|Date||Monday 7 June 2004|
|Distance stage||28,0 km|
|Distance acum.||1726,0 km|
|Quality of signs||Very good|
|Quality of the hike||B (great): woods, fields, hills and slopes|
As I already said in the previous two stages of this three-day-trip: hiking in June means to me making long days from early in the morning to late in the evening. This is my last day of this trip, as I will have to be on the bus at 4.30pm in one of the villages that I will pass through today. I have a lot of pain in my feet after two days hiking in wet shoes. Today is a bright and sunny day, and it will be warm too. I get up without too many problems at 4.30am and at 05.20 I leave the refuge.
The sun has just risen and surrounded by the awakaning nature I walk downhill into the lowlands of Niederöstereich. The pace that I am able to keep is very low, but fortunately I do not have to stop for breaks or so. After passing the villages of Weitra and Dietmanns, I start the final part of the stage to the city of Gmünd. It is 12.30pm, it’s very hot and the path goes upwards (once more) when I pass a bench in the shade. I can’t prevent myself from sitting down and I doze away for a couple of minutes. After waking up my back is full of mosquito lumps. Shit! I put my backpack on again, and continue to walk. Once I am on track again, the last section to Gmünd is well to be done. Gmünd turns out to be an important city on the Austrian-Czech border. At 3.15pm I arrive at the local railwaystation.
This railway station is for E8-hikers such as myself one of the most ideal ones that I have come across: it has a front and a back gate, the busstation is situated directly next to it, and oposite the station building there are two (!) supermarkets where one can get all the refreshments and snacks that one can dream of. With a very satisfied feeling I sit down in the sun with an Almdudler softdrink and wait for the bus. Life can be great.