How wonderful! Walked for a little more than 3 hours, mostly uphill over steep hills bordering the Mosel River. This was one of the rare times where the pilgrim’s path didn’t follow the curves of the river (as shown on yesterday’s map), but up one side of the Hunsrück Mountains and down the other. Hard work and what a way to feel strength and endurance, seeing the effects of 4 months of thrice-weekly training: grâce à Mylene.
After only five days of walking, I seem to have left everything behind (except the occasional Internet contact). While schlepping up a muddy section of a steep hill it occurred to me that each time my foot touches the ground it is for the first and for the last time — coming and going, leaving only temporary traces. Just as in everyday life except that we tend to be deluded into thinking that things have permanence. A haiku death poem by Zen master Togyo:
When autumn winds blow
not one leaf remains
the way it was.
Today a half-day break — kind of. After finding a cheap and impeccably clean room in a private home (with the tiniest bed and an even tinier 3-piece bathroom), I set out for what turned out to be a 2-hour meander through the vineyards. Mostly Riesling grapes here, hanging in plump bunches on endless rows of vines up steep hillsides, soaking up the ever-shortening hours of autumn sunshine. Afterwards into the touristy “old town” to savour cherry cheesecake and coffee and watching the world go by. A wedge (a gaggle, a whiteness) of swans overhead, honking as they go. All’s well.