Daily Digest – Day 101 to 112

Day 101 to 103 – 12 to 14 September 2018
Wilder Kaiser, Austria

Transport: by foot, hiking!

Hiking Wilder Kaiser: hiking Wilder Kaiser was for 3 days was a sometimes tearsome yet rewarding hike. Why was it tearsome?? Well Emm and I had bought new hiking boots in anticipation of much more hiking to come and walking up to the Gruttenhütte on day 1 was the break in period for these boots 😬. Emm was about 10000 steps in when she just started noticing a rub point on her heel and by the time we made it to the hut (about 20+ km of walking with over 1000m vertical) the blister had fully developed into a seeping hole. The walk took most of the hot hot day and we definitely appreciated the comforts of the modern Gruttenhütte.

DAY 1 Hiking Wilder Kaiser VIDEO

Via Ferreta in Austria VIDEO

Wilder Kaiser Waterfall Water

Day 2 was a out and back affair hiking down to a small town Ellmau at the the base of the Wilder Kaiser range. We had packed some bandaids which we were able to use for Emms blister but decided we would get some more heavy duty stuff in town. The hike was solid again clocking in around 20km with the same elevation as day 1. We were pretty storked arriving back at the hut and enjoyed watching the thunderstorms roll in that evening (it’s always nice being indoors and dry with savage weather about).

Made it to Grüttenhutte pre storm VIDEO

Time Lapse of Wilder Kaiser VIDEO

We woke on day 3 to the pitter patter of rain drops. It was a slow start convincing ourselves to don the wet weather gear we had packed to go for a hike on this soggy foggy day. We did however get out for a hike heading down to the iconic Steiner Hochalm mountain pub. We didn’t quite make it to the pub (within half an hour walk 🙄) as we found this pretty ideal lunch stop out of the rain in a farm side cottage.

Foggy times in Wilder Kaiser VIDEO

After the walk we spent time chilling out in our own private room at Gruttenhütte which we had changed upon as the dorm was full so we had to opt up in terms of accom. When you have been sleeping under eves, in sporting fields and in dormitory style rooms for a while having your own space is pretty amazing and you definitely make the most of it – well we do that is 😝.
Overall the hiking in Wilder Kaiser was another good hiking adventure albeit a little more on the touristic trail compared to our experience in Slovenia. The proximity of Wilder Kaiser to the surrounding towns and the well maintained gravel roads meant that it was a very popular destination. It has taught us to seek hiking areas higher and more remote in the future. Don’t get me wrong we would not take a single day back but just giving an overview of the overall experience.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 104 – 15 September 2018
Wilder Kaiser Austria to Marktschellenberg Germany

Transport: 87.6km, 18.2km/hour average speed 832m elevation gain

Doubling down: we woke up at sunrise and were on our way without breaky wanting to get back to St. Johann where are bicycles were stowed as quick as possible. We wanted to get going as we had a 90km ride to Markschellenberg Germany (just outside Salzburg Austria) scheduled (we had pencilled in a stay with Anne-Lise and Christian through Warm Showers, more on that later).

The walk out was mostly all downhill (around 14-15km) which I thought would be pretty easy but by the time we reached St. Johann we were both pretty sore in the legs.

Hiking out of the Wilder Kaiser mountains Austria VIDEO

Cow Bells of Wilder Kaiser VIDEO

We decided to take a much needed break and had some lunch (or breaky really) of oats and yogurt.
We finally got going around 1pm again thinking it would be a pretty easy spin following a river most of the way…it definitely wasn’t an easy spin as the cycle way following the river was mostly gravel with some tight punches. Despite this it was definitely one of the most scenic rides we have had this trip. Austria has easily become our favourite ride country so far. It is just simple so breathtaking the scenery and the infrastructure and respect giving to cyclists is second to none.

