Hiking report

Hiking from Lembeck to Haltern am See!

At the end of last hike, there were at least Stefan, Soleyla and Sajjad who were saying they would not be here this weekend. Indeed, most of the students must have finished their exam period and are starting to leave for some weeks. And others haven’t come back yet from their holidays. So it is now probably the emptiest period of time for Düsseldorf.

Since there were not so many people in Düsseldorf right now, I did not much care about what the hiking path looks like. I must have been waiting for simulation results or had simply nothing to do when I created this hiking trail. Fine, exploration is part of our spirit that should not die out. And anyway this region, Lembeck and Haltern am See, is not quite familiar to me, although we recently had Marl-Sinsen, which was probably the worst hike for me so far (quote: “There has never been a bad hike. Only very good and less good. And Marl-Sinsen was maybe quite low in the list.” by Stefan). So I don’t think I would have been able to present a well conceived plan in any case.

The horrifying scene at Düsseldorf main station, at 10am (which was the meeting time)… There was no one in front of the main entrance. Well I must admit that I usually come a little bit late, which was also the case today. And I am now used to seeing a crowd in front of the station. Even though I was expecting a low number of people, I would have never thought it would be that extreme this time.

It was just partially the truth, as it turned out that in the last 15 min quite some people arrived. Only one of them, Joanne, was the newcomer. So I guess all the others simply decided to come just in time for the train. That’s perfectly fine, as long as they do arrive in time 🙂 (because otherwise it’s too expensive for me).

I was talking about the arrival of autumn last week. While writing that section, the memory of last Septembers in Germany ran though my mind, where the temperature skyrocketed in strong contrast to the lane August. Today is still August, but the contrast to the last weeks’ freezing hikes was radical, just as we saw in the last years. Probably we should organize a hike near a lake again. And it’s gonna be a competition between Murphy and us.

In contrast to this brilliant weather, I was sleepwalking after the movie session of yesterday. Now I’m just wondering whether it’s going to happen every week or not. I must tell Maria to come in time next time.

I already spoke of the poor organization of today. It was not that serious compared to Marl-Sinsen, but still we saw some places that should not have been in the hiking trail. Sometimes it is indeed difficult to predict which ways should not be taken from the information available in the Internet (Open street maps or satellite images), but this time this could have been avoided. I should have taken a look at the path quickly yesterday.

I was having lunch far away from the rest of the group with Sheldon, without explaining why. That’s because I’m extremely bad at sitting on the ground and if there’s a bench, I don’t even care whether I’m alone or not, I just go to the bench. Anyway I tend to be silent when there are too many people (which is almost never the case when we are hiking as small groups are formed dynamically), so for me it made sense to stay there with Sheldon.

This was the first time that I paid attention to the time schedule for the train back to Düsseldorf. Actually, even the duration of the break was minutely controlled. And just as planned, we arrived at the train station of Haltern am See right before the train arrived. I didn’t even think about drinking beer this time. Hopefully it’s gonna happen again in the near future. Also, I wrote about organizing a hike near a lake in the future. This could have been the case this time, because there’s a lake at Haltern am See (and appropriately enough, “am See” means “at the lake”). If I had taken a slightly different hiking course, it would have been the case today. What a pity that I didn’t think about that…

Today was by the way the last session for Vitali, who first hiked with as in Ratingen, which was our 3rd session (you can read it in this article). He is going to Vienna and work there at what he says a really cool hostel. Check it out from here! Maybe we can go there in a large group in the near future. By the way, he met his girlfriend during our hiking a couple of weeks ago. What a nice surprise

After the hike, there was something that came to my mind. When I started organizing hikes, I often thought about making it more decentralized (first mentioned in this article). That is to say, I wanted the hikes to be more autonomous and dynamically changed by the participants. However, whether this goal has been achieved or not, I’m just wondering how important it was in reality. Indeed, I would love to see a self-consistent group, but this ill-defined quality should probably not be what I aim at.

On the other hand, it appears to me more sustainable if there’s some sort of goal. Especially if we can strive for something we haven’t seen yet, it’s even better.

This being said, at the same time I became aware of one problem that comes in the near future. Namely winter. I have already announced several times that I would continue the hikes even in winter, which I know have a different taste and are also something quite interesting. However, in the wintertime we will not be able to sit outside on a picnic blanket for lunch. We will have to go to a restaurant and eat out, which is maybe not affordable for students for example. It would be a shame, as the desire to go hiking itself should not have anything to do with the amount of money available.

With these aspects in mind, I thought of maybe offering a small amount of subsidy to those who don’t get a salary where I put advertisements on my website. As I do earn already enough money, actually much more than what I would need, I am personally not interested in earning money. But making money with a website has always interested me, especially because this is probably a still somewhat new business model that hasn’t been fully understood yet. It would rather disturb me if I would start earning money myself, so I am totally fine with giving it away completely.

So, then I checked Google Search Console. For this month, I got something like 8,000 impressions. I don’t really understand what it means, but at least I know that “impression” is the unit that could be translated into money. I looked it up. Apparently if I put advertisements it makes approximately 2 dollars per 1,000 impressions. So it means that I would earn 16 dollars this month… Okay, obviously it is not enough to alleviate the cost of lunch for all the students.

Let’s say the average lunch is around 15 dollars. And there are in average 10 students and my website subsidizes half of the whole price. It makes about 75 dollars (which is actually not a lot of money if I compare it to my salary…). If a hike takes place 4 times a month, it makes 320 dollars. It means that there must be 20 times more visitors that come to my website.

Fine, I’m gonna stop here for today, because I don’t really want to lose a significant amount of time for this issue. I’ll certainly think about it in the future and let’s see what’s gonna happen 🙂

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