Yes, indeed, all those gray days are now over. Now it’s almost quite common to see an endless blue sky for a few days in a row. Great — well not so quickly. We may have got the sun back, but we traded off the temperature. Now, it looks like the winter finally arrived. And the temperature hardly goes above 0 degrees. My flatmate, Karina, who comes from the south of Spain, looks like she’s living in hell.
And the hike of this week was severely hit. It is almost a wonder that people still come to join us. Stefan, who joined us last time at the legendary hike a few weeks ago, somehow decided to join us for the first time since then. Such an unlucky guy.
By the way, I started organizing the hikes February 5, 2017, which was tomorrow of a year ago. I put the hike while I was still in France, i.e. way ahead of the date. I still remember how disappointed I was to see only one participant from CS (Chaomo, who happened to join us quite often after that). Just as on that day, there was quite some snow on the way today, although we were nearly 30 people this time.
Today, we went to Hagen, pretty much for the first time, although this region is known to be quite mountaneous. The very reason why we never went there was because I did not know exactly up to which station was the VRR region, in which we can move for free. In particular, I thought it was up to Hagen central station. In fact, we could go a couple of stations further, which allows us to organize a bunch of new hikes.
11am in front of the train station. As always, I arrived fairly late, pretty much the last person to arrive. It was just simply too cold. Not quite a wonder that Ariana, who comes from Venezuela, did not want to join the group outside.
To the south of Hagen, there’s the river Volme, which you’ll see Google does not really want to understand (because it thinks what you wanted to write was “volume”), which makes a valley, where there’s a small railway line. We stopped at Dahl and started hiking, which was the second last station from the end of the VRR region.
The first hike at Hagen turned out to be just as difficult as I had imagined, namely about the same level as Gevelsberg, but maybe a bit harder. It was extremely cold outside, but we were probably all sweating inside. The steep path right from the beginning was simply impressive.
Just a couple of days before the hike, I changed the path, in order to include Rummenohl instead of Priorei, because I saw that the temperature would be below 0 and there was only a petrol station at Priorei, whereas at Rummenohl there was a train station and a hotel (with a restaurant inside obviously). This modification changed the total length (from 12 to 14 km), but I thought it was a justified decision. When we saw Rummenohl from the top of the mountain, it just looked all promising.
However, as it turned out, the restaurant inside the hotel was already closed. I had something to eat so I went up to the nearby church and sat there with some other people, even though it started snowing in that moment. In this already extremely cold weather, it felt like a punishment. We finished the break as quickly as possible.
The problem was, those who needed something to eat went to a restaurant far away from the meeting point, so that they needed more time to come back. We, standing in front of the hotel, were trying to negotiate with the staff in the restaurant in order to sit inside. We were straightforwardly refused, although they allowed us to use the restrooms. This must have been a huge mistake for them since obviously our boots left dirts everywhere. On the other hand, I sincerely think that they would have made a significant amount of money if they had let us in.
The return journey towards Dahl was far more difficult than the first half. Somehow, we were climbing an extremely high hill for quite some time. I liked it, but it must have been horribly hard for those who joined for the first time.
No beer and nothing at the end of the hike today. But I promise that we’ll come back here in the near future. Maybe not in winter, but I saw a very beautiful landscape today. I’ll just look forward to the future sessions.