How good is cycling in Austria VIDEO

We rolled past a Star Express supermarket and got some dinner food (the only available shop open as shops shut Sunday and close early Saturday ☹️). We then had the final roll up to Anna-Lise and Christians place which involved a 4km climbs with 400m vertical 😝. We have found through recent experience any climb averaging 100m vertical per 1km is just on the cusp of what we can handle fully your loaded so we knew we were in for a hour grind session. The climb did not disappoint with Emm threatening to throw in the towel and sleep when we were just half way up the hill. I think a cyclist of an e-bike cruising past have her the incentive to dig deep and push the final 2km.

Knakacered and climb beginning VIDEO

We did make it up (after a long section of #hikethebike which was very reminiscent of the #hunt1000 ttps://youtu.be😳).

Hike a Bike in Darkness VIDEO

We were greeted by the super super nice couple that were Anne-Lise and Christian. We were the very first warm showers guests they have had but it felt like they had done this a 100 times. They offered us showers straight away which is something you really crave after days without a proper wash 😬 (I guess that’s why the call it Warm Showers). After getting back into more civilised states we then prepared a quick dinner and chilled out with our hosts for the rest of the night. We only spent 1-2hours with them as it was late when we arrived but we got on really well and immediately had the feeling we could be life long friends with this couple. It’s a weird phenomenon when you meet a stranger and just know they are a good person and you will get on like old friends. As a quickie these guys both work for the local National Park and LOVE outdoor activities especially those done in winter time (ski touring, skiing etc). I guess it’s a no brainer that we got on with them 🙄.

Afterwards we crawled into bed and literally passed out having been active for about 12-13 hours today #doubledown.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 105 – 16 September 2018
Marktschellenberg Germany

Transport: many hiking kilometres again

Gorging ourselves: we woke up and had some pancakes for breaky and then made our way out to the local Almbachklamm gorge which was in close proximity to Christian and Anne-Lise’s place and recommended by them. We wanted to take a cruisy walk and this walk sounded perfect. It was a warm day and having the shade of the gorge combined with the cooling running water made for the ideal outing. We ended up overclocking it slightly to call it a true reco walk (about 25000 steps 🙄) but overall really enjoyed the scenery.

I feel like we have been very spoiled for scenery since we landed in Stockholm all those months ago and I shudder to think how we will live not having jaw dropping scenery every second day when we eventually return to real life one day…
Anyways back to the story, so in the late arvo we had a simple dinner and called it around 10pm. Christian and Anne-Lise were absent the whole day travelling to a famous mountain area (Zugspitz) with some friends so we didn’t get to spend any time with them ☹️.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 106 – 17 September 2018
Marktschellenberg Germany to Bertchesgaden Germany return

Transport: 33.7km, 633m elevation gain, 16km per hour average speed

Today we finally got to spend time with our Warm Showers hosts Anna-Lise and Christian. It was an early start with breaky and then joining Anna-Lise on her daily commute. Now this commute was from the high mountains and through the valley along the crystal clear sky blue waters of Bertchesgadener Ache river. Anne-Lise was on an e-bike which is extremly common in this area right on the Austrian / German border. They are great and I can really see the value in them particular for quick commutes and especially in the mountains around here- the Bergs and long and pinches steep!

Top ride in Bertchesgaden Germany VIDEO

So scenic commute to work VIDEO

As Beau mentioned yesterday both Anne-Lise and Christian work for Bertchesgaden National Park so we went to work with Anne-Lise to start the day. She teaches children about sustainability and the environment and the set up was fantastic to see. Europeans are definitely forward thinking regarding climate change and the future. We loved the old school hut and vege + fruit garden at her work. Her colleagues were all outdoors people and full of life. We could have spent hours at work today!! Anne-Lise also gave us passes to the National Park museum so we spent awhile checking out the exhibits – it was set up so well and all about the great outdoors 😁.

We eventually left and let them all get some work done and strolled around Bertchesgaden – quite a cute typical Austrian style town being so close to the border. By this stage we decided we wanted to hike Bertchesgaden National Park so started making plans – I mean it looks like it will be amazing and the weather is unreal!

In the afternoon we road but up the tough Marktschellenberg hill – yep it still hurt a lot even without panniers. So steep!! Soon after we were home our hosts arrived. They have so many hobbies including bee Keeping so we went with them but I kept my distance as I’m scared of bees lol…

Bee Keeping in Marktschellenberg VIDEO

We then prepared some food – traditional Späzle and salads from the garden.

