Sunday, 4 August 2013

Via Jacobi (August 2, 2013) - Day 2 Schwellbrunn to Watwill

Last night there were fireworks all over the valley as it was a national Swiss holiday...pretty neat. I set my alarm for 6:00...however not needed on a farm where the cowbells started at about 5:30!

Day got off to a real good start at Breakfast - ate almost everything

After breakfast, getting my pilgrims stamp and giving 2 Canadian lapel pins to Christian and Katherine I was driven back to the church to resume my walk. Katherine drove and seriously it felt like she was Mario Andretti the way she took the various mountain roads...luckily she knew what she was doing!

Really hot again today however at day's end I am happy to say that the distance was 24.4 kms. Feet were not protesting however shoulder's are starting to. I am going to have a look at the backpack tonight to ensure that the weight is on my hips...if only I knew where my hips were!

One thing that is really apparent now is that the Swiss will avoid roads in favour of goat paths to get from A to B. this makes sense however I have also noticed that the quality of the signage really decreases on goat times it is really disconcerting to plow up and down a hillside following a fence and not being really sure!

I had a few oops again today with only one real problem that being within the first 45 minutes. This one was totally my fault as I missed a key sign and kept going up this nice road...until I hit a Swiss farmer's house. I must have circled it 3 or 4 times to make sure of my next move.

I followed what looked like a well defined path for a number of minutes and then came to goat path fork in the road where I tried various special Camino routes. Defeated I trudged back to the farm house where I met a young man who spoke some English. He said I could go the way I was going however at a certain point I should cut over to a path in the forest...and then do this and do that...I was worried.

Then he said that I had missed a sign up the road and I could backtrack...easy decision. I regret I did not give him a Canadian lapel pin...I was on the move.

Cow incident

Sooner or later I was worried this would happen...face to face with a Swiss cow with no fence between us. Well it did on one of the off the beaten path trails...the cow (see facsimile below) was essentially blocking the trail...and not moving.

Disclaimer - not cow in was much bigger!

The mind does funny things in times of severe stress...mine went into option mode...I could think of five options.

Option 1 - try to sneak under the cow
Option 2 - attach my 2 trekking poles and pole vault over the cow

Neither seemed like a good option...pilgrim dies when squished by cow or pilgrim seen riding a cow in pain after failed attempt to pole vault it.

Option 3 - try to shoo it away...however after all my limited communication attempts with people what were my chances with a

Option 4 - go behind the cow
Option 5 - go ahead of the cow

Option 4 was possible however was worried it could "backfire" on me if the timing was off so to speak.

I went with Option 5 keeping my eyes locked on the cow ( it had no horns and it's ears were swishing) and all went well until...the cow starting following me. This lasted only a few minutes however I was already wondering how I would explain this at the B&B.

Lapel pin 3 for the day came at the top of a long climb and a lady pointed me in the right direction...seriously how could someone other than a local know THAT was the path!

Stopped for lunch at noon...again real thirsty and ordered the following based on the picture in menu which only had fruit - it was delicious

Ordered the following based on price without knowing what I was getting...still don't know what this was - veggie something

The young waitress tried hard with hand gestures...gave my 4th Canadian pin of the day as a thank you...she seemed happy.

Last part of the day was going downhill (Swiss don't believe in switchbacks...for sissies I think!) to Watwill...where I had real trouble following some directions to the B&B. I ended up at the train station where I tried phoning...I thought I had figured out yesterday how to do this.

I asked a gentlemen sitting beside me how to need 2 zeroes not 1 to start and then you ignore the first zero after the area code. How did I do this by mistake yesterday? 

Reached Anne the B&B owner along with Rudolf who gave me directions and then came down from her house to meet me and guide me. Very nice of Anne to do this.

Tomorrow should be in the 30 km range however most of the way is downhill.

Future Pilgrims

Had a delightful stay with Anne and Rudolf Frische who have been welcoming pilgrims for about 12 years. We ate outside in the garden area, highlight being tomato/onion and cucumber salads. Very interesting talking to Anne and Rudolf considering their backgrounds which stretch back into Germany. Had my own room again...all at a cost of 40 Swiss francs. Very highly recommended...great sleeping arrangements, food and hosts!

1 comment:

  1. First there was an ADR (Architecture Decision Request), then a BDR (Business Decision Request) and now a CDR (Cow Decision Request) ... All that work in the Claims Portfolio has certainly helped your cause.

    BTW, you didn't specify whether the first gentlemen who gave you instructions was a future Architect or not. ... It seems like we would suggest the way through the dark forest. .. Which might seem like a scary way to go, but it could work. ... OK fine, we will take the long way around. ... This must sound familiar.

    Greg A