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Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  


Stage 8:  From Göggingen  to Reinhartshofen  - 18 km


Sunday, June 27th, 2021

Nach fast exakt einem Jahr Pause ist es nun wieder soweit. Ich nehme es erneut auf mit dem Bayerisch – Schwäbischen Pilgerweg. Und zwar genau dort, wo ich ungefähr vier Wochen zuvor die Kurzetappe 7 beendet hatte, in Göggingen bei Augsburg.

Gute 120 Kilometer, sechs Tage und Nächte, liegen zwischen mir und meinem diesmalig angepeilten Zielort, dem hübschen Städtchen Altusried im Unterallgäu



Yippieh! - On the road again

After a break of almost exactly one year, the time has come again. I will take on the Bavarian - Swabian Pilgrimage again. And exactly where I had ended the short, connecting intermediate stage about four weeks earlier, which I was still missing after crossing the finish line in Augsburg at the Jakobskirche last year and before the start of today's stage.

A good 120 km and six days and nights lie between me and my destination this time, the pretty town of Altusried in the Unterallgäu.  To my shame I have to admit that I had never heard of their existence before (as well as from so many other smaller places on my way). Five of my six stages lead me through the Unterallgäu district, which I had with his in Germany from the end of April to mid-May  second highest incidence value had caused real planning concerns. All other districts in Bavaria had long been stable below 100 and went hand in hand with it  tourist overnight stays are allowed again and catering is open. Just not my Unterallgäu! The catering industry there has only been open for two weeks. Actually, I would have wanted to leave much earlier. Had, had bicycle chain….

A rocky reunion

I'm standing on the Wertach, which flows into the Lech in Augsburg, right in front of the board on which I am  Not so long ago I lovingly draped my first four pilgrim stones in the hope at the time that they would embark on a long pilgrimage from here.

Well, the stones are gone. Hopefully they are in good hands, I still think before I look at  something purple falls in the damp grass under the shield. Oh no, what was there?

Almost like an Easter egg carelessly hidden by the Easter bunny, one of my painted stones peeps at me between tall stalks. I take it like a lost chick and place it carefully on the palm of my hand.  That was probably a fail. 


On closer inspection of the stone, it is not difficult to see that exactly what I feared has happened. The weatherproofness of the QR code leaves a lot to be desired. The moisture has already crept under the self-adhesive transparent film and has made the protected, printed QR code illegible. Well, I still have to work on the system  can be filed, but at least that way I can see how the stone has already suffered after a few weeks and draw my conclusions for the preparation of my next generation of pilgrim stones .

Because the next generation 2.0 is already ready for use. In the small hip belt pocket of my backpack I actually carry six newly equipped stones with me. This time these have a laminated QR code on the underside and have also been treated with clear varnish again. I have resolved to put a stone in a predestined place every day for subsequent pilgrims or hikers who I hope will find them,  take it with you and tell me about it.

Denn die nächste Generation 2.0 ist schon einsatzbereit. In der kleinen Hüftgurttasche meines Rucksackes trage ich tatsächlich sechs neu ausgestattete Steine bei mir. Diese besitzen einen diesmal laminierten QR Code auf der Unterseite und sind zusätzlich nochmals mit Klarlack behandelt worden. Ich habe mir vorgenommen jeden Tag an einen prädestinierten Ort einen Stein abzulegen für nachfolgende Pilger oder Wanderer, die sie hoffentlich finden, mitnehmen und mir davon berichten.

Avoidance and optimization strategies

And while I'm still pondering my stone actions, I decide to go. In Göggingen, the Way of St. James divides into east and west routes, only to meet again in Bad Grönenbach. The direction is clear to me, I want to take the Ostweg, the next town that the path touches on the edge is called Bobingen.

It's 9 o'clock in the morning, the air is pleasant, the sky blue, the sun is already shining, the birds are chirping wildly. It promises to be a warm summer's day with temperatures in their late twenties.  I'm wearing a T-shirt and hiking pants and I'm not cold. A new functional shirt, mind you. When choosing, I made sure that the sleeve length was cut short but longer  is than with the three  “Wing-arm shirts” that I had worn alternately on last year's expedition. The sleeves that were too short resulted in friction losses  on a backpack buckle  in shape  a five cent size  Piece of skin led. I definitely want to avoid this scenario this time and have come up with two strategies for it.

Strategy 1:

Don't show up at the fight - in other words: it is better to hide the sensitive area under a piece of fabric.


Or, if not possible, strategy 2:

It's better smooth like a baby bum - that is to say,  I have a tube of petroleum jelly with me, which is always ready to use  to be processed preventively at the endangered point.  

