Today getting up was not easy at all. Waking up I notice that I am kind of aching all over – a little bit. Yesterday’s long-distance hike across the nature preserve Elm-Lappwald is taking its toll: we were out and about for 6.5 hours. According to the tour descriptions (I merged two trails) the two loop hikes should have summed up to 19 kilometres. But I am pretty sure, it was more. I’ve got a feeling that we are quite familiar with the hiking trrails around Warberg and Räbke by now.
Back in the medieval age
We start our tour at the castle of Warberg. Warberg is a small village I know since I was a little girl. The parents of a school mate have a farm there. However, I did not visit the castle for at least 30 years or so. Sure, a lot of things have changed since then. The place has been restored and serves as a hotel and a training centre by now. The original castle was situated two kilometres away from the village and was destroyed in 1199. We make the ruins of it our first stage this day. The hiking trails starts directly at the new castle and leads to the forest. From there we just go straight and finally turn right to climb up to the ruins. There is not much to see despite some information boards and a restored well. There is a nice rest area, however it is already occupied by some wine-drinking hikers – we keep our social distance and move on.
The long way to the Schunter source
We return to the main path and take the wrong direction from there. At some point we realize that we must be wrong. We ask two bikers for directions. They tell us to go back, to cross a wooden bridge, pass by a parking lot and continue from there to the spring. On our way back we realize that we have missed on of the signposts. This time we find the right way and reach the source after five kilometres.
Through the Brunsleberfeld
By now we have reached the second part of our hiking tour. By then we are of good cheer. We pass by a garden plot and are addressed by a nice guy working on his property. He tells us that the source only bubbles in spring and summer time and dries up over autumn and winter. It has just started to bubble, he informs us. So, we are lucky. The guy would have liked to ask us in for a cup of coffee but unfortunately it impossible due to the existing Corona regulations. That’s too bad as talking to people these days gets more and more important.
We traverse the highway and reach the Hagenweg. This way crosses the forest quite straight. We realize by now how long the trail really is. Our legs are starting to get tired. I take a look at the map and notice that we still have to cover a distance of at least 10 kilometres. I am looking for a short cut but there is none. We continue and finally reach the Watzumer Häuschen. I have been here before and thus realize how long our way back really is. I keep this private – at first. I am getting tired and begin to worry a little bit about the distance yet to come.
Making a detour
Fortunately I make the right suggestions at the right time and consider to take the tarred road back as it is shorter. When we reach the highway we suddenly see a signpost on the other side, i.e. the official trail continues on the other side. We are lucky again because otherwise we would have taken the trail into a “parallel universe”. We continue on the forest track. I am quite confident that we might reach the spring as endpoint of the loop trail soon and can return from there to our starting point at Warberg. It wan’t to be. I suddenly discover a signpost stating that the source is still three kilometres away and it is going to be another five kilometres from there back to the parking lot! Oh dear, I am getting tensed. It’s no use – I am gritting my teeth and activate my ressources.
Close to the Schunter spring we are lucky again: I recognize our way there which saves us the detour via the source and thus two kilometres of walking. However I celebrate a little bit too soon. We take a wrong turn to the right side and thus bring ourselves into trouble. We get lost again. I have no clue where we are. My legs are very tired by now and I am a little desperate too. We are becoming more and more quite. Each of us is absorbed in thoughts and wants to return to the car as soon as possible.
Heading towards Schöningen?
We reach the highway again. There is only one signpost telling us the way to Schöningen. However, we need to go to Warberg instead. There is nobody in sight to ask for the way. We are loosing our heads and are at loggerheads how to continue. We trudge towards Schöningen wordlessly. I can feel a panic attack crawling up my spine. What can I do? If we really reach Schöningen I will have the strength not make it back to Warberg from there and there is no taxi traffic by now. I am about to stop a car on the highway to ask for the way but I know that nobody will stop these days because of Corona. Plus, we are running out of daylight!
I am trying to calm myself down sending an arrow prayer to heaven. And we are lucky once more: approximately five minutes later we reach a crossing which we recognize. Furthermore there is a jogger we can ask for the way. He tells us just to go straight ahead and we will reach Warberg soon. Thanks god! That takes a load off my mind. The point right now is to settle the dispute. And we can work it out!
Landscape in evening ambiance
At first we walk towards our goal silently. When we reach the edge of the forest we enjoy a wonderful view on Warberg and the castle, both is illuminated by a warm evening ambiance. We take some pictures. Ten minutes later we have reached the parking lot. On our way back we get our act together and start talking to each other again. So what can I say? The stone I took a picture of at the start of our hiking tour tells the truth: “There is not long way with a friend by your side.”
Happy Easter to all of you!