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Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  

Stage 9:  From Reinhartshofen  -  Kirch-Siebnach 19.5 km


Monday, June 28th, 2021

Half past nine in the morning in Germany


After I didn't really find my way into a hiking flow yesterday, I am hoping for more for today. The first five or six kilometers I usually like to run briskly, without interruption, at most I stop and take one or the other photo. So is the plan for today, start quickly and let in what happens afterwards.  But it is already clear to me that it will be another hot day and I will be on my feet before breakfast  creamed. There is a lot of work  it  eh not, just face and arms.  I could unzip my pants and expose my tight calves to the fresh air, but I have had bad experiences with prickly botany, biting fauna and common nettles, especially in slightly overgrown forest and meadow sections that nature is trying to win back, so I have prefer to protect your legs under your pants.

I leave Reinhartshofen behind me and cross an asphalt road  and reach a small parking lot for hikers, which already offers a first shady bench to rest. I may have just walked a kilometer, but I can already see that the weight in the backpack is better despite my attempt to pack this morning,  even more, and even more unevenly  on my shoulders than yesterday. The muscles there already ache.

Instead of trying to remedy the situation, I of course ignore the bank and walk into the forest on the driveway. On the left hand side I see two mothers who are chatting in the lighter thicket, while behind them their offspring is squeaking with pleasure in a natural forest playground  and wallowing in the pine needles on the ground. Maybe it was spruce too, to be honest I didn't pay attention to the conifer species.

At the Justinakapelle

After two  I reach kilometers  a small clearing. The rebuilt Justinakapelle stands here. Historically, one can learn a lot about this place for several hundred years. There is also evidence of a hermitage that belonged to the originally built chapel. Previously should  beautiful  a monastery stood there in the Middle Ages, but it was destroyed by enemies. But there is still no archaeological evidence for this.

In any case, the people of Reinhartshofer celebrate Sunday mass here on special occasions, because when I was looking for the stamp in the church late yesterday afternoon, I found a post-it note on the front door with the handwritten note: “Service today at Justina at 6.30 p.m. ".  I call that spontaneous, modern and optimistic.

But I am sure that the pastor  the change of location in the last week  has already announced orally. I hope that all forgetful churchgoers came to church early enough and discovered the note before 6.15 p.m., because walking the three kilometers to the chapel from there is not feasible for average walkers in 15 minutes.

but  maybe there was one  Shuttle tractor with trailer between church and chapel that solved the problem  and that I just didn't know about? In any case, it would be innovative.


Next to the chapel are a couple of benches and two small shelters, also equipped with benches and a table each. There is even an unmanned postcard sale in one hut. Lean against the inside wall  several postcard motifs wrapped in clear view to choose from. The money for it can be thrown in a box.

Opposite, at the edge of the path, stands again, as in every significant place,  a notice board for the Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James.

  In the box in the lower right corner there is always information about the current location and  the history of the church there. The board I am standing in front of belongs to Reinhartshofen, but does not refer to Justina, but to the church I was in yesterday.

It's a shame, I would have liked to find out more about the Justinakapelle here.


Pack your rucksack well, otherwise you will quickly run out of courage

also stuff something in the gaps, otherwise it will press your back,

Shoulders do not make waves when heavy things are at their lowest point

Pull the straps pretty tight until nothing moves.


It doesn't help, my shoulders are making waves.  I have to take my first break to heed my clever short poem and to repack the backpack. In fact, I put on the searching handle  into it that my two-liter water tank, its shape  a huge Capri sun with an endless straw (the drink of my childhood for on the go, when you were still without hesitation blowing plastic straws into nature) has completely slipped.  

My backpack has an extra pocket sewn near the back  into which you can put the hydration bladder.  But some of the rest of my utensils got the way  of the container is blocked at the lowest point, so that the weight is too high on the back and thus releases pressure on the shoulders. I correct that, put the rest of the sums back in and fumble with the various adjustment straps. Lo and behold, when I put my backpack on again, it's much better. However, my shoulders are so tense from yesterday and today that of course the pain does not go away immediately.

I secretly curse that I didn't take a diclofenac ointment like I was planning to. But another 50 grams extra? Since I had zero shoulders last time, I thought I won't need them this time either. Instead, the choice fell on petroleum jelly. Deer tallow for the foot, Vaseline for the arm.

Hm. Maybe it's even mocked twice and I could also use the deer tallow for my arm? I'll have to deal with that again when I get home.

Evil mind games

I pull myself up again and move on. After leaving the forest, it goes slightly uphill on a gravel path. In the distance I can see the church tower of Klimmach.

