wind is already shaking the bushes and making the branches of the trees bend. I know that things will really get going in the next ten minutes at the latest. You can already see the people rushing home  or fold in the parasols in your front yard  and secure the garden furniture. It lightens.  It cracks. The first thunder and quite close to the lightning. Now I'm actually running through the city center, sticks in one hand and feeling like a biathlete right after shooting when she goes back to the cross-country ski run.  

I just have a rough idea of where to go and scan  already the area after signposts. I didn't find the time to look any more.  Where's that stupid hotel?  I estimate another 400 meters. Ah, there, up the stairs and along a narrow footpath. Uphill. Normal. At the end I stand in front of a street. On the opposite side I read on the wall in front of the inner courtyard on the sign “Kneipp Kurhaus St. Josef”, behind it, slightly set back, is a huge building.  I walk across the street, through the entrance to the large inner courtyard, to the covered entrance area.

My pulse is pounding around in his vessels. I'm done. Total at the end. I tear my backpack off my back and immediately drop onto the stairs.

Standing next to me are three chattering women, in their late fifties, in sportswear, who have watched my performance. One of them asks immediately whether I have hypoglycaemia and need help.

"No, I'm fine," I reply immediately. I don't want to make any long explanations, but as you look doubtful I add “I have just hiked 22 km and was afraid of not making it here before the thunderstorm. Small final spurt ”.

You nod understandingly. I don't think they even begin to understand what that means.

At this moment it starts. The sky opens its floodgates and it flashes, thunders, rains and storms, whatever it takes. That was the absolute point landing. I am really grateful to have arrived. I fumble my mask out of my pocket and put the backpack back on  and go inside to the reception. Of course there is a lot going on inside, I have to queue up and it may only take five minutes to get my turn, but I have various problems. It seems forever to me.

About decisions and their consequences

The young woman at the reception, looking at me, has never seen a pilgrim. I register and immediately ask whether I can also book dinner afterwards, because with the weather I don't really want to go back to town to eat out. 

Oh, eating is difficult, her colleague intervenes. You can't sort this out until someone is in the kitchen. So around half past five for six o'clock dinner.

What? Are you serious? Only one additional portion without registration is not possible? Is the calculation so tight?


I get involved in the lottery and am informed in the room via the house phone whether it still works. In order to get the overnight pilgrimage tariff, I not only have to show the pilgrim pass, but it is copied twice for the management.

I'm sorry, what? In a nun-run house you don't trust the statements of the pilgrims or the bookings of the receptionists?

I ask when was the last time a pilgrim stayed here? You can't remember this year for sure. I ask if they have a pilgrim stamp. I think I read about it. Of course, but they do  have to look for him first.

Oha. Am I too subtle? Probably, but I'm just a little disappointed with the way this house looks.  To the roots of the order  in the original sense include the filing of a  Vows of poverty and charitable work. Especially here is the mistrust greater than anywhere else where I've stayed so far?

It is 4 p.m., and I get the offer to take part in the tour of the house at 4.15 p.m. Do I look like I need a tour of the house right now? I need a chair and a foot bath.

"No thank you. Unnecessary."

I know that was too rough.

Visit at the foot

I get my room key and take the elevator to the first floor. In my room I let myself first fall into the armchair and peel off my shoes and  wet socks.

I first noticed it when I passed the airfield. Something was wrong in the right shoe. Wrinkles in the sock due to increased walking pace and more moisture?  No idea. The result :

I babbled a blister on his big toe on the side of the ball of the foot. I can not believe it.  Despite deer tallow. My first.  Not bad yet. One centimeter in diameter and still closed. After showering, I would put a blister plaster on it and ignore it for now. 

But let's go again

I rest for half an hour, eat a granola bar, drink a lot of water and then first check the situation. Hmm. What if you can't schedule me to eat anymore? Then I'd have to go to bed hungry tonight.  Or walk into town and back until 6 p.m. to go shopping, to be in the house on time for kick-off.   

That's all crap. Either I have to go out again, but then I can chill and watch football or I stay here and sit in the dining room at 6 p.m. on the dot instead of in front of the TV.

