Tuesday, 6 August 2013

Via Jacobi (August 6, 2013) - Day 6 Brunnen to Stans

Today was a day of many ups and downs both physically and mentally. In total it was 31.3 kms which was a little longer than expected...combined with the heat and climb out of Alphal (another 500 meters or so) I'm pretty tired. Thankfully tomorrow should be the shortest day so far!

Last night was my first experience in a sleep in straw...in total 7 of us in a large barn (Conrad and three girls from Austria, a couple from Germany and me). I was under the mistaken impression that sleeping on straw would be similar to sleeping on a waterbed...you lie down and sink! Not so much...was closer to sleeping on an uneven Canadian Shield surface!

My breakfast!
This will come as a shock to those who know me well...We had to catch a boat at 8:19 so when asked when I wanted breakfast I said 7:00 knowing full well the walk to the boat launch was only 15 minutes. Everyone else ate at 7:30...before leaving I handed out 7 Canadian Lapel pins (Cornelia the host also received one). Somehow this always perks me up!

I was not late for the boat...got there before the ticket window opened!

I mentioned taking a boat...to my knowledge this is the only time on the entire Camino journey where this is required...about a 10 minute boat ride...so not very far.

Boat from Brunnen to Trieb

After a long climb the trail to Emmeton was spectacular...Marc I would rank it the equal or the Skyline or Iceline trails in the Canadian Rockies). The trail was a high trail which hugged a mountain face with Lake Zurich on the right way down below. It was mountain hailing at it's best and I was in my glory! A few pictures which won't do it justice:

Trail ahead cutting along mountain face

View from trail

View from trail

On the way down I came across this horror story...it looked like a self propelled bucket to let yourself down the side of the mountain. 

No way was I going to do this...Winch yourself down mechanism

Ok I found the trail shortly thereafter and skipped the bucket!

Also on the way down I was passed by a German lady who was simply motoring...usually I am the passer however she simply left me in the dust. Interestingly I caught up her shortly thereafter as she was trying to interpret some confusing signs...between the two of us we decided the way and in the end the right decision was made. The good thing for me to know is that I am not the only one to have trouble! I never saw her again as she left. 

Coming out of the trail the terrain wasn't nearly as interesting and I noticed a hot spot on my heel just before lunch. I stopped and took care of it as best I could however it's clearly going to take more work. This is to be fully expected however was still disappointing.

Did not see dangerous animals however did see this...Swiss ginormous rabbit

Swiss front yard

The walking day ended on a frustrating note trying to find the sleep in straw farm. A fair number of people tried to help but they really didn't know the street. Finally a guy gave me the key direction...gave him a Canadian pin...turns out he went to the Calgary Olympic Games.

As I write this I am at an indoor mall (just made myself supper by visiting the COOP supermarket) and pinned down in a wicked thunderstorm...not surprising considering the heat.

I am not leaving until it stops raining...have a 15 minute walk and no rain gear with me. There are 6 people in the sleep in straw farm...2 young women from Germany doing a 10 day hike and 3 people from either Germany, Switzerland or Austria or perhaps another country which speaks what to my ear is German.

Future pilgrims

The Bucheli sleep in straw farm is ideally located right on the Via Jacobi...both the supper and breakfast were the best I have had so far in a sleep in straw and Cornelia is a great host (she has also been to Canada). Notwithstanding my comments on the straw (this may well be the norm) I highly recommend. 


  1. Uncle Guy,

    Just wanted to let you know I've been reading your blog and telling my kids about your adventure! I think it's fantastic! We are cheering from Louisiana!

    Alanna, Mike, Lia, Ashton, and Izzy

  2. Guy,
    After all your adventures to date, I would not have expected you to skip the bucket. ... Where is your sense of adventure?

    Good to hear about the collaborative decision making skills in action. ... We have prepared you well grasshopper.

    Greg A.