Afterwards Christian made a typical dish of the area – kaiserschmarrn; basically a shredded pancake- so delicious!! Early bed time for all.

-E

Day 107 to 109 – 18 to 20 September 2018

Hiking Bertchesgaden National Park –Germany’s only alpine national park for 3 days, 2 nights

Eat, sleep, ride…I mean hike, repeat day 1: we got up and hopped a lift to town with Anne-Lise fully packed and prepped for our 3 day hiking adventure in the Bertchesgaden National Park . We got some last minute food supplies in town then walked the 5km to the ferry terminal where we would take a ferry ride over the picturesque Lake Königssee to Salet.

Echo of Lake VIDEO

The walk up from Salet was tough with the first few kms knocking out the majority of overall climbing we would do for the day (about 1000m vert). Once we did make it up to the main plateau we were greeted with some pretty amazing scenery.

Hard start to this hiking block VIDEO

Beau discussing Lake Königesee VIDEO

Epic Scenery and only DAY 1 VIDEO

We made it to the Wasseralm mountain hut at about 6pm and were both pretty spent (total walk was around 20km/33000 steps with 1000m climbing).

Pack Weight Debate VIDEO

Wasseralm Hut Sleeping Tour VIDEO

We were very lucky to snag the last 2 beds (€11 pp with our Slovenian Alpine Memberships 😝) in the dormitory as we would otherwise have been sleeping on the dining room floor (which is not so bad as you still get a mattress and blankets however you can only sleep once all other hikers have gone to bed). We had an early dinner of pesto salami and bread/crackers (our go to #hikediet for the next few meals) and called it just as the sun was setting (around 8pm 😂).

Day 2: today was always going to be the big day Wasseralm to Ingolstädter Haus (total walk was around 13km/30500 steps with 1000m of more challenging climbing). We had some oats and hit the trail around 8am walking to the first main lookout Halsköpfl which provided some awesome views of the glacial lake Königssee.

We then walked onto Kärlinger Haus (probably the regions most popular mountain hut restuarant/accomodation) where we stopped and had lunch making most of the huts position which is perched over lake Funtensee.

The walk up to Ingolstädter Haus was the hardest part of the day being all up over a loose Rocky Mountain path but we did make it a few hours before sundown 😎.

Which mountain goat? VIDEO

Almost at the hut Beau chat VIDEO

The overall distance walked wasn’t that great however we had spent over 8 hours just walking so were well cooked by the time we finished.

Hut Spotting and Emma the Mud Mater VIDEO

We had some dinner and decided to splurge and split a Kaiserschmarrn (aka the scrambled egg pancake). At €10 irt wasn’t cheap but it was soooooooo worth it . Based on the food we saw coming out of the kitchen we would both highly recommend eating at this hut. meals were all around €10-15 but were stacked and looked delicious. If we had jobs I know I would have been trading the bread and salami for a hut meal that’s for sure. We had a pretty supreme lookout in the outdoor seating area of the hut as all other patrons seemed to prefer being indoors (maybe it’s because they have this type of scenery right on their doorstep…🤔).

It was another early night getting to sleep around 8pm 😂 #hikelife.

Day 3: the third day was set to be the longest in terms of distance and steps but the easiest with a mostly downhill profile all the way out of the park (total walk was around 21km/37000 steps). We woke and quickly evacuated the dormitory trying not to wake anyone on the way out. We wanted to get going earlier as we had arranged to hop a lift back with Christian from Wimbachbrüke where he works from. The walk out did have a short challenging almost rock climbing like section towards the start but we made it past that unscathed and then had a Rocky Mountain descent into the valley bottom.

Did we sign up for Rock Climbing VIDEO

The last 8km along the valley bottom followed the river towards Wimbachbrüke and made for a nice end to the hike.

