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Pilgrimage under one hat - on the way with Sandra

Bavarian Swabian Way of St. James  

Stage 5:  Holzen Monastery - Biberbach

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Friday 10th July 2020 

  Spanish conditions

Weather forecast: midsummer 32 degrees

Diary entry during breakfast:

The Holzen Monastery is great. Actually there would be a fantastic breakfast buffet here, but of course there is no coronavirus. Nevertheless, what they conjure up on the tray is worth all honors: fresh, healthy, regional, organic and delicious. Today I have a lot of respect, if not to say afraid, because my upper arms are worn and I have a few wonderful mosquito bites on top, combined with a slight sunburn. This is likely to get hellish along with sweat. Every day I think it should be easier for me to leave. And every day there is a new challenge ...)

When I checked out I discovered two pilgrim backpacks at the reception.

The receptionist smiles at my request and tells me that the two owners will probably also want to head south today. Great, I think, we will then run into each other on the way, at the latest in the evening in my pilgrim-friendly accommodation in Biberbach. Full of energy I leave this beautiful place and turn my back to the monastery. But not without taking another look back.

The Gasthoff Magg is my destination today. The sun is already beating down on the planet and I am once again happy about my fishing hat and my practical drinking tube system. Soon the soup is running down my spine again. Drink, sweat, drink, sweat.


Scorching heat in Germany

I think I'm slowly gauging what it feels like to walk up to 30 km on glowing summer days through the shadowless Spanish pampas.


Even the scene of the spotted horses starving in the shade of a single tree could, in my imagination, also exist in Spain. Then I finally had it as I wanted, my Camino Frances.

After the first 5 km I found a nice, shady spot where I took medicine again. Once again I try to take the opportunity to adjust the straps so that they do not cut into my waving arms or rub against them. I'm actually super happy with the comfort of my backpack, which saves me the dreaded back pain. If only there wasn't this scrubbing.

Short pilgrim intermezzo

Then it goes into a nice one                          light-flooded coniferous forest with slender tall trunks.                               Free of vermin and pleasantly cool. It's quiet, peaceful and smells nice.                                  Very to feel good. Unfortunately, this pleasure only lasts for a short time.                                         A little later the path leads out of the forest. He runs                                        still on the edge of the forest, but is now anyway                                        in the sun. I make up my mind around 9 km                                           a promising bank to another,                                           longer break.  While I am strengthening myself, take a look                                           Backpack carrier around the last curve, camera with                                               Lens in hand. I shout "Hello" in a friendly manner. He                                            also, then it disappears again, exactly where                                         he came here. Quite possibly one of the                                         two legendary pilgrims from Holzen.                                       I'll wait about 20 minutes to see if there's anything else                                       happened at the bend, ready for a pilgrimage, but                                      nobody appears. So i go on You can force it                                  Yes nothing.

Short board intermezzo

A little later, the narrow path leads down in stepped serpentines to the village of Markt. Shortly before the path leads to the road, I am almost knocked out by a worker who carries five-meter-long wooden planks on his shoulder and is staggering around the curve exactly where I am going down. I can't move backwards with my rucksack because there's a fence behind me. I don't want to roll down the slope to my left either. So I crouch as nimbly as I can - that is, rather slowly - and only narrowly avoid the swaying boards.


The Holzschwenker neither apologizes nor appreciates my acrobatics. But I'm expecting too much again. Then I take a rest first. And another two kilometers just before Biberbach.

Another short pilgrimage intermezzo

On the second occasion I observe that two rucksack-packed women come towards me, maybe in their mid-50s, just as untrained and figuratively looking well-proportioned around the hips as I do. I look forward to meeting like-minded people. You are on the way to the monastery. So you still have 12 km to go and already 12 km behind you, because you started somewhere between Augsburg and Biberbach. Pilgrim hat off! At the temperatures! I wouldn't be in the mood for 24 km today. Although the legs and feet have gotten a lot better.

This week I have often thought: the universe leads me very slowly towards the path and then it tests me a little more every day. A varied new challenge every day: Either wind, or insects or detours, or sun, or injuries. Or different combinations of them.

And for tomorrow, rain is on the program as the grand finale for the time being. After the last two days, I would say today: I'd rather rain than more heat. But tomorrow I will probably see it differently again ...

Of course I'm worried about tomorrow: 14 miles. Phew Regardless of the rain, that's tough.

Around 4 p.m. I am happy to arrive in Biberbach after my meager 14 km today.

Actually, I'm a little early. But shortly afterwards I check in with the help of the ladies from the butcher shop next door, who have a key for the inn.

    In the mood for a piece of cake and after a short break, head for the nearest open café in town. Fortunately, it is not far from the pilgrimage church, which I pay a visit straight away. In addition to the stamp inside the church, there I also find a list with the telephone numbers of people who offer their hospitality when pilgrims are looking for a place to stay in Biberbach. If I had known that before! It would have turned out to be good conversations. Anyway, I would make the acquaintance of the two rucksack porters tonight.

    But then I don't. They don't show up in my accommodation. Too bad.



    Diary entry at dinner:


    It was around 30 degrees, although there was often still a bit of wind, otherwise I would have been completely lost. Today I hardly missed a bank. The snails overtook me, so I had to take so many breaks. Except for the two pilgrims. But arrived again! Feet still free of blisters, thanks to the deer sebum!

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