May merely started, and the temperature sky-rocketed. Apparently, we were reaching the peak today. Regarding this point, It wasn’t quite surprising that there were 80 people who signed up for the event today. Many of them did not turn up, but still we must have been around 50, 60 people.
There was a Kirmes near Bochum, for which I already had a hiking trail nearby. I don’t know exactly where I got it, but I’m sure that I did not make it myself, as it looked simply horrible. I changed quite some parts, although maybe half of the original trail remained, even though it still looked quite horrible. Rather than the details, I was extremely excited about the fact that I had included the Ruhr river for the break, and the possibility of swimming there. I did not explicitly write it down in the description, since it was clear to me that swimming there was officially illegal. But they make it often illegal in Germany because they don’t want to hire life savers and take responsibility in case something happens. So as long as I stay cautious and I don’t expect anyone’s help in case of emergency, it is usually fine (although some Germans love to complain, in which case they just complain in order to complain and there’s no logics in it).
Surprisingly, the trail from the train station to the river was quite good. We were walking through a deep forest going up and down, but in a manner that we could enjoy walking. Right before the break, we had a great view over the Ruhr, quite unexpectedly since I couldn’t see it on my map.
At the river side, there were actually already quite some people swimming. To be honest, it was certainly not the cleanest water, but after walking in the infinite sunshine, it was nice to be in the cold water. There were only 3 or 4 people more who brought swimming stuff along with me. Maybe I should have made it clearer that this possibility was there.
Right after the break, my original map was apparently showing a path going through a cyclist lane. The problem was, since the last update, my iPhone app (maps.me) does not work properly. Particularly, it does not show any custom trail. So, I did not have a choice today other than following the others. Fortunately, they were flexible enough and did not need my decision. The hike went on as if there was no problem.
However, the fact alone that we were flexible did not help a lot: there were cyclists everywhere. The second half of today’s hike was quite strenuous, especially those who cycle along the Ruhr (as everywhere in Germany when there is a cycling lane) are not the most professional cyclists. Along with the lack of trees and the extreme sunshine, this part of the hike was a disaster for me. I don’t know how the others felt about it, but certainly not quite encouraging for those who participated for the first time. Maybe that was also the reason why some people did not want to be on the group photo.
And the kirmes was quite small, so that most of the people chose to go to the city center. I stayed there with a couple of people, drinking beer. Martin and Sandra, who joined us spontaneously at the weekend hike two weeks ago (which was also their first hike), were there today. Nice that the relationship continues since then.