And here I am! I’m back! I’m pretty sure that there are people who looked forward to my return, but I was looking forward to it just as much; after 3 weeks of fruitless planning of hiking events in Kassel, I was very happy to organise one around Düsseldorf again. And just as promising as it was to me, there were quite some people who joined despite the gloomy weather forecast. I mean, I did indeed say it doesn’t matter how many people join. Yet it’s nevertheless nicer to have some people joining in the end. You’ll never know how grateful I am for your participation.
Today, we went to a region that I didn’t know very well. This was an area where I wasn’t quite sure if it was still within the VRR region or not. As it turned out, Ergste was still inside, which allowed me to come up with a few more trails there. Of course, it doesn’t automatically mean that there’d be interesting trails, but since I didn’t know anything about that area, I had to make one quite blindly, with the hope that it’s more Hagen-like than Ruhr-like. I hope you know what I mean by that. Indeed, Ergste being somewhere close to Dortmund and Hagen, it could have turned out in both ways. So I had to give it a try, to put it short.
Just as always, this morning, I came late. Apparently not many people have arrived in Düsseldorf, so that I really had to make sure that there were enough tickets. Anyway couchsurfing is a dying platform. It’s not that surprising that new people don’t check it out.
Not quite surprisingly, the RE 1 that we took started accumulating delays. The problem was, today we had only 10 min at Dortmund Hbf. I was aware of the problem beforehand, but couldn’t make it more spacious, at least following what DB suggested. Luckily, the train caught up towards the end, so that we could still manage to take the right one at Dortmund.
On the train, I saw common faces saying “long time no see!” to each other, which was a rather unusual scene, but since literally no hike took place during my absence in the last three weeks, and apparently people didn’t really see each other in this period of time, there was indeed a vacuum of three weeks for them.
Today’s somewhat ambiguous weather was actually pretty okay for Germany. Last year saw a horrible heatwave and usually it starts raining quite a lot around this time of the year. Since we walked inside forest for most of the time today, it didn’t matter a lot which color the sky had.
I was happy to explore this rather unknown region. It was a typical Ruhr region forest, well maintained after ostensibly an industrial shock in Germany of the post-WWII period. So in this sense, we were not really walking in the wild, but at least in a neat area.
We were supposed to have a break in this village, Stübbeken, but somehow people continued walking and stopped behind the village in an endless field. I was well behind the group when they stopped, but happy to see that they organised themselves collectively. After lunch, I fetched a coffee in the only one restaurant in the village and we played volleyball.
We had largely passed one half of the entire trail when we had a break, but the rest was way wilder. At one point, there had to be people who simply stave in to make sure that there’s a trail (which there wasn’t). We could have taken other options, but quite obviously Mehrbod wanted it this way. So great that someone else takes the initiative.