Time to Trek Again

I’ve managed to get a ticket to the Fjällräven Classic in Germany this year. It’s taking place in Immenstadt, Allgäu in southern Germany, in the end of May. There are only about 200 places on this Classic so I’m delighted I get to go. I’m flying to Stuttgart and then getting a lift from friends driving down from the Netherlands who I met in Denmark last year.

I’m definitely less nervous than I was a year ago before my first Classic, however, this one has a really steep climb on day one. We will be trekking in the base of the German Alps.

I recently did a practice walk around Streatley village in West Berkshire. I found the route in The Thames Valley and Chilterns book and it was a really good circular walk, starting and finishing in a National Trust Car Park. The book said 5 hrs with a height gain of 295m which is exactly what I needed. I’m comfortable with my trekking fitness over flat ground but Germany is going to be a lot of up and down. Oxfordshire is decidedly flat. Apart from our famed Clumps (the tallest of which is a 50m ascent to the top).

Hannah joined me for the first hour of the walk with Nova, an English Pointer and Alfie, a young Scottish Deerhound. Nova’s a seasoned lady who trots along elegantly as pointers do whereas Alfie runs in fits and starts and by the time we parted, he was lying sprawled on the grass verge after having completed a mad dash. Hannah explained that this was him reaching over tired. Somewhat like an overstimulated toddler!

Alfie overtired

I continued on the rest of the route alone, with just my 10.5kg rucksack for company. The further along I walked, the fewer people I came across. After another hr the few cyclists and dog walkers on trail had turned back and I was navigating alone. I had the guide book with a small route map but I wished I’d had an OS map with me too as the written notes were sometimes a bit vague. What do you do when the book says look out for a gap in the hedge after walking beneath the electricity pylons and you end up walking under two sets and still not finding the path?

I’m happy to say my feet stayed happy in my boots for the 16.8km walk and I arrived back to my car after 4hrs 45mins. The journey back to the car park is up a killer hill so you certainly feel satisfied on reaching the end.

St Marys Church Streatley – Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll once preached here
happy to be back and ready to change out of hiking boots

Lessons learnt:

  1. Hiking Trousers are too warm for this time of year, and
  2. Always leave another bottle of water in the car for when I’m done!

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