Wuppertal was veiled in mist. The streets were empty.
The excitement of leaving without knowing where you will sleep that night.
I decided to do a detour through the woods instead of following the big road.
Bergisches Land. Mountainous Country. No joke.
I ploughed along narrow muddy forest paths, uphill, sometimes downhill, which wasn't necessarily easier. When my cart and I were trying to cross a field and there was a tricky spot where we had to manoeuvre over pieces of wood randomly deposited over a wet area to be able to keep your feet - or wheels - dry, I wondered if I should give my cart a name. Immediately the name "Odysseus" came up, I could shorten it and name it "Odi". I felt a bit ridiculous though.
After having slept in a bed and on a couch three nights in a row, having taken two showers and eaten two serious diners, I was quite keen on finding a good spot in the forest somewhere. But not until the end of the day. At some point I found the perfect place to spend the night. It was five meters high up in the air, was just big enough to stretch out on the wooden plateau inside, it had blankets even and a superb view. A hunters outlook post. Unfortunately it had a lock as well. I tried to crawl into the hunters mind and come up with the right three number code. I tried the easy ones first. 123, 000, 987, imagined him to be a bit more creative then and even got as far as trying 007. Alas.
For my next walk I might add a locksmith course to my preparations. If I would have been able to open it in any way I would have slept inside. I follow my own rules here. I don't have a problem with using somebody elses property when it is out of use and when I am in need of a place to sleep but I don't destroy anything. The border lies there. No exceptions.
Some things I thought today:
- It is always the same walk, the same story. Walking in circles but in a different way.
- In the Netherlands people I passed smiled at me, they gave me coffee, invited me for diner, to sleep over even. In Germany so far nobody offered me anything, except for the man in Neviges who ran the cafe and information office. A lot of people just stare at me and when I pass them and say "guten Tag" or "hallo", they look the other way and don't say a thing. There are nice responses though. But the staring I find hard at times. It makes me want to turn inside myself instead of open up. But I keep smiling and greeting.
- Pina looked so sweet and sad in the documentary I watched yesterday. I keep seeing her face and are thinking about the things she said, about sincerity, struggling, about how she never tells one of her dancers what she things is good and what isn't. "Dahin zu gehen wo ich nicht weiss was heraus kommt." Go where I don't know what will happen.
Around six thirty I found the perfect spot. A cluster of trees and bushes in a circle, forming a tent-like structure at the edge of the forest. Close to the path but inside it I was quite invisible. My tent is camouflage green, about two meters long and 70 centimeters high. The leaves formed a roof, the soft rain was only audible.
I always carry bread and cheese and dried fruit with me. But I found a tiny dried sausage and some white creamcheese too. The last bit of chocolate. And an apple! Or maybe I would save the fresh fruit for breakfast. No greens but I ate a decent portion of rapeseed flower buds and young stems earlier in the day.
When I was halfway my diner (wearing all the cloths I carry with me, including my rain coat), had removed two ticks on my ancles while eating and felt already very happy about the food and the nice background blackbird choir, I suddenly remembered I had a plastic bottle with the leftovers of the Bordeaux I bought in Neviges somewhere tucked away in my bag.
You should have seen me smile.
Three weeks already! I walked about 350 kilometers, spent just over € 300. Everything on schedule. Not bad.