Probably for the first time since the hike at Externsteine, it was extremely discouraging during the preparation period.
Firstly, the weather forecast predicted rain for the first time in a few weeks, as if the season was already over, even though today a long weekend has started. Temperature was supposedly dropping by around 10 °C, although this time the temperature until yesterday (nearly 30 °C) was just crazy.
And then there was an indigenous German writing on the event page: “Hi, why borken? I’m from there and I cannot recommend it.” It’s not rare that indigenous people don’t understand why their places of origin could be interesting (and they are mostly wrong), but it was the first time that there was someone writing blatantly a comment like this just a day before the event. Nevertheless, I decided to take a look at the map several times. Still there was virtually no modification to make. Since the place, Borken, was so far away from where we usually hike, I thought she might be right, which lowered MY own motivation.
All this together, it wasn’t that surprising that there were even less than 20 people this time (and I was the first person to arrive at Düsseldorf Hbf this morning!). I’m happy that still I got a ticket, especially because it would have been quite expensive considering the distance we had to do by train.
We changed trains at Essen. The one we took for Borken was leaving from a distant platform, which we didn’t even know existed. Essen was the first station of this line, and Borken was the last one. We crossed the entire VRR region. In fact Blankenheim was just as far away as Borken from Düsseldorf Hbf.
So just as last week, I didn’t have a map, because my beloved open street maps based app does not work properly anymore since the last update. Fortunately, Google maps apparently started to work correctly with the trail since some time ago, although I don’t have Google maps on my phone, so I followed simply Cláudia.
Going right next to OBI and other industrial chains, my fear of having chosen a horrible hiking trail today grew.
However, the situation changed drastically within a few minutes; the road was still made of concrete, but it was quite green everywhere. What’s more, we had woods and fields with a lot of animals. Actually, we saw way more animals than humans today over the hike, mainly horses. Besides, it actually never rained there where we were, even though we could see thick clouds nearby. We were extremely lucky in this regard.
There was exactly one restaurant near the hiking trail today. If this one wasn’t there, no modification would have been possible to include a restaurant today. It was open, and was a pretty cool place. Pretty cool, also because there was a group of middle age drunk people on a party bus that came towards us to leave a case of mixed drinks (of coke and beer).
Finally after the break there was a forest path without asphalt. But I must say, the entire trail was not that bad despite the asphalted paths. Not a surprise that there were only positive reviews on the website, which today’s trail was based on.
The beer festival was pretty much like the one at Mülheim last year (cf. this article). People dancing and drinking overpriced beer. But at least the weather was fairly good. It wasn’t like the weather until yesterday, but the weather forecasts were definitely wrong. Too bad for those who decided not to come in the last minute.