The final hike out VIDEO

We arrived in the small town at 2pm and having 2 hours up our sleeves before we were due to get a lift we decided to walked another 4km round trip to the local supermarket so we could make a nice farewell dinner for our hosts 🙂.
We got the lift with Christian back to his home and had a protein rich dinner consisting of vege omelettes for dinner and pancakes for desert ala Australian style (super thick and well done 👍). We washed this meal down with the best beer I have found so far in our journey – Franziskaner Weissbeir.

Eagles Nest from our host home VIDEO

It was once again a sad farewell that night with Christian and Anne-lise. We were fortunate to have been able to spend a descent amount of time with the pair. They are an awesome grounded couple who genuinely care for others and the environment and were so easy to get on with. Adios muchachos hope to catch you again 🙂.

#TheCasualtyList…Items worth counting on this epic…
Status quo from 11th Sep

Day 110 – 21 September 2018

Marktschellenberg, Germany via Salzburg to Lamprechtshausen, Austria

Transport: 49.3km at 19.3km per hour average speed

This morning we woke just in time to say our goodbyes to Anne-Lise. It’s was breakfast and packing on our agenda to allow us to spend some time in Salzburg.. BUT… as we were packing it was noticed that Beau’s waterproof jacket was missing as well as my waterproof pants that we had on the mountains were perhaps still there! Schize as the locals say!! We unsuccessfully tried to contact the huts and searched everywhere we could. We lost hope and pedaled lazily to Salzburg with great views and good cycling infrastructure yet again.

Once in Salzburg we enjoyed a lunch stop in Mirabell Gardens (I dreamt about one of my favourite movies Sound of Music). We tried calling Ingolstädter-Haus one of the most remote huts in Berchtesgaden National Park (by foot over rocky mountain passes at 2119m) and bam that is where our stuff is. Schitze!!

We decided to pedal on to Rosa and Frans from Warmshowers where we posted some bike parts to months ago and decipher a plan. Rosa and Frans are a lovely married couple (married for 30+ years!) and made us feel so loved like we were family straight away. Rosa made delicious Käser Späzle – We have been buying the prepackaged stuff! Sooooo good.

Traditional Späzle Home Cooked VIDEO

Lots of good conversation and she showed us around their lovely home and garden (farm style property). We all took Hector the Golden Retriever for a walk locally too. She offered Beau her car for tomorrow so he can drive to Bertchesgaden to hike out to the hut and back. So kind and nice!! Early bed for Beau probably 60000 steps for him. I will stay with Rosa and Frans as if I came we couldn’t do it in a day as we all know how much of a mountain goat I am lol.

Day 111 – 22 September 2018

Lamprechtshausen, Austria for Emma and back to Bertchesgaden National Park for Beau

Today Beau departed at 6am for his big day out to collect our waterproofs from Ingolstädter-Haus. I had a slow start catching up with home and then joined Rosa and Frans for the day. It was so relaxing having a real day off. Days off with Beau usually consist of 3 or so hours of some form of intense exercise 😂. So I walked Hector the dog, collected farm eggs, picked up bread from a local farmer and chatted the day away. I even learnt some bellydancing from Rosa (I am not so coordinated lol).

Beau came back surprisingly earlier than we all expected, just after 6.15am. He said he zoomed along passing fellow hikers and success – he collected our gear!! He enjoyed some top views too at least.

Dinner was a relaxed affair – rabbit (may be my first time eating this) and of course home made apple strudel – when in Austria! So delicious and a successful day was had. Before bed we checked out where her chickens sleep – in the tree to avoid foxes lol!!

-E

Day 112 – 23 September 2018

Lamprechtshausen, Austria

Since Beau had such a HUGE day yesterday, we decided we would have yet another day with the lovely Rosa and Frans. A fairly rainy morning that cleared in the afternoon. We walked Hector the dog a couple of times, collected milk from a local farmer, watched the opening of Oktoberfest and the World TTT champs on TV, husked corn for the chickens and picked pears to name a few activities. A real farm life experience. Lunch was fish from a local and it was so deliciously cooked by Rosa. It was so wonderful to have a total relaxation day! Back to the pedals tomorrow to make it to Innsbruck for the Road Cycling World champs 😛

Fresh Cows Milk VIDEO

Cooking on a Traditional Stove in Austria VIDEO

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