Some training for the south american Andes next year … Well, the trail from the Männlichen to the village Wengen is probably nothing compared to the Inca Trail. It winds along a direct line of only two kilometers, takes about four hours and covers one kilometer in hight…. at the end we hiked 16 Kilometers in front of the inspiring world famous Eiger North Wall and its Eiger Glacier.
It‘s been a while and some have already asked me: „What did you do?“ – I simply decided to not post a home story while I am back in Europe for the winter. This blog is supposed to be a „travel on a boat“-blog. But since some asked me how life across the ocean from America is, sitting in Switzerland and watching the spring arrive here, it‘s time to give a short review over the past three month in snow, mountains and with lots of Fondue.
The latter seems to be kind of Switzerland‘s national food. Not that it is known to be somewhat low fat, or a a good source of anything. But that does not count in a country where walking to your neighbor normally includes a height difference of a few hundred feet every couple of yards. This year my first „Fondue moitié-moitié“, a combination of two aromatic cheeses melted in a clay pot and spiced with a hard liquor, took place in a remote alpine hut near Klosters. At daylight you can walk there from town in a few hours and it‘s quite a scenic walk. But this time we choose a one hour horse sledge ride through the falling night.
Covered under heavy layers of fur blankets, beyond city lights, we drove through the woods illuminated only by reflections of a pale moon from a snow covered surface. Once the eyes get used to it, it spends enough light to read a book. The horses lope along their well known track and the bells on their neck rang in the rhythm of their motion. Between it silence, some a creek purls along the path and the scene took us magically into an ancient life. Deer watched us drive by while we watched them raising their antlers high into the black sky. – The days around Christmas probably can‘t be spent anywhere else more intense than in place like this.
But after that business kicks in to my Switzerland vacation as I was not only here to enjoy the country. Germanys biggest boat show called for various presentations of my „Route 66 for sailors“ – I found this name to be adequate to give an idea to europeans about what to expect from an adventure through North-Americas Great Lakes, Mid West and South by boat.
It was followed by a short series of longer presentations to sailing clubs and finally finished by attending Austria’s boat show in Tulln last week. Now I am getting ready to head out at sea again. But before that I have to grab my things and return to my boat tomorrow. From there I think to leave mid april towards South America. – Plans have changed a little while watching my route from a distance. But that will be published here after some final research is done.
So… consider me to be back on my boat, back on my trip and rushing out to the many places left on my bucket-list! – And since I have seen a few notices from fellow Loopers who spend the winter upstream in Demopolis or Columbus, now waiting for the river to drop below flood stage, I hope to see some of these friends I made along the way again pretty soon.
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