Well, in the second case, I would go to the buffet quickly and be back in the room by 6.15 p.m. at the latest.

I weigh and conclude that my hunger is still  is bigger than my tiredness and I definitely still want to go to town. The storm has subsided, it just rains constantly.

I unpack my sandals, my windbreaker, borrow a hotel umbrella and walk away without worrying socks. I'll be back within half an hour and I'll be richer by a cold Coke, a pretzel stick, a couple of bananas and two ice-cold, wet feet. The change in weather brought about a sharp drop in temperature.

A meager meal

As soon as I am there, the phone rings. Yup, I can eat with you. Okay, then I'll take the pretzel stick with me for tomorrow. It's not a drama.

At 6 p.m. sharp I'm sitting in the dining room. What I didn't know: no buffet, instead there is a dish served at the seat. Starter, main course and dessert. Right at the beginning of our conversation, my table neighbors report that they work very slowly here and that the meal is usually not done in under an hour.


OK. I mentally say goodbye  from half-time 1. My hunger is not only greater than my tiredness, but also than my national pride.  A small side salad with croutons is served as a starter.  It's eaten quickly. My table neighbors, a married couple in their early seventies, come from Munich. The lady stiffly claims that today's game will take place in Nuremberg. A few other female spa guests confirmed that to her this afternoon.

The man tries to contradict her and brings the correct venue Wembley into play.

But he has no chance. He cannot prevail. After a while he falls silent. I step in and agree that the game will take place in England, throwing into the ring that in Germany only Munich will be played. Then I fall silent too.

Pointless.  The game takes place in Nuremberg.

I'm sorry for Don Quixote. I  Imagine that he has been married to this woman for most of his life and how many discussions like this one he has had against his windmill wife.

I change the subject. And tell me about my hike to St. James here.  The woman then asks about my further plans  and an interesting conversation develops after the football disaster. It turns out that the two of them cycled from Munich to Compostela 15 years ago. And while they remember it, they literally blossom. Who would have thought?

They laugh and tell anecdotes and the man turns to me and says: "Yes, an experience like that changes you forever."

The main course is served. On my plate is a mini bird's nest of spaghetti and an even smaller piece of meat.  The man looks at his plate and says: "I won't be satisfied tonight".

I am getting more and more sympathetic to him.  The main course doesn't take much time to disappear from the plate either. Spa guests interested in football at the next tables loudly demand that dessert be served immediately so that they can take it to the room.  Good idea.

What was the goal again?

In fact, their demands are being heard and implemented for everyone.

I grab my dessert and be back in the room practically at the break whistle.  Apparently I haven't missed much. It's 0-0. First of all, I eat my pretzel stick.  And then the dessert.

The view from the window shows a dramatic sky.

As we all know, the game in Nuremberg ends less dramatically, however  0: 1 from a German point of view. Jogi's warriors were as hopeless as the man at my table verbally against his wife. 

A disappointing game. Like the food.

I should have gone swimming.


Or should have thought better of what beforehand  actually had been my top priority for the evening.

Eat? Football? Swim?  

What does the good Confucius say again about decisions?

Whoever knows the goal can decide; he who decides finds peace; whoever finds peace is safe; whoever is sure can think about it; whoever thinks can improve.

Finding goals has always been difficult for me and my calm  I don't think so either that night. But at least I'm sure I can still improve a lot.  Wasn't there something with my personal W-questions ...?

I'm back in the breakfast room at 7:30 a.m. I find last night's bill in my place. 17.90 euros for the meal plus a drink.  Wow. If I had at least got full.

In fact, when I pay for the room later at the reception, I clarify  that as a pilgrim I only have to pay a reduced price.  It is no comfort to me. The whole time it has come to the fore for me that it is only about the profitability of the company. Perhaps after my experience at the Füchsle I had wrong or too high expectations of this house.

I just completely lack the pilgrimage here. Or to whom  is high, at least a little warmth and interest.  In Wörishofen there are a few other contact points that are designated as pilgrim-friendly and that are perhaps more central on the way.

I will next visit  prefer another accommodation.


That decision has been made.

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