The lubrication tip  I of course looked it up on the net and that's the best recommendation I could find. Petroleum jelly is said to help prevent chafing.  I briefly thought about rubbing my arm with it as a preventive measure today, but then thought that I didn't want to mess up the expensive stuff with large grease stains right away.

Otherwise, I'm very similarly packed as I was a year ago in the starting blocks. I padded up my first aid package a bit and this time packed Magnesium Direct sachets instead of the magnesium tablets. And I have a swimsuit and an additional top with me. I left the towel at home, which I didn't need the last time.  Oh yes, and the vaccination certificate must be included this time. Just in case.  Otherwise I was very happy with my equipment last year and I think it should fit this time as well.

Who cares what exactly I had with me and what I have to say about it, please have a look here.


Even thoughts wander on their own again

Today almost half of the route goes along the Wertach. No elevation gain. A step back into the game, so to speak. Made for me Although after the MoselCamino intermezzzo, where I worked together with my husband, I first have to get used to walking alone again. It makes a difference when someone is there who uses conversation and encouragement to distract you from the strain and monotony of running. The challenge of running alone is the greater physically, mentally and spiritually.

And why am I doing this alone again? Because I got it in my head.  I've always had a slope before  to individual travel.  As a nineteen-year-old alone with a backpack and the Interrail ticket in my pocket for four weeks across Europe. There weren't any cell phones or the Internet back then. The adjectives for such projects from the mouths of my family and friends ranged from brave and great to adventurous to  too reckless, crazy and brain amputated.  My thoughts linger  briefly in a distant past and I smile inside.

the  The route starts nicely, the river, which has been renatured between heaped gravel banks, flows gently along, lined with trees on both sides. However, after the first half hour I notice that I have to get used to the weight of the backpack again. And of course he's not sitting either  as it should. Something is packed suboptimally. I pull and push here and there on some straps and clasps  try to relieve the shoulders by shifting the backpack,  but makes you really satisfied  not me the result . 

Die  Route beginnt schön, der zwischen aufgeschütteten Kiesbänken renaturierte Fluss fließt sanft dahin, beidseitig von Bäumen gesäumt. Ich merke allerdings schon nach der ersten halben Stunde, dass ich mich erstmal wieder an das Gewicht des Rucksackes gewöhnen muss. Und natürlich sitzt der auch nicht  so, wie er sollte. Irgendwas ist da suboptimal gepackt. Ich ziehe und schiebe hier und da an ein paar Riemen und Verschlüssen,  versuche die Schultern durch Verlagern des Rucksackes zu entlasten,  aber so richtig zufrieden macht  mich das Ergebnis nicht.  

About ants, sticks, boxes and a shell


On the first section I meet a lot of joggers and Nordic walkers who want to do their Sunday fitness before the warm hours. You greet you in a friendly and cheerful mood, while I walk in lockstep and slowly sink back into my thoughts.

My head is like an anthill again, teeming with it  of ants, sticks and sticks. It pops out of nowhere  Ask when I first felt the desire to walk the Camino. And that means again the 800 km through Spain on the "Frances". It annoys me that I don't have the answer ready right away. As I poke a little deeper into the pile, it actually comes back to me. I find an almost dusty box with a label that has become illegible in one of the lower drawers of my ant memory.

I open the lid and rummage  a spring warm one  Sunday years ago in Cologne. In downtown,  in Studio Dumont, I have a live report "Adventure Camino de Santiago, 800 km on foot on the Camino de Santiago"  visited. Of course, I no longer have the name of the lecturer present, but he manages with his pictures that I am fascinated by the Camino de Santiago undertaking from then on  and it  itches right in my feet. I try to circle the year in my mind, but I don't really succeed. I only remember that I was alone looking at the photos projected onto a big screen, which probably means that my husband looked after the children so that I could watch the lecture, otherwise he would have come with me. It must have been about 8-9 years ago I guess.

In the face of two young children, work, home  and the daily challenges, the idea of breaking up quickly faded and faded into the background.  

The next time it was present for me, when my boss one day in the office revealed that he would be on his way to Compostela shortly.  From then on he began to train diligently and the route that he usually did with the  Drove a car or scooter to the office,  he took the bus back in the morning to  In the afternoon to build in one or the other dangling and 20 to 25 km  walking home. Since he lived in Bergisch, the altitude meters were already included. One day he proudly returned to the office with the Compostel certificate and hung it on his office wall. He had brought me a pilgrim shell, which I was really happy about. I saw them as a sign for myself, as a wink with the fence post.

