Much too quickly passed the beautiful time with Johanna. A highlight was the visit to Reifferscheid Castle. I always think it’s great when you have such a great location for yourself and it was even better because the Burgcafé opened exactly on this day. In bright sunshine high up in the outdoor area of the castle café, I feasted on a slice of apple pie, a slice of cherry pie, and a slice of strawberry shortcake. All freshly baked by the café owner. She said she didn’t like the strawberry cake and wouldn’t give it to me. You know how it is, such a totally fresh strawberry pie with fresh, cold strawberries and homemade, real pudding to go with it, and the whole thing doesn’t set because it’s just too fresh, and then also falls apart into a pile of bliss. Glad I was sick from gluttony. Nevertheless, we later had a super delicious pizza at Kapern in Hellenthal.

Gratefully Johanna drove me, as far as she was officially allowed to, up the mountain where it was time to say goodbye again. Patiently she sat down on a bench, enjoying the magnificent view, while I packed and tied my things on the cart. Saying goodbye was sad, but not as hard as last time. Because we had talked a lot and we were clearer about what was going to be.

Even though it was only halfway up the mountain, it was still quite a steep climb to start. On good paths it went through the most beautiful nature. At my rest I talked with a couple of cyclists, who told me among other things about the RaVel bike path, that this leads through Belgium and is well developed.

On we went in this beautiful area. My fantasy flourished imagining what selfies I would shoot at the border with Belgium. I followed the route until I was in front of a narrow wooden staircase that led through a protected swamp with a daffodil meadow. “Beautiful!” I marveled, and “Hmmm?” I thought. “I’m not going through here with that car.” So I ran and ran and ran and according to the map I had to be in Belgium already. Only one border I had not seen. On the one hand fully cool, because I do not like borders, on the other hand no selfies, my first border crossing totally unspectacular. But that’s just how it was, uphill, downhill, a few hikers, marshes, daffodils and an incredible number of trees. This time I wanted to be clever and looked for a place to sleep an hour earlier. I set up my tarp, slid my bivy under it, and filled it with the sleeping bags. Then I decadently planted myself in the chair and enjoyed the moment until the sun goes down. But somehow that moment seemed disturbingly long. With Johanna’s call, that also cleared up. During the night, the clocks were changed to daylight saving time, then it dawned, even for me.

The night in the bivy was suboptimal. Already the gentle sliding into the cozy night camp proved to be a circus-ready artist act, because I had set up the tarp much too low, which made the entrance unnecessarily difficult and additionally caused anxiety in the already narrow bivy. I woke up more often at night because everything was so tight and parts of the bivy were constantly on my face. Every now and then, I would stick my head out of the bivy at night and push the tarp away to escape the trepidation with a deep draft of ice-cold night air. While doing so, I opened my eyes and saw a phenomenal starry sky between the black silhouettes of the huge coniferous trees.

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