Slightly to our surprise, we didn't find any wasted party goers lying around our tents in the morning. The party castle had gone quiet and stood there looking stately as if nothing had happened, but we knew better.
After breakfast, we reassessed the contents of our backpacks. Since Guro was going home today, we could send stuff home we wouldn't use anymore, such as warm clothes and THE classic of useless gear: a pack of cards. I wonder why I keep on packing it; I never ever get to playing cards while traveling.
We took the bus back to Diekirch, a village we had passed the day before, from where we would wave Guro goodbye. Since we hadn't visited yet, we enjoyed the opportunity to see the city center. There was a fair going on, and it was tempting to stay a bit longer, stroll around and visit the brewery of Diekirch, but a mean, little voice reminded us what we were here for. Hiking, goddamnit.
Around 10h30, later than planned -again-, we started hiking away from Diekirch along the river Süre: Just outside the center they had built a little obstacle course for canoes. It seemed fun! The walk along the river was quiet, but without shade. I experimented with the alternative functions of the sleeping mattress I was carrying, creating a little mobile roof out of it. The idea has potential, but the technique needs refinement...
Around noon we walked past a little island in the middle of the river that was screaming 'picknick time'. It was still early and we had barely walked 5km, but this place was too nice to miss out on. We kicked off our shoes, made ourselves comfortable, cooked noodles and sought refreshment in the river.
Innerly grunting, we left our perfect picknick spot around 13h40. It was time to kill those remaining 25km. We passed the village of Ettelbrück, making a slight detour through its city center but resisting its inviting outdoor cafés. From here, it was a long way up over curvy roads under the scorching sun.
The city of Ettelbrück lay behind us and it would take several hours before reaching the next one. We passed a secluded house where people were lunching in their wonderful garden. It struck me this was possibly the last opportunity to get water for a long time. I quickly emptied my bottle and returned to the house. But in those 2 minutes, Cupido had been scattering magic love powder around and the mood had become... romantical. Feeling as an intruder, I didn't dare to disturb the couple's tender embrace and I silently disappeared. That had been a smart move: an undetermined amount of kilometers to go without a drop of water left. Well done.
Luckily, not much later we entered the woods, and alternatively walked on the roads and in the forest until reaching the village of Niederfeulen. We'd agreed we'd stop for a drink here, but we walked past all the bars. I didn't understand and grunted at Serge who wanted to go looking for one particular bar somewhere in the village. This was quickly forgotten when we learned he actually had a masterplan in mind and was taking us to the lovely garden of a cultural center in Niederfeulen, where they served large beers, and free cookies.
Forget Redbull, Aquarius and the like. Beer is the best energy drink when hiking. After our break, I got in some kind of trance and my mind was going 1, 2, 1, 2, 1, 2... I hardly realised whether the path was uphill or downhill, in the sun or in the shade. My mind was beating time and my feet followed the rhythm. No one could stop me... for now, at least. Knowing there was less than 10km to go before reaching our final destination for today was good for motivation too.
During the last part, we followed the river Sûre and several campings alongside... But wait a second, campings? This was interesting actually. Not much later, we sneaked in and made our way to the showers, looking forward to rincing off all the sweat and stickiness under a hot shower. To our big disappointment, this camping had outsmarted us: special coins were needed in order to get hot water. O well, a cold shower it was. Those five minutes of perseverance would be worth it: afterwards, it felt so great to be clean again.
It was slowly getting dark, so it was time for us to find a camping spot. We followed a small track into the woods and found another perfect spot, the third one in a row. Super quiet apart for the sound of the river curving gently through the forest, it was a nice place to enjoy our last dinner together. For the occasion, we had something special: mashed potato powder with spices. (No, seriously, this was tasty.) To relieve Bart of the extra weight he had been carrying the entire afternoon, we tried our best at emptying those two bottles of red wine. We did a good job.
- - The bus from Vianden to Diekirch goes every hour and costs 2 EUR. The ride takes about 15 minutes.
- - Apart from the unwelcoming cold showers for intruders, Camping Bissen seems like a cosy spot for family outings.