Although it is maybe 11 o'clock, the sun is already blasting down mercilessly and I would guess it is almost 30 degrees. Once again, I'm very happy that I have a wide-brimmed hat. In the heat, with the weight on my back  and uphill, I'm making slow progress again today. I already know - it won't be anything with Flow today.

At the entrance to the village  von Klimmach there are two white company suits with the engine running on the hard shoulder. Obviously the two are sitting  Drivers in their air-conditioned cars, paddling around on their cell phones and waiting for the vulture knows what. Maybe rain. Or on me?


I think for a moment whether I shouldn't open the passenger door on one of them and let myself fall on the seat, but then I think that I would probably get stuck on the door with my rucksack in a less elegant way and I do without this maneuver.

Better idea: Open the driver's door, take the cell phone out of hand  snap into the meadow  throw, wait for the guy to catch up, while quickly climbing into the car, hopefully not getting stuck with the rucksack, accelerating, honking the horn briefly to say goodbye and chilling in the chilled car in Kirch-Siebnach in front of the “Zum Füchsle” inn.

What a headline that would make: Pilgrim with sunstroke commits strange car theft

How many crimes would that be? Damage to property (if the cell phone breaks in a fall), theft, frenzy? Is there anything else?

Yes, so much for superfluous thoughts on the Camino de Santiago. Works great again today….

the  Bavarian short meseta

In front of the church in Klimmach I put on my mask and go inside with my backpack.  It's shady inside, but still  warm and stuffy.

I find another pilgrim book and stamp and spend some time reading the entries. The last entry was almost three weeks ago.  I also write in the book and leave another pilgrim stone.

  With the stale air through the  It is difficult to breathe in the mask and suddenly I break into an acute sweat.  I have to get out of the air quickly.


Fortunately, there is also a bench in the shade there. I read my outdoor manual, have a drink and I'm on the road again.

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For the next hour I alternately go uphill and then downhill again, but always in the sun, first through Birkach, then through Hipoldsberg to just before Konradshofen, which of course is also on a hill. From a distance I can see how the road continues uphill into the village. In the midday sun.  I'm looking for a shady spot again. I seriously wonder how this is going to be in the Meseta in Spain.  My personal trade fair experience  is taking place here right now.

E-bikes without GPS

It is around half past twelve and I would now like to have my hot cakes with processed cheese.  Around the next bend, a bench under a single, old tree comes into view, but it is occupied. Two e-bikers have fled there and made themselves comfortable under the shady giant leaves. 

I still stand by you and ask if there is another shady spot a little further on. The two women are very nice, literally jump up from the bench and assert that they were just about to leave anyway. I really don't want to drive them away and thank you twenty times, rounded up.

We talk a little more about my pilgrims and they explain the advantages of their e-bikes, which enable them to visit their sister 70 km away in one day and cycle back home the next.  A few years ago that would not have been possible for them with normal bikes in the hilly terrain. 

Then the two drive in  in an easterly direction behind me up the next hilltop and disappear from my view.

I enjoy the view, the shade, the silence and my shriveled rolls. Then I pour myself the first of my two daily rations of Magnesium Direct Powder  in my mouth. I think this would be a good idea to make up for my salt and minerals loss. Somehow the powder got into it instead of under my tongue from where  I find it kind of hard again  get out.  Feels like small pellets of detergent powder. But it tastes much better.

It's about 20 minutes  passed when I noticed two cyclists from the west approaching me from the front. Hm. I’m probably frowning.  They look like the two who were standing with me a moment ago, but that can't be.

  No, no nonsense, it's the two of them!

They wave to me and one of them calls out that they took a short detour, then they roar for the second time  up the street behind me.

"Next time you will spend one" I call afterwards.

I won't wait that long.  I walk through Konradshofen, which, according to my preliminary research, would have had a pilgrim's stamp, but I can't make the detour to the church. I'm only about half the way behind me.

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The route remains behind the place  It's still sunny, but every now and then a little wind comes up, which makes it more bearable. After what feels like an eternity, I finally reach a decent piece of forest again in which I can make good progress. Again, I don't meet anyone in the forest. Except for the two drivers in Klimmach and the e-bikers  I didn't meet anyone all day on the way. Not even in the towns. I think that's pretty strange, but I had already noticed it last year.

Hikers aren't actually on the move here. But neither are locals. Could it be due to the weather?

Unexpected discovery

In the meantime, my experience has taught me that benches are seldom set up in the middle of the forest. Although there would be enough wood there.  Rather at the edge of the forest and preferably on a hill behind the village with a view of the fields there is a shrine  with a seat.

