Even though I have not been getting enough sleep recently I started off early on Sunday morning for another hike. The weather was fine again, but fortunately not as hot as the day before. I reached Seesen on time and was welcomed by “my” driver and another hiking mate. It has still been early that gave us enough time to have a strong coffee before heading off to Altenau. In the morning that is my only chance to wake up.
On our way to the meeting point in Altenau, we were just talking about the Open-Air Festival in Wacken, I suddenly almost burnt my buns off. Dumbfounded and embarrassed at the same time I took a look at the “cockpit” of the car and then took a calculating look at “my” driver. Was he playing a bad trick on me? I carefully draw his attention to the fact that the seat heating might have been turned on (a real drag having an outside temperature of over 30 degrees). At the same time I am trying to find the power button to turn the heat off.
H. tells me that the power button should be on the right side of the seat. I cannot say whether the button has been turned on or not. However, I just press it. After 1-2 minutes it gets colder. But then again, five minutes later, I get another set of hot pants. H. assumes that it could be that the plug has a short in it. Fine. On our way back I will be sitting in the back – that’s for sure.
Your supermarket at Altenau
Upon waiting for the remaining wanderers the supermarket on the other side of the parking lot caughts our eyes. More and more people are gathering in front of the market and seem to be getting nervous. I take a look at my watch. Five minutes to eleven. Well, I think, than the gourmet’s paradise might open up in five minutes. Unfortunately, they only have large Frankfurter on sale for 0,69 Euro. For vegetarians like me completely unattractive.
We will start our tour immediately anyway. After a short, steep ascent we plan to reach the Magdeburger Way through the Wellnerway. H. who takes the responsibility for the tour this time, already told me in the car about a road blocking. At first I did not care not knowing that we were supposed to take that way.
Well, he had almost missed the junction, however the little peregrine from Brunswick had paid attention. This is when our dressing mutton up to look like lamb started. Since the storm Fredericke raged over the Harz mountains the Magdeburger way between Altenau and Torhaus is blocked. That’s too bad as we planned to stroll along the Dammgraben and the “Steile Wand” instead of continuing on the hiking highway.
Village people vs. Manfred Mann’s Earth Band
Still we could take a short walk alongside the dam to reach stamp no. 133 – the Förster-Ludewig-Platz. We had a lunch break at the place. I. told us about her festival plans. After having missed the “Village people” she plans to see Manfred Mann’s Earth Band on the next weekend. She was looking for people to accompany her. Thereupon H. expressed his enthusiasm on Manfred Mann but raised his doubts on the Village people. As a running gag both bands were used to score off the other person.
From the dam we walked across the hiking highway for some time until we reached a junction and took the Butterstieg to Wolfswarte. Up there a quite cold breeze was blowing, however the view on the Harz Mountains was great. Shortly before reaching the stamping point no. 135 I read a word I have never heart before: Zipfelklatscher. At the Förster-Ludewig-place it was written “Zipfelklatscher 2014-2018”, at this place it started already with 2011.
What is that a Zipflklatscher I asked the others. Pondering silence. Then the craven attempt to explain from T., who referred to Bully Herbig. The alternating skin colour and the soft voice were a sign that there was more to it. Well, the “Zipfel” also stands for a man’s best friend. Ah, here we go again talking about filthy stuff.
However, I was not satisfied with that answer either. So I took a look myself and simply googled the word and finally found my answer.
Romantic meadow footpath
At the “kleine Oker” the team collected stamp no. 149. From there we walked surprisingly and unexpectedly at first via a romantic footpath crossing a meadow and finally down the Mühlengraben back to Altenau.
The most important thing upon every hiking trip comes at the end: coffee and cake. We met A. at the café who had just returned from a 24-hours hiking competition, the Harz-Trophy.
Proudly (rightly so) she told us about her experience wearing a shirt from that challenge. Despite her relaxed appearance there was a slight limping stemming from the blisters on her feet.
My conclusion: Even though we had to dress mutton up to look like lamb at short notice because of the road blocking it was a great walk again in good company and high spirits!