It also stays in the office for the time being, in mine of course, but in the closet there.  The shell then lies around there for years. I see them every time I open the closet to get something out.  In 2015 she took part in a move over 500 km, but did not find her place in my new office, but disappeared in a drawer at home until shortly before I left last year in the Bavarian Swabian language. I know it's still there, but when I couldn't find it when I was compiling the packing list last year, I panic for a moment. Fortunately, however, it can be found on the second search. Now, like last year, it is dangling from my backpack.

  I am curious to see what awaits me in the coming days. What encounters I will have and what food my head will offer me just to deal with useless, superfluous topics.  Personally, I wouldn't mind walking “completely empty”, meaning headless, but that's not as easy as you might imagine.  Switch off. Click. Button off, head off. Focus on inside. I envy those people who have acquired this ability in their lifetime and can now just let go. I, however, still have to work on it.

My file number XY unresolved

In order to not only deal with minor issues such as foot pain or stomach growling or just let my thoughts run away, I have decided to actively search for a few answers to deliberately chosen questions. So towards file number XY unsolved. Help from outside, in whatever form or by whomever, is definitely welcome.  The questions go straight to the limit ...  Similar to the W questions that you should prepare for when you dial the emergency number, only somehow different and a touch more spiritual.

As there would be:

Who am I actually?

Why I'm here?

What else do I want to do with my life?

How do I make my light shine?

Where  do I find my inner balance?

and  the PS: Questions at the end of the week: 

Did you find what you were looking for? Has the path shown you answers?

To get straight to the point. I tried really hard. But what does “she was always trying” mean in plain language? Exactly. She couldn't get anything done. In short no. The path gave no answers, just new food for thought and small steps in the right direction. But it's more of a wobble in the fog. What did you expect That the answers are just lying on the street? That would be too easy.  

But maybe they do. And I just overlooked the clues.

In any case   Unfortunately I could not solve my personal universal riddle in the short time with my maximum intellectual performance. At best I can think of “42” as the answer, but that's just a clue that neither does me  still seem helpful to most readers  should. I think I'm drifting a little off course again, through the fog. Fortunately, I'm not hitchhiking in the universe either, but that happens when I allow a little glimpse into a few untidy drawers in my mind.

20210627_102431 (2)_edited.jpg

Who painted the picture of the Bobinger Reservoir?

Where did i stop

For the first time at the entrance to the Bobinger reservoir after about 8 km. The writing on the signposts is there  just as faded as my memories After a moment's hesitation, I climb the steps to the water dam and cross  the dam.


I am deeply impressed by the view that is presented to me, the water deep blue in contrast to the sky, which is perfect, as if painted with watercolors. Scattered white veils lay gently over a light blue and blend in gentle swings.

It's now pretty sunny and it occurs to me that a little sunscreen wouldn't be wrong now. Unfortunately there is  no shade and the benches, which are set up at humane intervals, are all in the sun at this time.  I walk halfway around the lake until I come to the tributary of the Wertach, but it doesn't help. The benches and I continue to receive friendly light.

So I have mercy and take a break in the sun, eat a bite to eat, put some cream on myself and watch a very overweight man with a red head, who is marching vigorously with his hiking sticks on the opposite side of the river.  It occurs to me that I met the man right at the beginning of the route, almost two hours ago, and that he is still walking in the sun - of course without water and headgear. On the one hand, I have respect for his performance in this weather, because what he's doing is undoubtedly very exhausting for him, on the other hand, I'm not sure whether he is exaggerating something and taking too much on himself. I just hope he doesn't collapse right away, make it back home and save me answering the W-questions for him on the phone.

After this  When a horse-drawn carriage drove past me on a parallel path, I too jerked off again. Shortly after Bobingen, the path leaves the Wertach and finally leads into the shady forest. An older man, who overtakes me from behind on the bike, recognizes my shell and calls to me: "But you still have a long way to go." Probably he thinks that I want to go through to Compostela, but I explain to him that it's only going through Germany for a week towards Lindau.

But actually he's right.


I take another break about an hour later. Traveling  I kept pulling hard on my drinking tube, which is connected to my two-liter bladder in my backpack.  It is now empty and the former contents have already sweated out again.  With the last half liter of water in the extra bottle, I still have to manage a little.



I keep walking and soon come across a sign in the forest that announces my destination for the day, the “Grüner Baum” inn just two kilometers away. Inside I cheer, but as I have already experienced several times, two km, especially if it is the last of the day, and if it leads through the blazing sun,  pull quite a bit. A few hundred meters after the sign, the forest is over.

