29 Mar Poor outlook
Once again I had misjudged the moss bed, this time it was not roots, but it was a slightly harder part and a slightly softer part. During the night, the softer part became a hollow whose shape my upper body had to adapt to. Still, it was quite a restful night. In the mornings I’m way too cold to eat breakfast at the moment, plus I always like to get away from my sleeping place quickly to finish the thrill. So, tent up, sleeping bags and sleeping pad out to dry, brush teeth, pack up and off we go. Okay, that sounds fast here, but it’s just under 2 hours. Heave the car out of the forest, ox from the forest road onto the road and you’re warm.
During the first break, I snacked on a snack and took note of the weather forecast on my weather app with a big question mark over my head. This oracle predicted total bad weather for the next three days, i.e. rain, snow, cold and all that at once. Okay, what options do I have, …oh look there, a campground, just outside Sant Vith, open 365 days a year and only 10 km from here. On the way there, I ran on an awesome bike path, it was a section of the RaVel- bike path, more specifically, it was the Vennbahn. For every cyclist among you, a fat recommendation!
The campground was occupied by a Belgian couple with guard dachshund and camper and me. Crass, almost completely alone, electricity in the tent, WiFi and the best: showers with hot water, without coins or other restrictions, simply drunterstellen, turn on and enjoy, erääh wash. It was a nice feeling to be able to set up one’s tent completely calmly, without that feeling of doing something forbidden.
The tent was quickly erected, the car was covered and off we went on a discovery tour to Sant Vith. A tranquil town with a beautiful church, interesting museum of local history “From the Fens to the Schneifel”, all the necessary and unnecessary stores, even a veg. Café with holistic store, also a cool community project to bring people back closer to nature was at the start. Decadently, I treated myself to a cappuccino with a slice of cake in a café decorated with a beautiful Art Deco facade. The supermarket also had everything my heart/stomach desired.
The next morning started surprisingly without Schietwetter, hrrrr, I could have continued running, but it is what it is. So it went again to Saint Vith in the supermarket, back, optimize a few things and chill. It was already dawning and getting quite cold, when a new guest came and pitched his tent in the neighboring alcove. He was traveling by bicycle, and rode 140 km that day because all the other campgrounds on his way were still closed. He came the same way I did, only from the opposite direction. He reminded me of my friend Markus W., completely bicycle sick, but totally sympathetic. When he moved on the next day, the Belgian couple also moved from Tannen. Now I was completely alone in the square, literally the last customer. Because the lease of the tenant had expired and the city sold to another. Sounds all normal, but unfortunately it all played out like a bad Wall Street movie. Surely the place was not the most modern, but with a lot of charm, big heart and neatly prepared for all types of camping. The new owner will build modern camper accommodations and rent them out for a lot of money. Of course, all permanent campers have to leave quickly. Permanent campers who stood there for 20-30 years, spending their money in the stores and restaurants of Sant Vith. From the point of view of the new owner, this is also perfectly understandable. But in my opinion, this is from the point of view of the city, which has a say there, an absolute Armutsnzeugniss =( This city is located on the brilliant bike path “Vennbahn” and will most likely for camping cyclists, hikers, adventurers no longer have a place.
It got cold, very cold and the next morning started with picture-perfect slate weather, it was so cold that even the precipitation had an existential crisis, am I rain, am I snow, or do I want to be sleet. Each tent niche was surrounded on three sides by a massive hedge, I used this to make my tarp half over the tent. Cool, the tarp hung and withstood the wind. “Man am I a hero, full of SurvivalKnut.” Stupidly, water collected in the middle of the tarp and I had to periodically lift the tarp to drain the water. Diagonally opposite was some scrap metal, including a ladder and a roughing tool. MacGyver-like, I connected them and pinned this sculpture under the tarp so that the water drained directly. A piece of leftover countertop was quickly placed in front of the tent and the resulting mud hole was sealed. Now I had a little rain-free zone and knew that I could pack my stuff the next day, not dry, but at least in the dry.
The rest of the day I spent mainly in the tent and shivered away. Until I asked the weather fairy again. Never ask if you don’t want to hear the answer! Because the answer was not nice. “Total mega-slate weather expected over the next 14 days”. Probability of rain always over 90%, temperatures: below freezing at night and just around freezing during the day, sunshine hours from 0 – 0.5 hours a day and some wind now and then.
What to do! I could walk to Trois Vierges, there is the next campground. I stay there again for a few days and then hang around Luxembourg. But is that what I want? Pull through without enjoying? The combination of cold, wet and mud over a longer period of time is really tough. There I would have to take hotels in between to dry the equipment and free it from the mud. That will be expensive and is also far from “a good time”. Right now I’m about 120 km by car from home, so when Johanna picks me up I’m with her and can sit out the time at home with her. This option I have probably the last time, later I am too far away. So I called her and asked her, and sure enough, she picked me up the next morning (Ick liebe dir!). Still that evening my decision was confirmed, because a friend Matthias K. (Daaaanke!) called me and asked if he should get me, because he had seen the weather forecast for my region.
When I woke up the next morning at home, this (picture above) was what I saw and I knew the decision was right =)