So when I notice that my shoulders and feet need the next break, I just throw my backpack down in the middle of the way and sit on it. This is semi-comfortable, but still brings temporary relief for the feet and is the best idea I have. It is my last short break for today, which I spend together with the ants that use me as a climbing garden.


I look at my arms, which have been exposed to the sun all day, and notice that the crooks of my arms are sunburned. I had  probably a few square inches of skin left out this morning.  Well bravo, how's that going? I don't carry my arms inside out in front of me like a forklift fork  stretched up! But it can always get worse, that's why  I smear the forgotten areas of skin  quickly put sun protection on.

After that, I just focus on the path in front of me, hide everything around me, and run the last 4 kilometers  Stubbornly through to the hamlet of Kirch-Siebnach, where I arrive at the Füchsle inn around four o'clock. It took me seven hours for a distance that is specified as 5.15 hours. Although today I don't even go the last 1.7 km to Siebnach, the official end of the stage, because my accommodation is reached after 19 km and not only after 20.7 km.

It is amazing how this extreme heat reduces performance.

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Feel good at the Gasthaus Beim Füchsle

I get a nice, clean room on the first floor with a sink, but without my own toilet and shower, and I'm amazed that I only have to pay 21.50 euros including breakfast. The Füchsle actually has a pilgrim breakfast for 5 euros on offer for pilgrims and if you show your passport you get a 5 euros discount, so breakfast is practically free.

The service person who instructs me seems new and asks me where I would like to have breakfast - in the beer garden or in the breakfast room on the ground floor? I choose the beer garden. Shortly afterwards she comes back to me and corrects that breakfast for me would be upstairs on the first floor in the lounge. Breakfast is always only available from 9.00 a.m.

Phew, I think. But that is late for a pilgrim-friendly accommodation that offers an extra pilgrim breakfast.

But no matter, then I don't need to rush tomorrow and I'll arrive in Bad Wörishofen a little later. The main thing is that it is before 6 p.m. because I want to watch the round of 16 between Germany and England. Whether pilgrimage or not, I'm still interested in the EM Germany Games.


The first time I leave my room it does  loud "rum".  I hit my head. Of the  The door frame is very low and the lintel over it is not  high enough for me Ouch, that hurts a lot and I plan to take care of it when leaving the room from now on.  

At the end of the corridor I find a common room with a kitchen for self-catering, which the fitters especially use, of course to save money. The landlady from the tree had already told me that the fitters had made a significant contribution to the operation  would have survived the Corona period, because they were still allowed to stay overnight.

I always have two or three bags of tea with me for emergencies. To celebrate the day, I have one of them and pour myself some hot tea.

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What you don't have in your head….

I'm actually more than a fox hungry, but before dinner I want to take a shower and pick up the pilgrim's stamp in the church of St. George.

I'm already  passed her on the way to the inn. St. Georg is 100 meters from the guest house as the crow flies. Unfortunately, it is also 50 meters higher on the slope. So I go and climb the umpteen steps through the cemetery on Kirchberg to the gate. I am happy, the church is open. I step in, I'm happy again, I find a stamp. I look for the pilgrim's pass in my trouser pocket and discover that I forgot it in the room.

There are moments when your facial features derail and you have to  first take a deep breath.  But annoying doesn't help. So I go out again, resigned to fate, hobble down the stairs and up the stairs to my room again. I find the passport and am back in place ten minutes later.

I am very satisfied with the new imprint in my credential.

The dinner is delicious and the young service is helpful, open and competent. She explains to me that I could have the pilgrims breakfast before 9 a.m. Whenever I want.  She would finish everything for me in the morning and  put the things in the fridge so I could take them out myself. And serve me.

I literally beam at her, well, those were great prospects.

Before going to bed, I double-check that I can see the church tower from my window. I can not.

I hope I can't hear the morning church bells either.


Morning fit-maker

I sleep fantastic that night. The next morning it goes "around" again and I hit my head again, this time when entering the common room, the entrance of which was unfortunately only designed for dwarfs. That used to really hurt, but it made sure that I am really awake now.

What I find is not a pilgrim's breakfast, but a prince's breakfast, with a note with my name on it, a good morning greeting and friendly words where I can find my breakfast. Great. It's the little things that bring the greatest joy.

I can unreservedly recommend the Füchsle as a pilgrim accommodation. Here you can find everything a pilgrim's heart desires.

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Information on stage 9

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My pilgrim-friendly accommodation:

Tavern at the Füchsle

Kirch-Siebnach 3

86833 Kirch-Siebnach

I got the gpx tracks for Bavarian / Swabian from here:

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