July, 21 th 2017
Adrian and me decided to go for a hiking trip into the woods. Since I really liked Rothaarsteig and we only had one weekend, the choice to continue Rothaarsteig was quiet easy. We met Friday afternoon at his place in Dortmund. For Adrian it was the first hiking trip with camping in the woods and this you could also see at the size of his backpack. At Eastern I walked until Winterberg, so I wanted to start there. The public traffic is really bad in Sauerland, especially on the weekend, so it meant a bit of planning. By car we drove until Latrop, a small village, where we should end up our journey. There was a special kind of bus stop called “Anruf Sammeltaxi”. It means a bus is only coming if you have called them before. The problem was there was no service on our phones, which is common in this area. Luckily there was a restaurant and we could park there and call the bus from
there. We had a cup of coffee and cake there while waiting for the bus. In the end the bus arrived in time, but it was just a normal taxi. The driver was very nice, I had my student ticket, which was even valid in NRW, while Adrian had no ticket. But he doesn’t need pay either. We drove to Smallenberg, which was much bigger than Latrop and took the normal bus to Winterberg. When climbers are among themselves they always do funny nonsense. So we did while waiting for the bus. In Winterberg we went to a nearby supermarket and bought a bottle of wine and some extra food. I wanted to go back in the direction of Brilon, because there was a comfortable shelter and we wouldn’t need a tent for the first night. The weather forecast was really bad and it would be nice to have space and to stay dry in the first night. The way to the shelter was much longer than in my memories and I got really exhausted. It was less than five kilometres and my backpack was light, but in the morning I was vaccined against Rabies. It was not clever to to this on the same day, but there was no other opportunity and we wouldn’t just getting on the trail the first day, so I thought it would be Ok in the end. I was horribly wrong. We arrived at the shelter and it was quiet nice there. I really needed to lay down while Adrian was preparing dinner. I hardly couldn’t eat anything and it was even more impossible to drink wine. Adrian went out to call his girlfriend and fell asleep. I woke up in the middle of night, while there was a thunderstorm outside. I had fever and all my bones were hurting.I was thinking about going back home next morning, but in the morning everything was alright again. Adrian took a Bialetti, an Italian coffee machine, with him. One of the reason his backpack was that full. A ranger drove along the shelter and saw that we slept there, obviously. But he didn’t say any word. Usually wild camping is strictly forbidden in Germany, especially in National parks like Rottharsteig. We walked to Winterberg first, to fill up our water reservoir in a restaurant. Adrian told me he couldn’t carry more water, because the backpack was already too heavy. So I carried the wine. The weather forecast said rain and thunderstorm for the weekend, but once we were on the trail it was quiet nice and sunny. It was that warm that we took a bath in a very cold river to refresh. The trail was very beautiful, we took a break after climbing a hill and the view was amazing. Even in that moment it started to rain and we had to remove all our stuff and looking for a shelter. There was a restaurant nearby and we could wait in the garage. The rain was over as quickly as it came, so we continued. In the evening we arrived at a village called “Langewiese” which literally means long meadow and it was exactly like this. At the meadow’s end there was a shelter, which was very leaky, but since the forecast said there will be a thunderstorm soon it seemed a nice place to pitch the tent and we could at least cook comfortably in the shelter. It started raining while preparing dinner and there was a beautiful rainbow over the village. We enjoyed our dinner at the shelter, but it was to early for sleeping, so we decided to go to a bar at the village. The local shooting club were meeting up and we just joined them. We got separated by women and men, which was a huge mistake, because so it was impossible to say no to all the alcohol they offered to us. In the end we had much fun and beer with the locals and were the very last people in this evening leaving for going home. They also told me, that it’s not common that hikers sleep in the woods, but it’s also no issue. Nobody cares. We were still at the party when the thunderstorm came. We waited and went back to our tent. Surprisingly everything was still dry. I felt asleep immediately and woke up with headache. Generally I hardly drink no alcohol and this evening was killing me. After breakfast we headed for Latrop, which was still 15 km. Unfortunately the way was quiet boring after only few kilometres. So in the end we arrived quickly at our car in Latrop.