Martin in Gatineau Park

Martin in Gatineau Park

Sunday, 5 August 2012

E5 in reverse - Day 28 - Rheineck (399m) to Arbon (398m)

Winding down? It didn't really feel like it! With no proper break for two weeks, and in temperatures consistently approaching 30C, the journey remains quite hard work.

After breakfast with Markus, he dropped us off at Rheineck on another warm, sunny morning.

Thanks Markus for looking after us and ferrying us around, and thanks Wolfie and Jutta for letting us stay in your flat.

"Have you used your compass?" Markus had asked. He'd been surprised by how often we had used it, usually for 'comfort' that we were heading in the right direction. We should have used it to navigate out of Rheineck. Instead, we rambled around the old town and then headed off along the obvious road. It wasn't until a sign notified us of our entry into the village of Thal that we realised we'd taken the wrong road.

Never mind, pleasant footpaths guided us through the village to a steep set of steps that rose over 100 metres through vineyards to gain the narrow ridge that we should have ambled up from Buriet.

Horse flies hastened us on our way. I would have thought the Swiss countryside agency would have eliminated them! Good views from this low ridge (pictured both ways) showed off the pretty Swiss countryside and the expansive vista of Lake Constance to good effect on this sunny day.

The residents could be accused of being lazy here. Lawns were being mown, but there wasn't a person in sight. They use automowers, huge mouse like gadgets that wander around a lawn, cutting it, and turning when they sense they have reached the edge. (Coming soon to B&Q, or are they already there?)

Easy lanes and paths wended their way to Goldach, where a handy corner shop provided the ingredients for an al fresco lunch on a nearby bench by a paddling pool sort of fountain. A couple entertained us by washing their Scotty dog by way of a ball game in the water.

Easy paths then led us past greenhouses full of tomatoes and cucumbers, and through orchards brimming with ripening apples, plums and peaches, and rows of harvested cherry trees.

Several narrow gauge railway lines were crossed today. They reminded me of the wonderful model railway that I used to take the children to at Carnforth.

Black kites soared overhead - we saw lots of birds of prey today. Some cyclists passed, and we heard murmurings about E5, which gets no mention on the walking signs hereabouts (pictured, bottom).

The lakeside at Arbon was a busy spot, with cliques of grebes and mallards vying with black-headed gulls for the best positions on the lake.

After an ice cream interlude our B&B, Garni Sonnenhof, was located and Sue was despatched to collect provisions for dinner whilst I recovered from the trauma of impersonating an overweight pensioner for yet another day.

Dinner was by the lakeside on a bench (we used a few today) and was an excellent alternative to a pricey Swiss meal.

We dashed back just before the rain hit, and in time to watch GB athletes win three athletic golds in the olympics, where the local coverage seems to have moved from German fencers to Swiss triathletes.

Oh dear! We finish tomorrow!

Comments:

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Data:
4 August 2012
14km in 5 hours with 300m ascent
Flower of the Day - Narcissus-flowered Anemone (from the Lechtal holiday, since alpine flowers aren't in evidence down here at 400 metres)

Itinerary - http://www.topwalks.com/E5%20Route.html

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1 comment:

Patrick Vincent said...

I remember those horseflies...

I've enjoyed following your walk and remembering my own - thank you. Maybe the next edition of the book should have more variant routes, like some of those you took, and suggested alternatives to taking buses?