Finally  I arrive at the inn in Reinhartshofen, feeling quite heated. I'm pretty sure someone cheated on the kilometer reading on the sign.

“The Green Tree” is of course still down the mountain, roughly at the deepest point in all of Reinhartshofen, and I have to think with horror of the next day when I have to go up these extra parameters, because actually the Way of St. James only leads at the top the village and I run down an extra handlebar.

In the green tree  

In front of the house I am approached in a friendly manner by the young man who serves in the beer garden. Apparently I make a pitiful impression again, because he asks me into the house immediately. The feeling of shedding your backpack for the day is simply indescribable. You feel so light and exhilarated. But my shoulders and back still hurt a lot.

I let myself fall on a bench  and get quickly  a cold drink of my choice, this time from an elderly gentleman,  served. This seems to be a family business in which three generations work for my taste.

The Swabian dialect in which he speaks to me sounds almost like Elvish to me. I have to prick up my ears to come along. The landlady comes out of the kitchen to explain to me that I should test the pond, just 500 meters down the street, which is very beautiful and highly recommended given the weather. But I wave it away. One extra parameter is too much for me, let alone a thousand. I already had to pay a lot of tribute to the warmth and I am reminded of my heat stresses from the previous year. 

After a quarter of an hour in the cool room, however, my spirits began to return and I was shown my room. Even with a balcony and a view of the church tower, which is a stone's throw away. What a pretty panorama.  After a shower, I'll do that  Visit the Church of St. James and hobble  see if I might find a pilgrim's stamp.

I am lucky. In the church I find  a stamp and even a pilgrimage book.  My first pilgrimage book in Bavarian Swabian. The last entry was over three weeks ago. I realize that it is very unlikely that I will meet other pilgrims on my route in the coming days.  I already know from the landlady that I am the only pilgrim in the only pilgrim-friendly accommodation in town. Apparently nobody is walking in front of me, nobody is walking with me and if there was a business behind me, there would be  it will be difficult to catch up with me without a rest day. Too bad. I had hoped that there would be more people on the way again, but the route still doesn't seem to be very busy. 

I decide to leave the first pilgrim stone with the first pilgrim book.


Note: If you don't want to get up with the taps, never take the room next to the church tower in small Bavarian towns

At six o'clock the next morning, the storm bells ring. Not that I wanted to sleep until 10 a.m., but 6 a.m. is a bit too early in my opinion. My alarm clock would be over  left shortly after 7, but sleep is now out of the question.

The friendly landlady prepares a delicious breakfast for me in the beer garden for 8 a.m. It's already around 20 degrees. While I'm chewing my bread, I have to review last night again.  


An illustrious crowd had gathered around several beer sets and let the warm Sunday end in the inn. I had joined them for dinner.  On my left there was a table set consisting of two older couples in traditional costumes with a dog, which unfortunately the entire crowd of guests at their loud (horrific) played on the cell phone  Let folk music participate. In addition, the cell phone owner whistled loudly and wrongly and bobbed his legs against the table in time, so that the drinks on it trembled. Except for me, the music didn't seem to bother anyone.

To my right sat the local, beer-loving, leftover bachelors  and gawked at me woman sitting alone with undisguised curiosity. I was probably something special in this village setting. However, I definitely had no desire for an intoxicated, intrusive old man acquaintance.

I took out my diary, ignored the gentlemen and so avoided it. 

One at the table was ranting about the EM in the finest Swabian, not very qualified. "De däpperte Italjänä, the mog ia the same even net". Anyone who was stupid here could certainly be argued.  Then I remembered that there were two rounds of 16 that evening. Later in my room I tried desperately to watch the game that would later be played. Unsuccessful. I fell asleep after about 10 minutes. I don't think it was the game. I can only remember today that at some point I turned on the television  I made up my mind and immediately went back to sleep.

I am interrupted in my thoughts, the hostess even finds time to sit down and chat with me. Actually, I wanted to leave at eight-thirty, but it's a good conversation with her, she talks about her life and the difficult Corona times for the inn.  Time flies by.  At nine o'clock I am shocked to find that it is already so late. I'll get my hiking backpack and get ready for  the day ahead. I want to arrive in Kirch Siebnach this afternoon.

Information on stage 8:


My pilgrim-friendly overnight stay:

Gasthof Gruener Baum

Fam. Donderer, Weihertalstr. 6th

86845 Großaitingen, OT Reinhartshofen

You can find the gpx tracks for Bavarian / Swabian  here:

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